WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is launching a nationwide campaign in February, urging Americans to take control of their cancer risk. AICR will collaborate all month with many partner organizations to communicate an evidence-based, empowering message that many cancers do not have to happen under the “Cancer Prevention: Together We Can” campaign.
The campaign will relay two key messages:
- There is strong scientific evidence linking lifestyle factors to cancer risk
- Small changes in lifestyle factors can prevent cancer
AICR estimates that fully one-third of the most common cancers in the US could be prevented if Americans moved more, weighed less and ate more healthfully. That’s about 358,000 cancers every year that never have to happen. Add in not smoking and avoiding sun damage, and that figure climbs even higher – nearly half of US cancers could be prevented by changing our everyday habits.
“We are excited to kick off Cancer Prevention Month with this empowering message that people can actually do something to prevent cancer,” said AICR’s Director of Nutrition Programs, Alice Bender.
There is a worrisome information gap among Americans about the links between healthy behaviors and cancer risk. AICR’s survey found that only half of Americans (50%) are aware that body weight affects one’s risk of getting cancer. To the contrary, strong evidence shows that these lifestyle factors can reduce cancer risk:
- Keeping weight at a healthy level: Apart from not smoking, avoiding obesity is the best way to reduce cancer risk.
- Eating a healthy diet: An ideal cancer-protective diet includes a variety of plant foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans, avoids processed meats, and limits red meat.
- Being physically active: Being active at least 30 minutes every day helps the body regulate hormones that may otherwise spur the cancer process. It also helps prevent obesity, which is itself a cause of many cancers.
In February, millions of Americans will see AICR’s Cancer Prevention announcement on television. The public service announcement (PSA) will educate viewers about the links between everyday choices and cancer risk.
AICR’s CAN PREVENT website offers a host of interactive content, including a free downloadable 30-Day Cancer Prevention checklist. The checklist guides the user to take one small step a day to reduce cancer risk and runs through the entire month.
As part of Can Prevent campaign, AICR invites conversation on social media using #cancerprevention., by asking individuals to share everyday actions they are taking with friends and family and to support one another.
“We are grateful to all our partners joining us for Cancer Prevention Month, and who are working to inspire individuals to act now and to help their friends and family to join in the campaign”, says Deirdre McGinley-Gieser, Senior Vice President, Programs at AICR.
AICR is thankful for all the organizations who have joined AICR’s “Cancer Prevention: Together We Can” campaign to share its life-saving information:
Yakima Fresh & Very Well
American Pulse Association & Sorghum
- The American College of Nutrition
- The American Society for Nutrition
- California Walnut Commision
- Cancer Prevention Institute of California
- Cancer Resource Center
- Cary Medical Center
- Four Seasons Healthcare Consultants
- Healthy Dining Finder.com
- The Heimerdinger Foundation
- International Cancer Research Partnership
- The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association
- Maine Breast Cancer Coalition
- Naked Food
- National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA)
- National Fitness Foundation
- National Recreation and Park Association
- The Obesity Society
- The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center
- The Oncology Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease
- Savor Health
- Society of Behavioral Medicine
- SuperKids Nutrition
- U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance
- USA Rice
- Virginia Cooperative Extension
- Zero Cancer