Disadvantaged Australians are 60% more likely to die from cancer

Richard Laycock 28 November 2017 NEWS

Doctor treating patient

One in three cancer cases could be prevented through lifestyle changes.

New research from Australian Health Tracker by Socio-Economic Status has found that disadvantaged Australians are 60% more likely to die from cancer.

The report found that the disparity is due to a number of factors including that disadvantaged Aussies are more likely to smoke and be obese and less likely to exercise and get screened for bowel cancer.

“This report clearly shows that we are in the middle of a worsening health crisis. Our most disadvantaged Australians are those at greatest risk of serious life-threatening health problems including cancer,” Cancer Council Victoria’s head of prevention Craig Sinclair said in a statement.

According to Sinclair, one in three (37,000) cancer cases in Australia are preventable with lifestyle changes.

“Smoking, UV radiation, body weight, poor diet and alcohol caused around 90% of all preventable cancers," Sinclair said.

These findings come weeks after the release of the Mortality Over Regions and Time report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), which found cancer accounted for seven of the top 20 causes of death in Australia between 2011 and 2015.

Lung cancer was the fourth highest cause of death across the board, accounting for 41,184 deaths, followed by colorectal cancer (20,979 deaths) and cancer, unknown, ill-defined (19,088).

Lifestyle decisions may have impacted the number of people dying from coronary heart disease, which was the number one killer of Australians (101,373 deaths) almost doubling dementia and Alzheimer's disease (55,754), and those dying from diabetes (21,798).

If you're looking to make some changes to your lifestyle and get healthier, find out how you may be able to save on gym memberships with your current health fund.

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