Now, on World Cancer Day, We Already Have the Knowledge, Tools to Prevent So Many Cancers

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In his State of the Union address, President Obama announced a “moonshot” program to fight cancer. In charge of that program, Vice President Biden has met with oncologists, scientists, and other leaders in the cancer field, and stated that, “We’re trying to get to a quantum leap on the path to a cure”

Anne McTiernan MD, PhD.
Anne McTiernan MD, PhD.

Much of the focus has been on Big Data, and on sharing science across institutions, in the effort to quickly move results from the lab to the public. In a nation where approximately four in ten people can expect to be diagnosed with invasive cancer in their lifetimes, we need big efforts to fight this disease.

Today, World Cancer Day, is a time to raise awareness of prevention: Cancer prevention needs to be a part of the renewed push against cancer.

Focusing only on the cure is like trying to douse a forest fire on one front while someone is lighting matches on another. The good news is that we already have the knowledge and tools here on earth to prevent a large proportion of cancers from developing, without reaching for the moon.

WCD adAvoidance of known carcinogens (including tobacco, excess radiation, sun and tanning), and use of vaccines for human papilloma and hepatitis B viruses, can prevent a wide range of cancers such as lung, skin, liver, cervix, mouth and throat. Screening and removal of premalignant lesions can prevent several cancers including those of the skin, colon, and cervix. Medications have been shown in clinical trials to prevent breast or prostate cancers in persons at high risk for those cancers. Read more… “Now, on World Cancer Day, We Already Have the Knowledge, Tools to Prevent So Many Cancers”

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    It’s Cancer Prevention Month, Make Each Day Count

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    Today is February 1st.  Do you know what month it is?  Not a trick question – this is a very important time for us all here at AICR as February is National Cancer Prevention Month.  That means 29 days to shine a spotlight on the need for Americans to embrace and make healthy lifestyle changes to protect their health and reduce their cancer risk – and we are determined to make each day count.

    It’s important to us because although there are huge strides being made in cancer treatment with new drug discoveries and precision medicine, these are expensive and come with their own challenges. We have a public health crisis — the number of cancer cases due to obesity and lack of physical activity will reportedly surpass those due to tobacco in 20 years. Prevention has the potential to save costs and suffering — and we need to think broadly about it as an effective strategy.

    50-infographic-bigThe chances are that if you are reading this blog, you already know about and take some steps to reduce your own cancer risk as part of your daily life.  You might already know that an estimated one-third of US cancer cases could be prevented by eating healthy along with being active and a healthy weight. Many more could be prevented by not smoking and using sun protection. Maybe you try one of our health–e recipes, count your steps or watch your portion sizes on a regular basis.  So are we simply preaching to the choir? Read more… “It’s Cancer Prevention Month, Make Each Day Count”

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      Warning labels may keep parents from buying sugary drinks

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      Say you’re a parent of a young child and you’re picking out a beverage for your kid. You’re scanning the options and see this label – would it make you pick another drink?

      F1.large, preventablesodastudy (1)

      What about this one?

      F1.large, preventablesodastudy (2)A new study finds that for many parents of 6 to 11 year olds, these or other similar warning labels are enough to avoid buying that sugary beverage for their child. At least that’s what parents said in an online survey. The study was published yesterday in the journal Pediatrics. (It coincidentally was released the same day that a ruling to require warning labels on sugary beverages failed to go forward in California.)

      Avoiding sugary beverages is one of AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention as it can lead to weight gain, for kids and adults. And excess body fat is a cause of many common adult cancers, including colorectal and post-menopausal breast.

      AICR Sugary Drinks RecThe study in Pediatrics included almost 2,400 parents who took an online survey about Read more… “Warning labels may keep parents from buying sugary drinks”

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