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According to statistics, men accounted for 54.5 per cent of all new cancer diagnoses in South Australia in 2017—with the most commonly diagnosed cancer types being prostate, colorectal, lung and melanoma.

Research published in the same year found that 34 per cent of new cancers diagnosed in men could potentially be prevented by addressing modifiable lifestyle risk factors.

Lifestyle-related factors contribute to a greater cancer risk for three of the four most commonly diagnosed cancers among Australian men—bowel, melanoma and lung cancer. There is some good news though, because it’s never too late to make some simple changes to better your odds for reducing your cancer risk.

Below we cover some of the ways men can modify their lifestyle to improve their overall health, as well as reduce their cancer risk.

Cancer Council SA reducing men's cancer risk this tradie health month

Let’s take a look:

Tobacco – Men who have quit smoking halve their risk of lung cancer after 10 years when compared to those who continued to smoke, and the risk continues to fall over time. Call Quitline on 13 7848 for support.

UV radiation – Regular sunscreen usage based on recommended guidelines found a 40 per cent decrease in the incidence of squamous cell carcinomas. When the UV is 3 and above Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.

Bowel screening – Completing the two-yearly home test kit from the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program is estimated to reduce bowel cancer mortality by 15-25 per cent nationally.

Alcohol – Those who drink no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than 4 on any day have less than a 1 in 100 chance of dying from an alcohol-related condition. Risk is reduced by drinking less often and having less drinks on each occasion.

Healthy weight – Men who maintain a healthy weight reduce their risk of cancers of the digestive system, including colorectal, oesophagus, liver, pancreas, mouth, pharynx, larynx, stomach and gallbladder, and advanced prostate cancer.

Nutrition – Getting five serves of vegetables in one day improves your gut health and is as easy as:

  • Breakfast: Omelette + ½ cup sautéed spinach and mushrooms (equivalent to 1 cup raw).
  • Lunch: Roast chicken sandwich + 2 cups mixed salad.
  • Dinner: Lean protein + 1 cup of roasted mixed vegetables (equivalent 2 cups raw).

Physical activity – A 45-minute brisk walk each day can lower your risk of colon cancer.

Why not work on reducing your cancer risk today with one or more of the suggestions above?

For more information on ways to reduce your cancer risk through modifying your lifestyle, visit https://www.cancersa.org.au/prevention/lifestyle-factors/.