Prevention and primary care
There is a link between modifiable lifestyle behaviours and cancer risk, with one in three cancers considered preventable.1
The primary health care sector has a significant role in the prevention of cancer. Its workforce is vital in opportunistically and proactively supporting their patients to reduce their risk of cancer.
There is clear evidence of the effectiveness of brief interventions to support smoking cessation and promote healthy living choices such as limiting alcohol consumption, eating a healthy diet, increasing physical activity and reducing exposure to ultraviolet radiation).2,3,4
Primary health care providers play an important role in providing advice on the benefits of healthy living to reduce cancer risk and referring people to appropriate services and interventions when required.
Healthy living and cancer prevention
Our cancer prevention web pages provide a wealth of information for the general public on preventing cancer, and how to reduce cancer risk through healthy living.
- Reduce your cancer risk
The RACGP’s Supporting smoking cessation: A guide for health professionals applies to all healthcare professionals who support people wishing to quit smoking.
Information about Quitline, a telephone service to support people to quit smoking and stay quit.
Referrals to NSW Quitline for health professionals.
Training and resources for general practice.
Smoking Cessation Framework for NSW Health Services - outlining how NSW local health districts (LHDs) can support health professionals to integrate quit support into routine care.
Smoking cessation in cancer services - the Cancer Institute NSW is working closely with cancer services across NSW on a project to embed smoking cessation brief interventions into all cancer services. Access reference materials and factsheets, training resources and other useful information.
Skin cancer prevention
Information on the NSW Skin cancer prevention strategy.
1. Nunez C, Nair-Shalliker V, Sarich P, Sitas F, Bauman A. Modifiable lifestyle factors and cancer risk: An Evidence Check rapid review brokered by the Sax Institute (www.saxinstitute.org.au) for the Cancer Institute NSW, 2018. Available at: www.cancer. nsw.gov.au/how-we-help/reports-and-publications/ modifiable-lifestyle-factors-and-cancer-risk
2. Beyer F, Lynch E, Kaner E. Brief Interventions in Primary Care: an Evidence Overview of Practitioner and Digital Intervention Programmes. Curr Addict Rep. 2018;5(2):265-273. doi:10.1007/s40429-018- 0198-7
3. Lion A, Vuillemin A, Thornton JS, Theisen D, Stranges S, Ward M. Physical activity promotion in primary care: a Utopian quest?. Health Promot Int. 2019;34(4):877-886. doi:10.1093/heapro/day038
4. Van Schayck OCP, Williams S, Barchilon V, et al. Treating tobacco dependence: guidance for primary care on life-saving interventions. Position statement of the IPCRG [published correction appears in NPJ Prim Care Respir Med. 2017 Sep 5;27(1):52]. NPJ Prim Care Respir Med. 2017;27(1):38. Published 2017 Jun 9. doi:10.1038/s41533-017-0039-5