Preventable Risk Factors

The WHO states that “at least one-third of all cancer cases are preventable”.

Smoking & Lung Cancer

Lung cancer causes more deaths than any other type of cancer in Australia. “Tobacco smoking is the largest single risk factor for lung cancer in Australia, and is responsible for about 90% of lung cancers in males and 65% in females”.B Tasmania has the second highest rate of current smokers (23.2%) after the Northern Territory.C

  • More evidence-based information, including clinical guidelines and summaries, on Smoking cessation

Sun Exposure & Skin Cancer

2 in 3 Australians will be diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.D Each year, Australians are 4 times more likely to develop skin cancer than any other form of cancer.E In Tasmania, melanoma is the third most common type of cancer in both males and in females.F

HPV & Related Cancers

HPV 16, 18 are high-risk strains which account for 70% of cervical cancers. HPV 16, 18 are responsible for an even greater percentage of non-cervical cancers, causing between 80-92% of anal, oral, oropharyngeal, vaginal and vulvar cancers. These strains also cause approximately 63% of penile cancers.G

In 2011, 64% of girls in Tasmania, turning 15 years, received the3 dose HPV vaccination through the national program. Tasmania had the lowest percentage of coverage of all the states and territories in Australia.H

  • More evidence-based information, including clinical guidelines and summaries, on HPV vaccination

Obesity, Alcohol & Cancer

Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for cancer of the bowel, kidney, pancreas, oesophagus and endometrium, as well as breast cancer in post-menopausal women.A The levels of overweight and obesity are steadily increasing in Australia.  According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 63.9% of Tasmanian adults were overweight and obese and 71.7% of Tasmanians aged 15 and up are sedentary or have a low exercise level.I

The WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer identified alcohol as a Group 1 carcinogen (the highest classification available).J Alcohol is estimated to account for 5% of the total cancer burden in Australia.K

Cancer Prevention. World Health Organization. Accessed 3 June, 2013 at