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February 4, 2014 | 4 minute read

Cancer Awareness Quiz

How much do you know about cancer prevention? Take our brief quiz and find out how you compare to the rest of America.

  1. In addition to avoiding smoking and too much sun, there’s a lot I can do every day to lower my cancer risk.
    True __ False__
  2. Getting to and staying at a healthy weight decreases the risk of at least six different cancers.
    True __ False__
  3. Physical activity is important to lower the risk of cancer only because it helps with weight control.
    True __ False__
  4. Eating processed meats will not affect my cancer risk as long as it is turkey or other white meats.
    True __ False__
  5. For a cancer-protective diet, I should focus on cutting out carbohydrates.
    True __ False__
  6. Antioxidant supplements, such as sulforaphane from broccoli, will help me prevent cancer.
    True __ False__
  7. I’m a little pudgy and inactive so even though I’m young and have no cancer in my family, I should worry about changing my lifestyle now.
    True __ False__
  8. All processed foods will increase my cancer risk.
    True __ False__
  9. About one-third of cancer cases in the United States could be prevented by eating a healthy diet, staying at a healthy weight, and being active daily.
    True __ False__


Want to see how you compare to others?
Take a look at our survey findings.

  1. True: Updated AICR preventability estimates show that Americans can prevent approximately 374,000 cases of the most common cancers per year by eating a healthy diet, being physically active and staying a healthy weight. That means an estimated one of three cancers would never have to happen.
  2. True: AICR’s expert report and its continuous updates found that excess body fat is a cause of 7 cancers: including post-menopausal breast, endometrial and esophageal. Carrying excess body fat causes an estimated 117,000 US cancer cases each year.
  3. False: AICR’s recommendation for at least 30 minutes of daily moderate activity is based on research that shows exercise plays a role in reducing cancer risk independent of weight. (It also can help with weight control, which – if you answered #2 correctly – is a major cause of cancer.)
  4. False: Probably not. Research clearly links increased risk of colorectal cancer to even small amounts of eating processed meats. And processed meats include that turkey sausage and chicken franks. A lot of processed meats in this country are hot dogs and other red meats, but right now, the research has not teased apart which types of processed meats do what, so AICR recommends avoiding all of them, except for special occassions.
  5. False. Bananas have carbohydrates, along with squash, corn and plenty of other fruits and vegetables. Whole grain breads, another carb source, contain fiber, which protects against colorectal cancer. Our New American Plate offers ways to make carbohydrates a part of a cancer-protective diet.
  6. False: The body of evidence to date suggests that supplements do not prevent cancer and cannot take the place of a healthy diet. If you want sulforaphane, eat broccoli. Along with the phytochemical, you’ll be getting loads of other protective compounds. Plus, it’s delicious.
  7. True: Well, no need to worry. But you should start making diet and lifestyle changes now. Many cancers take decades to develop, and a growing body of research suggests that habits and weight at earlier ages can affect risk years later. Also, once you start doing it, eating healthy and being active can actually make you feel better.
  8. False: Technically, frozen broccoli along with canned peaches are processed foods. The more stuff in foods, the more processed it is, the greater the chance that food contains too much sodium, sugars or fat.
  9. True! If you got this one right, please share the news. It’s a powerful message and a lot of people still don’t know this. (see box) Want to get started? Join our New American Plate Challenge.

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