To mark World Cancer Day, 4 February 2019, the Andrews Labor Government is encouraging all Victorians to make a commitment to themselves and their loved ones and get screened.
More than one third of cancer cases can be prevented and another third can be cured if detected and treated early.
Member for Kororoit is asking all local residents to become more aware of what they can do to reduce their cancer risk. In Victoria, the most common cancers are prostate, breast, bowel and skin.
Finding breast cancer early before any symptoms are noticed, and when treatment is more likely to be successful, gives women the best chance of survival. The latest statistics for cancer screening in Kororoit reveal that 48 per cent of women have had a breast screen between 2015 and 2017.
For bowel cancer, early detection provides the best chance of a positive prognosis, and 90 per cent of bowel cancers can be successfully treated if found early. Everyone aged 50-74 should be screened every two years. In Kororoit, 36 per cent have returned the at home bowel cancer screening kit.
In 2017 3,910 Victorians were diagnosed with bowel cancer and 1,310 people died from the disease.
Around 75 per cent of women diagnosed with cervical cancer have either never had a Pap test or had not had them regularly before diagnosis – not getting tested is just not worth the risk. Cervical cancer is preventable with regular cervical screening and HPV vaccination.
The 2-yearly pap test has now been replaced with the 5-yearly cervical screening test which looks for the types of HPV (human papillomavirus) that can cause the lesions that may develop into cervical cancer if not treated. You still need regular screening even if you’ve had the HPV vaccine.
Men who are concerned about prostate cancer should speak to their doctor to help them decide whether testing is right for them.
Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, so being familiar with your skin and being SunSmart is an important way to reduce your risk of skin cancer. If you notice any changes to your skin, including new spots or changes in shape, colour or size of a spot, make an appointment to speak with your GP.
You can reduce your risk by not smoking, maintaining a healthy diet and weight and by being physically active, limiting alcohol consumption and being SunSmart.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos
“We know that a cancer diagnosis can be devastating not only for the person, but for friends and loved ones – that’s why the Andrews Labor Government is committed to cancer prevention and early detection.”
“Everyone has the power to reduce the impact of cancer for themselves and their families.”
Quotes attributable to Member for Kororoit Marlene Kairouz
“Screening and early diagnosis is key to surviving many types of cancer. That’s why it is so important to keep up regular screening and to talk to your GP if you have any concerns.
“Your chance of reducing your cancer risk is in your hands. I encourage you and your family to prioritise cancer screening and take action to prevent cancer.”