Most common cancers in Australia are non-melanoma skin cancers which are often self-detected and removed by a GP o Most frequently life threatening cancers are: Men = prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer and melanoma Page 14
PDHPE HSC Women = breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, melanoma Mortality o Accounted for 30% of deaths in Australia in 2010 o Major types in lung, breast colorectal, prostate and melanoma o Lung cancer is a major cause of death – death rates have declined in men, increased in women (female smoking up), yet male rates 3x higher o Cervical cancer dropped significantly due to success of National Cervical Cancer Screening Program o Cancer mortality rates could be reduced by changes to lifestyle, increased knowledge and awareness of risk factors o Men have higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer and higher risk of dying from cancer than women – indicative of men’s poor diet and smoking/drinking habits compared to women Lung cancer o Leading cause of cancer deaths in Australia – highly preventable o Most commonly occurring type of cancer o Female death rate, while lower than men, is increasing o Risk is 10x higher amongst smokers o Larger portion die within five years because detection is often late o Future incidence looking lower as women smokers decreasing o 10% of cases are non-smokers – linked to air pollution, occupational hazards (hairdressers) Breast Cancer o Most common cause of cancer related death in Australian women o 2680 deaths in 2007 o As women grown older, both risk and incidence increases o No known cause – only family history, diet high in fat, obesity, early menstruation, late menopause, late pregnancy or no kids. o Breast self-examination – flat finger, feeling for abnormality on breast tissue o Mammographic screening – special x-ray of glands, fat and blood vessels under skin of breast to identify variations. Skin Cancer o Skin cancer and sunspots (solar keratosis) are the most common cancer in Australia. Page 15
PDHPE HSC o Due to prolonged exposure to UV rays Australian society o 50% of lifetime exposure occurs in childhood and adolescent years o 1400 Australians due from melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers each year o Malignant melanomas spread Risk factors Lung cancer: o Tobacco smoking o Occupational exposure to carcinogens (hairdresser or asbestos) o Air pollution Breast cancer: o Family or personal history of disease o High-fat diet o Early onset of menstruation o Late menopause o Obesity o Benign breast disease o Late age at first full term pregnancy or childlessness Skin cancer: o Fair skin that burns rather than tans o Fair or red hair and blue eyes o A high number of bright sunlight at place of residence o Prolonged exposure to sun, especially as a child or adolescent o Number and type of moles on skin Social determinants Social determinants People with a family history are more at risk Incidence of lung and cervical cancer is higher for
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