The New Year is nearly upon us which means it's time to consider resolutions for 2016. But how many involve improving our health and how many do we actually stick to?
According to Cancer Council WA's CancerSmart Manager Melissa Ledger, this January is the perfect time to make healthy choices and stick with them to reduce your risk of developing cancer.
"One in three cancers are preventable, so it's up to you to make a resolution to be more conscious of the things that can increase your risk and make changes where necessary," she said.
"The festive season is often a time when people indulge more than usual and afterwards are motivated to get back in shape. The key is to consider more than just your waistline as there are many other things, such as too much sun, too much alcohol or skipping important health checks."
In January 2016, the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program will expand to include Australians turning 64 and 72. Currently people aged 50, 55, 60, 65, 70 and 74 receive a free screening kit that is simple to use and can detect bowel cancer before any symptoms appear.
"With 80 Australians dying of bowel cancer every week, it's important that when you receive your free kit you follow the instructions and send it back to ensure early detection."
Ms Ledger also suggested women could add health checks to their pamper list this summer break.
"It only takes 10 minutes for your cervical cancer screening test, so call your doctor today to make an appointment, especially if it's been more than two years since your last one.
"While you're at the doctors, speak to them about breast cancer screening and make a time with BreastScreen WA for your two-yearly mammogram."
Here are a few tips to make 2016 a healthy, cancer-free year:
1. Buy a new hat. One with a brim, and wear it. Baseball caps don't keep the sun off. Take a selfie wearing your cap in the sun and you'll be surprised at how little protection it provides.
2. Download the SunSmart App and use it. Be SunSmart when the UV is 3 or higher. UV3 is the key!
3. Buy some light weight long pants and long sleeves and wear them. Save the sunscreen for face and hands and save money too.
4. Put more vegies on your barbecue - Australia's favourite cooking appliance doesn't have to be reserved for just meat.
5. Cut back on sugary snacks such lollies and soft drink and reach for the fruit bowl instead.
6. Get more exercise - there are plenty of ways to get in exercise everyday no matter how busy you are. But remember to be SunSmart if you're going for a run outside.
7. Women should get a cervical cancer screening test, especially if it's been more than two years since your last check up.
8. Women over 50 years of age should speak to your doctor about breast cancer screening and make a time with BreastScreen WA for your mammogram.
9. If you are in the age range to receive a free bowel cancer screening kit, make sure you use it and send it back to get tested.
10. Alcohol increases the risk of bowel cancer and breast cancer so cut back and drink water instead. If you miss the fizz of sparkling wine or beer, sparkling water is a great alternative.
To find out more ways to reduce your cancer risk, go to cancerwa.asn.au or call 13 11 20 for confidential cancer-related information and support.