Cancer prevention

Worldwide, at least one in three cancers is associated with lifestyle factors.[2]

Cancer prevention

People can reduce their risk of many cancers by:

  • not smoking
  • limiting their alcohol intake
  • protecting themselves from the sun
  • maintaining a healthy diet and weight, together with regular exercise.

Cancer control involves promoting these messages to the community and supporting people to make healthy changes. Improvements are taking place in some areas, but there is still work to be done.

Overall key findings:

  • From 2009 to 2018, the NSW adult smoking rate fell by 3.9 percentage points to 10.3% of the surveyed population.
  • From 2012 to 2017, the proportion of women who smoked during pregnancy fell by 0.9 percentage points to 8.8%.
  • From 2012 to 2017, the smoking rate among Aboriginal pregnant women fell from 49.9% to 42.4%.
  • In 2018, around 70% of adults in NSW consumed alcohol within the range suggested in the National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines.[3]
  • In 2018, the proportion of adults consuming the recommended intake of vegetables daily was only 5.9%, while the proportion of adults consuming enough fruit was 40.9%. These results are similar to the previous reporting period.
  • In 2016, around 34% of people wore hats and around 64% of people wore sunglasses when they were in the sun for more than 15 minutes.