Findings on AICR Recommendations

Saving Lives: AICR’s Impact

AICR’s research is changing lives…and saving lives.

Our Ten Recommendations for Cancer Prevention, derived from AICR/WCRF’s rigorous, comprehensive reports and updates, outline steps to lower cancer risk. They provide practical guidance to individuals and shape health policy.

Since we released these evidence-based recommendations, researchers have been putting them to the test. They’re looking at ongoing studies of diet, physical activity and disease risk among large numbers of people and analyzing them based on how closely those people follow AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention.

Now these researchers are publishing their results. Over and over again, they’re showing that following AICR’s recommendations cuts cancer risk, improves health of cancer survivors, and protects against other chronic diseases as well.

In other words: Following AICR’s recommendations saves lives.*

Here are the most recent studies demonstrating the real-world impact of AICR’s vital research:

  • Before Diagnosis of Colorectal Cancer, Prolonged Survival: Following AICR recommendations for cancer prevention an average of 6 before a diagnosis of colorectal cancer – eating high amounts of plant foods, keeping to a healthy weight and being active, to name a few – linked to an improved likelihood of prolonged survival among people later diagnosed with this cancer, suggests a study published in the journal BMC Medicine. The study included participants from 10 European countries.
  • Read more about the study in Cancer Research Update.

    Source: Dora Romaguera, Heather Ward, Petra A Wark, Anne-Claire Vergnaud et al. Pre-diagnostic concordance with the WCRF/AICR guidelines and survival in European colorectal cancer patients: a cohort study. BMC Medicine, 2015; 13 (1)

    older man with his dog

  • Improved Health for Childhood Cancer Survivors: A study published in the journal Cancer found that adult survivors of childhood cancers who most followed AICR Recommendations for Cancer Prevention cut their risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that raises the risk for heart disease and other health problems. Those who followed three or fewer of the recommendations had more than double the risk of metabolic syndrome, even decades after their cancer diagnosis.
  • Read more about the study in Cancer Research Update.

    Source: Webb A. Smith, Chenghong Li, Kerri A. Nottage, Daniel A. Mulrooney, Gregory T. Armstrong, Jennifer Q. Lanctot, Wassim Chemaitilly, Joseph H. Laver, Deo Kumar Srivastava, Leslie L. Robison, Melissa M. Hudson, Kirsten K. Ness. "Lifestyle and metabolic syndrome in adult survivors of childhood cancer: A report from the St. Jude Lifetime Cohort Study." Cancer, 2014.

    • Reducing Risk of Cancer Death: In a study that followed nearly 58,000 cancer-free people over an eight-year period, those who followed at least five of AICR’s Recommendations dramatically cut their risk of dying from cancer. This group experienced more than 50 percent fewer cancers deaths than subjects who followed none of AICR’s Recommendations. And cancer-specific mortality was 10 percent lower on average for each recommendation met.

    We wrote about the study on our blog.

    Source: Theresa A. Hastert et al. "Adherence to the WCRF/AICR cancer prevention recommendations and cancer-specific mortality: results from the Vitamins and Lifestyle (VITAL) Study." Cancer Causes & Control. February 2014.

    • Preventing Prostate Cancer: A study of over 2,000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer suggests the risk of aggressive tumor development was almost 40 percent lower in those men who followed four or more of AICR’s recommendations compared to those who least followed them.

    Read more about the study from our blog.

    Source: Lenore Arab et al. Nutrition and Cancer. "Adherence to World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research Lifestyle Recommendations Reduces Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness Among African and Caucasian Americans." July 2013.

    • Preventing Breast Cancer: Post-menopausal women who followed at least five of AICR’s Recommendations cut their risk of developing breast cancer by more than half, compared to those who meet none, suggests a study published in June. The recommendations that most helped women reduce their risk of breast cancer were eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains; being a healthy weight; and drinking no more than one alcoholic beverage a day.

    Read about the study.

    Sources: Theresa A Hastert, Shirley A. A. Beresford, Ruth E. Patterson, et al. "Adherence to WCRF/AICR cancer prevention recommendations and risk of post-menopausal breast cancer." Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev Published OnlineFirst June 18, 2013. August 2013.

    Ceccatto, V et al. Characteristics of newly diagnosed women with breast cancer: a comparison with the recommendations of the WCRF/AICR Second Report. Nutr Hosp. 2012 Nov-Dec;27(6):1973-80.

    Grandmother being kissed by 2 Kids

    • Living Longer: A major study including almost 400,000 people found that people who followed at least seven of AICR’s recommendations had one-third the risk of dying from several diseases over a 12 year period compared to people who don’t follow the recommendations. For cancer, following the recommendations linked to a one-fifth reduced risk of dying from cancer.

    Read about how following lifestyle recommendations could reduce risk of death by a third.

    Source: Anne-Claire Vergnaud. "Adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research guidelines and risk of death in Europe: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Nutrition and Cancer cohort study." The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. May 2013.

    • Longer Lives for Survivors: After tracking approximately 2,000 women diagnosed with cancer for an average of five years, a study found that the survivors who followed at least six of AICR’s recommendations had a 33 percent reduced risk of dying during those years compared to the women who followed four or fewer recommendations.

    We highlighted the study in a CRU article.

    Source: Maki Inoue-Choi et al. "Adherence to the WCRF/AICR guidelines for cancer prevention is associated with lower mortality among older female cancer survivors." Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers Prevention. May 2013.

    Confident Survivor

    • Physical and Mental Well-Being for Survivors: A study that focused on physical and mental well being among 2,000 women diagnosed with cancer found that survivors who most adhered to AICR recommendations had improved physical functioning and mental health compared to those who least followed the recommendations. Daily physical activity was the one specific recommendation linked to higher physical functioning and improved mental health.

    This was also highlighted in a CRU article.

    Source: Maki Inoue-Choi et al. "Adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research Recommendations for Cancer Prevention Is Associated With Better Health-Related Quality of Life Among Elderly Female Cancer Survivors." Journal of Clinical Oncology. May 2013.

    *In these investigations, researchers have interpreted and applied AICR's recommendations in slightly different ways. Yet the consistency of effect seen across all of these studies highlights the combined strength and robustness of AICR’s Recommendations For Cancer Prevention.