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For Immediate Release: March 15, 2012
Contact: Mya Nelson, m.nelson@aicr.org, 202-328-7744 x3047

IN THE NEWS: Not Smoking One of Many Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Cancer

A new study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute estimates that over three-quarters of a million lung cancer deaths were prevented over a 25 year period through changes in smoking behavior, a figure that highlights the dramatic number of cancers that are preventable with healthy lifestyle changes.

The estimates represent approximately 32 percent of all lung cancer deaths that could have been prevented between 1975 and 2000, according to the authors.

"This study reinforces that hundreds of thousands of cases of cancer can be prevented every year through lifestyle changes," says AICR Vice President Deirdre McGinley-Gieser. "Many people know that smoking and other forms of tobacco cause cancer. Fewer Americans are aware they can prevent cancer through what they eat and how much they move."

AICR estimates that about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented by eating a healthy diet, being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight. Tobacco use is a separate risk factor that is itself responsible for one-third of all cancer deaths.

The JNCI researchers report that between 1975 and 2000, there were 2,067,775 lung cancer deaths among men and 1,051,978 lung cancer deaths among women. Their models predicted that 550,000 lung cancer deaths among men and 240,000 among women were averted by tobacco control efforts.

Source: Impact of Reduced Tobacco Smoking on Lung Cancer Mortality in the United States During 1975–2000
Suresh H. Moolgavkar, Theodore R. Holford, David T. Levy, Chung Yin Kong, Millenia Foy, Lauren Clarke, Jihyoun Jeon, William D. Hazelton, Rafael Meza, Frank Schultz, William McCarthy, Robert Boer, Olga Gorlova, G. Scott Gazelle, Marek Kimmel, Pamela M. McMahon, Harry J. de Koning, and Eric J. Feuer, J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 2012 published 14 March 2012, 10.1093/jnci/djs136



The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $95 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.

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