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3 generations of black women cookingNew Estimates: Americans Can Prevent Almost 400,000 Cancers Annually

New AICR estimates released this week show that close to 400,000 cases of cancers in the United States can be prevented each year by eating a healthy diet, undertaking regular physical activity, being at a healthy weight and limiting alcohol consumption.

The updates incorporate the most recent estimates of new cancer cases that will occur. That figure has increased from the 340,000 preventable cases of cancer cited three years ago as incidence has increased.

In the United States, approximately 386,000 cases – one third of the most common cancers – could be prevented, the research suggests. Add smoking cessation to the list of healthy lifestyle habits and more than half of the cancers occurring today are preventable.

Percentage of Cancers that Could Be Prevented
via Diet, Activity and Weight Control*

Cancer Type

Percentage Prevented

Cases Prevented Annually

Breast, female

38%

86,210

Prostate

11%

26,591

Gallbladder

21%

2,060

Endometrial

70%

32,991

Esophageal

69%

12,047

Colorectal

45%

64,557

Pancreatic+

39%

17,128

Mouth, Pharyngeal & Laryngeal

63%

33,144

Kidney

24%

15,544

Liver

15%

4,308

Stomach

47%

10,020

Lung

36%

81,417

*Sources: AICR/WRCF, Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention 2009; Cancer Facts & Figures 2012, American Cancer Society.
+The CUP report on Pancreatic Cancer is expected to be released October 2012.

The updated preventability numbers draw upon the findings in AICR/WCRF’s Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention 2009 report. The report estimates the proportion of different cancers that could be prevented through diet, physical activity and weight management for four different areas of the world: the United Kingdom, China, and Brazil, along with the United States.

The AICR/WCRF report, for example, cites that approximately 45 percent of US colon cancer cases and 38 percent of breast cancer cases can be prevented.

With your generous support, AICR funds reserch in diet, physical activity and weight management. Help us asvance our vital research mission with a donation, today.For colorectal cancer, last year’s WCRF/AICR's Continuous Update Project (CUP) report found that excess body fat, abdominal fat, alcohol intake, and red and processed meats increases the risk; physical activity, foods with fiber, and garlic decrease risk. The CUP report on breast cancer found that women can reduce their risk by maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, drinking less alcohol and breastfeeding their children.

These preventability figures are estimates, but they can help illustrate the importance of lifestyle, says AICR Director of Research Susan Higginbotham, PhD, RD.

“The research is clear that we can reduce our risk for many of the most common cancers through what we eat, how much we move, and staying a healthy weight,” says Higginbotham.

You can watch a video explaining the methodology behind the preventability figures in the Policy Report section.

 

Published on September 5, 2014

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