What’s the Color of Action?

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Recently, many women have started adding their bra color to their Facebook status updates to help raise awareness about breast cancer.

Pink ribbon sweater small copy But we at AICR are wondering something, and we want to hear what you think.  Is raising awareness enough?

One NPR blogger, Shereen Meraji, asks this very question. “I changed my status, but I don’t know anything more about breast cancer or how to protect myself against it.”

She’s not alone.  In fact, according to a recent AICR survey, almost half of Americans are not aware of some basic steps we can take to lower our risk for several cancers.

Certainly, AICR applauds efforts to raise awareness about cancer.  But let’s also raise awareness about cancer prevention, while we’re at it.

Reminding your Facebook friends that breast cancer is a disease faced by millions of women is a good first step; but why not provide them with evidenced-based recommendations on how to protect themselves?

AICR recently updated the breast cancer chapter of our expert report on cancer prevention, and we estimate that about 40 percent of breast cancer cases in the U.S. (about 70,000 cases every year) are preventable.  Women can reduce their risk by limiting the amount of alcohol they drink, maintaining a healthy weight and being physically active.

The Breast Cancer Update Reinforces AICR Recommendations:

1. Because of the link between body fat and cancer, AICR recommends people aim to be as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
2. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
3. If they drink at all, people should limit consumption to one drink a day for a woman, two for a man.
4. Also, mothers should aim to breastfeed exclusively for up to six months and thn add other liquids and foods. Mothers who breastfeed reduce their risk and breastfeeding probably also reduces babies’ chances of gaining excess weight as they grow.

What do you think – does raising awareness need action too?

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    Tiny Cabbage Powerhouses

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    Lemon brussels sprouts photo 23168Today’s AICR e-News features two delicious Brussels sprouts recipes. Great tasting and full of cancer-fighting phytochemicals, these mini-cabbages have become favorites at Farmer’s Markets and in most supermarkets.

    For all you Brussels sprouts lovers out there, let us know some ways you enjoy these gems or tips for preparing them. Post a comment so others can enjoy!

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      Coffee in the Doctor’s Waiting Room?

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      takeout coffeeYou can relax with that second cup of joe and not worry about an increased risk of cancer, but your doctor may not have heard that message.

      AICR/WCRF expert report found no link between coffee consumption and cancer, and subsequent studies have reinforced that finding.

      Although research has quelled fears about a coffee-cancer link many people are still unaware of that fact.  In fact, slightly more than one-third of health professionals thought coffee was linked to cancer, according to a survey conducted by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).

      This study was done in the UK, so we don’t know if similar results would be found in the U.S.

      U.S. coffee drinkers need to keep in mind that additions such as whipped cream, syrups and other sweeteners pack in the calories.  If regularly consumed, those extra calories can lead to overweight and obesity, which is a cause of cancer.  And, if you have sleep difficulties, heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you should limit coffee.

      Since coffee may offer health benefits due to antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds it contains, if you don’t have reason to avoid it, go ahead and enjoy that second cup.  Just keep it simple – plain – or with a little skim or lowfat milk.

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