Inactivity - Cancer risk factor.

Daffodil Day last Friday is the day the Cancer Council draws attention to the extent of cancer in the community and is a major fund raising activity. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent annually in trying to find cures for the various types of cancer.

  • An estimated 128,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year, with that number set to rise to 150,000 by 2020.

  • 1 in 2 Australian men and 1 in 3 Australian women will be diagnosed with cancer by the age of 85.

  • Cancer is a leading cause of death in Australia – more than 43,200 people died from cancer in 2011. Cancer accounted for about 3 in 10 deaths in Australia.

The good news is that you can lower your risk of cancer by being physically active every day, enjoying a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy body weight. Studies show being overweight, physically inactive and not eating well cause nearly one third of all cancers.

Physical inactivity increases your risk of bowel cancer and breast cancer, and possibly prostate, uterine and lung cancer. Being inactive also contributes to weight gain. Being overweight or obese also increases cancer risk. Physical activity regulates hormones such as insulin-like growth factor and oestrogen and affects the speed that food passes through the bowel, reducing contact with any potential carcinogens.

Physical activity helps you maintain a healthy body weight and can improve energy levels and feelings of wellbeing.

With two thirds of Australian adults now regarded as overweight and obese, prevention is definitely better than trying to find a cure.