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Public urged to lead healthy lifestyle in support of World Cancer Day 2023
     The Department of Health (DH) today (February 4) urged members of the public to support World Cancer Day 2023 by adopting a healthy lifestyle and initiating early detection of disease.

     World Cancer Day has been designated on February 4 every year by the Union for International Cancer Control since 2000 to increase community understanding of the challenges posed by cancer and to bring the world together in the fight against the disease. Under the theme "Close the Care Gap", World Cancer Day 2023 is about recognising the progress in enabling more people to access relevant health care for the prevention and control of cancer.

     A spokesman for the DH said that cancer is a major public health issue. In 2020, more than 34 000 new cancer cases were diagnosed in Hong Kong, and the five most common cancers were lung, colorectal, breast, prostate and liver cancer. Cancer is also the leading cause of death locally. In view of population growth and ageing, the number of new cancer cases and the related healthcare demands are expected to further increase.

     Prevention is better than cure. About 40 per cent of all cancers can be prevented by adopting a healthy lifestyle and reducing exposure to major risk factors. "We urge the public to avoid tobacco smoking, refrain from alcohol drinking, be physically active, have a balanced diet and maintain a healthy body weight and waist circumference to reduce the risk of developing cancer," the spokesman advised. Health advice on prevention of various cancers is also available on the Cancer Online Resource Hub (www.cancer.gov.hk).

     In addition to primary prevention, the Government adopts an evidence-based approach in regard to implementation of cancer screening, so as to achieve early diagnosis of cancer for initiating early treatment and thus improving treatment outcomes.

     The Colorectal Cancer Screening Programme (CRCSP) subsidises asymptomatic Hong Kong residents aged between 50 and 75 to undergo screening tests for colorectal cancer. The Cervical Screening Programme (CSP) encourages women aged 25 to 64 who have had sexual experience to have regular cervical screening as an effective way of preventing cervical cancer. Moreover, the two-year Breast Cancer Screening Pilot Programme (BCSPP) has been rolled out to provide risk-based breast cancer screening services for eligible women in the three Women Health Centres and the 18 Elderly Health Centres of the DH since 2021. The Cancer Expert Working Group on Cancer Prevention and Screening recommends women aged between 44 and 69 with certain combinations of personalised risk factors that put them at increased risk of breast cancer to consider mammography screening every two years. Under the BCSPP, the DH uses a breast cancer risk assessment tool for local women (www.cancer.gov.hk/bctool) to assess the risk of developing breast cancer.

     For more information, the public may visit the websites of the CRCSP (www.colonscreen.gov.hk) and the CSP (www.cervicalscreening.gov.hk). Details of the BCSPP are available at the websites of Family Health Service (www.fhs.gov.hk) and Elderly Health Service (www.elderly.gov.hk).

     To know more about World Cancer Day, please visit www.worldcancerday.org.
Ends/Saturday, February 4, 2023
Issued at HKT 15:30
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