World Cancer Day: Western Sydney Local Health District takes action to reduce cancer incidence
01 Feb 2017
Every day in 2016, about 11 people in western Sydney were newly diagnosed with cancer.
According to projected figures released this week by the Cancer Institute NSW, about 4310 people in western Sydney were diagnosed with cancer in 2016.
Cancer Institute NSW projections show that over the next 10 years, there will be a four per cent rise in cancer diagnosis in western Sydney.
This World Cancer Day (February 4), Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) and Westmead’s Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre is encouraging people to make a pledge to help change the future of cancer in western Sydney.
The Crown Princess Mary Cancer Centre, which is one of just three cancer facilities in Sydney’s west, provides more than 400 occasions of service every day to people with cancer, ranging from consultations and treatments to counselling and support services.
This year’s World Cancer Day theme is We Can, I Can.
Sydney West Cancer Network director Professor Paul Harnett said it offered a chance for people to reflect on how they could lessen the impact of cancer in their life.
“One third of cancers in Australia can be attributed to lifestyle factors including smoking, UV exposure, alcohol intake, diet and physical activity,” he said.
“By taking action to quit smoking, protecting your skin, reducing alcohol intake and eating well and exercising, a person can reduce their risk of developing cancer. As individuals, this is a chance for people to say: ‘I can take responsibility for my health’ and encourage their loved ones to do the same.”
While cancer prevention is important, Prof Harnett said it was also critical for people to keep up with relevant cancer screening, as early detection could increase the chances of survival.
“People can detect cancers early by participating in screening for cervical, breast and bowel cancers,” he said. People should also make sure they are aware of symptoms consistent with cancer and speak with their GP about any concerns.”