A new Australian study has found that lifestyle changes such as improved diet and increased exercise could help to prevent one-quarter of cancers by 2025.
The findings – published by Cancer Council researchers in the Medical Journal of Australia today (March 19) – predicts that the number of diagnosed cancer cases will rise by 60 per cent in the next 13 years.
According to the research, bowel cancer has the greatest potential for prevention through diet and exercise, with more than 10,000 cases found to be 'avoidable'.
"Unless a concerted and significant effort is made to invest in and implement powerful preventive measures, the impact of primary prevention on reducing the total cancer incidence over the coming decades will probably be relatively small," the report states.
"Just over two per cent of Australia's total health expenditure in 2007-08 was spent on preventive services or health promotion."
Some health insurance plans offer wellbeing programs that incorporate advice on diet and exercise, aiding the transition to a healthier lifestyle.
Researchers estimate that savings of up to $674 million could be made if Australian adopted a healthier lifestyle.