AICR is pleased to add our voice to that of the American Public Health Association (APHA), which has set aside this week, April 2-8, as National Public Health Week.
National Public Health Week is an effort “to encourage more Americans and their communities to take preventive measures to help improve their lives. Little steps can lead to big changes.”
When it comes to cancer, that simple message is clear. Just by changing what we eat, how much we move and how much we weigh, we could cut US cancer incidence by one-third. And it starts with small steps.
But, as we outlined last Friday, when it comes to the message of how we can reduce cancer risk, a stark knowledge gap exists.
In the the most recent AICR Facts vs. Figures Survey, we asked Americans to rank their health concerns, and to gauge their preventability. The figures are striking: Cancer is the nation’s most feared, and least understood, health concern.
In 2009, Americans rated cancer as their #1 health concern. Thirty-seven percent of respondents named cancer their top concern compared to 21 percent who cited heart attack, 12 percent who cited diabetes and 8 percent who cited stroke.
But only one in five of respondents rated cancer a highly preventable disease, compared to 1 in 3 for stroke, and nearly one in two for both heart attack and diabetes.
Over the course of this week, we’ll be highlighting AICR’s positions on a number of urgent public health issues, and suggesting ways you can help us make the kind of changes that will replace cancer fears with empowering facts, and bring about the kind of changes that can save millions of lives.