Yesterday the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a pro-vegan advocacy group, issued its own Dietary Guidelines for Cancer Prevention. In drawing up these guidelines, PCRM interpreted scientific evidence previously collected and analyzed in the American Institute for Cancer Research/World Cancer Research Fund expert report.
We at AICR are always pleased to see our reports on cancer risk’s connection to diet, weight management and physical activity cited as the authoritative resources we know them to be. We pride ourselves on our reports’ scientific rigor, comprehensiveness and – above all – objectivity. Physicians, nurses, registered dietitians, researchers, educators, and policy makers rely on our reports for authoritative and evidence-based guidance.
This is why, on those occasions when any advocacy group cites our reports to advance their message, it is important to clarify the distinctions between what that advocacy group is saying, and what our own independent panel of experts has concluded.
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An article in this morning’s New York Times Science Section, “An Apple a Day, and Other Myths,” attempts to grapple with the complex nature of diet-cancer science, but leaves the reader with a very misleading impression of the state of the research.
The article quotes a recent talk by epidemiologist, and AICR Expert Panel member Dr. Walter Willett. “Diet and cancer has turned out to be more complex and challenging than any of us expected,” he said. All of us at AICR know this only too well. Unfortunately, the article goes on to equate “complex and challenging” with “does not matter.”
“Make no mistake,” says AICR Director of Research Susan Higginbotham, PhD, RD, “this is not a conclusion that accords with an objective and systematic analysis of the available science. If there’s one thing AICR’s research has shown, and continues to show, it’s that when it comes to cancer risk, diet does matter.” Continue reading
On Tuesday, World Cancer Day, the preventability of cancer made big headlines around the world. Here at AICR, we were pleased to see that.
After all, we’ve dedicated ourselves to funding and analyzing research, which shows we can prevent one-third of the most common cancers — over 374,000 U.S. cancer cases every year — by changes to our diet, physical activity and weight.
But you may have seen headlines with different numbers from the World Health Organization (WHO) saying that one half of all cancers are preventable. We heard from some of you who were confused because AICR says we can cut the number of cancers by one third.
So, which is it? How many cancers don’t have to happen: one-third, or one-half? Who’s right, AICR or WHO?
The answer, of course, is that we both are. Continue reading