On Monday 4 February, World Cancer Day raises awareness of cancer and its global burden in a positive and inspiring way.
More than one third of cancer cases can be prevented. Another third can be cured if detected and treated early.
That’s why it is so important to keep up regular screening and to talk to your GP if you have any concerns.
Cancer in Victoria
In Victoria, the most common cancers are prostate, breast, bowel and skin cancer.
Finding breast cancer early before any symptoms are noticed, and when treatment is more likely to be successful, gives women the best chance of survival.
Women aged 50-74 should be screened every two years.
For bowel cancer, early detection provides the best chance of a positive prognosis, and 90 per cent of bowel cancers can be successfully treated if found early.
Everyone aged 50-74 should be screened every two years.
Around 75 per cent of women diagnosed with cervical cancer had either never had a cervical screen or had not had them regularly before diagnosis – not getting tested is just not worth the risk.
Women aged 25-74, who have ever been sexually active, should be screened every five years
Even if you have had a HPV vaccine you still need to have a regular test.
One in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer by the age of 85. Men who are concerned about prostate cancer should speak to their doctor.
Because Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, it is important to be SunSmart and familiar with your skin.
If you notice any changes to your skin, including new spots or changes in shape, colour or size of a spot, make an appointment to speak with your GP.
Prevention is one of the most effective ways of reducing your cancer risk.
You can reduce your risk of cancer by not smoking, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy diet and weight and by being physically active, limiting alcohol consumption and being SunSmart.
Victorian Cancer Plan
The Victorian Government is committed to cancer prevention and early detection for all Victorians.
Halving the proportion of Victorians diagnosed with preventable cancers by 2040 is a key action in the current Victorian Cancer Plan.
The Victorian Government is committed to reducing the proportion of Victorians diagnosed with preventable cancers. This is reflected in the government’s financial commitment which included a $15 million investment over four years to implement a skin cancer prevention package.
In 2018, in partnership with the Commonwealth, the Victorian Government funded $50 million to BreastScreen Victoria, $9.1 million to support the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program and a further $16.4 million to support the National Cervical Screening Program.
Since 2006, the Victorian Government, through the Victorian Cancer Agency has invested $13.1 million into translational prostate cancer research.
See the World Cancer Day website.
Learn more about cancer on Better Health Channel.