Cancer prevention

Cancer is potentially one of the most preventable and treatable of all diseases.

Page last updated: 14 January 2016

Risk factors include tobacco consumption, poor diet, insufficient physical activity, being overweight or obese, alcohol misuse, infectious diseases and exposure to ultraviolet radiation. To help Australians address these risk factors the Department of Health has implemented various cancer prevention measures which include the:

National Tobacco Strategy/ National Tobacco Campaign 2011
National Alcohol Strategy
National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program

National Tobacco Strategy/ National Tobacco Campaign 2011

To improve the health of all Australians, the National Tobacco Strategy aims to eliminate or reduce exposure to tobacco in all its forms.

The National Tobacco Strategy (NTS) is a policy framework for the Australian Government and state and territory governments to work together and in collaboration with non-government organisations to improve health and to reduce the social costs caused by tobacco. The National Tobacco Strategy 2004-2009 has been evaluated and, following consideration of its findings, a new strategy will be developed in 2011.

The National Tobacco Campaign aims to contribute to a reduction in the prevalence of adult daily smoking from 16.6% currently to 10% by 2018. To achieve this, several marketing activities combine to engage with current smokers to encourage them to make a quit attempt, support current quitters in making their quit attempt and help them reduce their chance of relapse. Top of page

National Alcohol Strategy

The National Alcohol Strategy is a plan for action developed through collaboration between Australian governments, non-government and industry partners and the broader community. It outlines priority areas for coordinated action to develop drinking cultures that support a reduction in alcohol-related harm in Australia. The strategy is complemented by the Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol, designed to help drinkers make informed choices and reduce their risk of alcohol-related disease, including some cancers.

National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program

To prevent cervical cancer in women, the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is provided free to 12-13 year old girls through their schools. The HPV vaccine protects girls against 2 strains of the HPV infection which can lead to 70% of cervical cancer cases. The HPV vaccination program was implemented in April 2007 and coverage data are available on the Immunise Australia Program website. Top of page