For Cancer Researchers, A Social Media Wake-Up Call

This year, AICR is trying something different at our Annual Research Conference on Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer next week. Something we hope will act as a clarion call for cancer researcher and health professionals.canstockphoto6433880

We’ve all gone to conferences where the social media engagement is limited to attendees being encouraged to tweet their experiences. But at a breakfast session first thing in the morning on November 8th, AICR is hosting a special panel to discuss how scientists can engage in meaningful conversations with the public using social media.

There is an urgent need for responsible, evidence-based cancer information in social media, and unfortunately this need, in many cases, is now being met by self-appointed health “gurus” who make unverifiable or patently false claims. Now is the time for informed, rational voices to enter the furious ongoing discussion. We must provide context and sober, well-informed resources and information.

Social media gives scientists and practitioners with a means of sharing their work and engaging in a meaningful two-way discussion with a wider audience. Continue reading


Progress in Prevention: The Affordable Care Act

Leave the politics aside, if you can. All of us who work to fight cancer and other chronic diseases can agree on one thing: We need to do more than treat the problem. We need an increased national focus on preventiohttp://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-nutritionist-holding-green-apple-weight-scale-image28463742n.

The Affordable Care Act that goes into action tomorrow, October 1, marks significant progress on that score. Its increased focus on obesity is an acknowledgement that obesity causes major health issues. AICR research shows that obesity increases the risk for seven different cancers.

For the first time, you can receive obesity screening and counseling at no charge. This handy USA Today article reviews some of the ways that different plans will address obesity counseling and related efforts. Continue reading


Playing the Odds: What We Mean by “Prevention”

Cancer prevention: It’s what AICR is all about. We fund research, analyze data and produce recommendations, all with the same goal in mind — saving lives.

We want to reduce the burden tbigstock-Magnifying-Glass-Person-Search-5197835hat cancer places on the population, both in lives lost, as well as in the billions of dollars now spent on cancer care. We want to make cancer much, much more rare.

When researchers and policy makers talk about “cancer prevention,” that’s what they mean. They’re looking at the issue from the population level, with the goal of reducing the number of cases of cancer that occur within a given group.

When we at AICR talk to the research community or policy makers, “prevention” is the word we use, as its nuanced technical meaning is generally understood.

But when we talk to individuals – when we translate the science into practical, easy-to-understand information that people can use in their daily lives, we have to be careful. Continue reading