Cancer Prevention Month Touches Everyone

Cancer Prevention

AICR is pleased to lead our sixth Cancer Prevention Month to raise awareness and inspire more Americans to build healthier habits for lower cancer risk. In 2014, the urgent need for a public campaign was clear: our surveys found that Americans’ cancer risk knowledge was not shifting positively despite strong evidence. Through our annual Can Prevent Campaign, AICR has elevated the national conversation about lifestyle and cancer risk and increasingly, major cancer organizations, health professionals and other experts are incorporating that information into their messages.

Yet the urgency of this call to action continues. In 2019, there will be an estimated 1,762,450 new cancer cases in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society. AICR estimates that 40 percent of cancers could be prevented, so this year AICR is focused on busting the myths and spreading the facts, along with showing Americans how to take steps to lower risk.

“We know the message is a simple one, but it’s not necessarily an easy or quick fix,” says Deirdre McGinley-Gieser, VP for Programs at AICR. “We focus on our outreach, but at the AICR office, Cancer Prevention Month also brings the staff together as we all work on this campaign for the good of the community. We use the checklist for daily reminders, we celebrate with a healthy lunch together, we share recipes and we literally walk the walk together.”

But AICR can’t do this alone. We are grateful to have many — and a wide variety of — Cancer Prevention Month partners. These include health professional organizations, companies like VeryWell and Yakima Fresh that amplify our message, help us reach many more people, and this year, debunk myths and spread the facts about lifestyle and cancer risk.

Over the years, we’ve heard from partners — health professionals and their organizations, researchers, educational institutions, healthy food companies and more – who have shared how this empowering message has touched them positively, whether helping patients, changing their own lives or improving their family's’ health.

One of our early and most passionate education partners, Melissa Halas-Liang, MA, RDN, CDE shares her vision for healthy kids and families. She is founder of SuperKids Nutrition.com program, and she created the Healthy Kids Today – Prevent Cancer Tomorrow Campaign in collaboration with AICR. She is passionate about sharing the idea that it’s never too early to get children moving more and eating a healthy diet, building a lifetime of cancer-preventive habits.

“Cancer Prevention Month should be important to families,” says Melissa "We tell our kids to look both ways when they cross the street and to put on sunblock to protect their skin from skin cancer in years to come. It’s no different with our advice for food and fitness for healthy bodies and cancer prevention.” During the month, Melissa shares interviews and articles highlighting tools from the collaborative Healthy Kids Today program.

Melissa says this year’s Can Prevent theme of myths and facts resonates with her audience because, “People love AICR’s Foods that Fight Cancer section for understanding the science and because it helps clear up myths, like those around soy and flax.”

Yakima Fresh, one of AICR's Gold Partners, has supported Cancer Prevention Month for three years, allowing AICR to find novel and effective ways to spread our message about reducing cancer risk. Says Yakima’s Steve Flashing, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, “The mission of Can Prevent ties in great with our idea of Fit for Life. Cancer affects people from all walks of life, young and old. At the end of the day we hope we can help make a difference; if that’s by helping educate people about healthy eating or helping to prevent cancer one apple at a time, that means the world to us.”

Says McGinley-Gieser, “This month highlights the shared mission of our many communities — AICR staff, donors, corporate sponsors, expert panel members, researchers, grantees, readers, NAP Challengers and our latest, iTHRIVE Plan members.”

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