Report: Half of Cancer Deaths are Preventable

Almost one of every two people born today will develop cancer, but more than half of all cancer deaths are preventable, according to a major report released today on the state of cancer progress.AICR_trefoil

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) report estimates that 580,350 Americans will die from cancer this year. More than half of these cancer deaths link to preventable causes, including smoking, obesity, poor diet, drinking alcohol, inactivity, and sun exposure.

This report’s section on preventability aligns with AICR findings that lifestyle matters when it comes to lowering cancer risk.

Decades of funding and analyzing the research on diet, body fat, and physical activity have led to some clear conclusions on cancer prevention and survivorship. AICR estimates that staying a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet, and daily activity can prevent over a third of US cancer cases. 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


Breastfeeding Grades Improving: Helping Health and Cancer Risk

bigstock-Mother-breastfeeding-the-littl-18348869More than three out of four babies born in the U.S. in 2010 breastfed for any length of time, according to the 2013 Breastfeeding Report Card released yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC says America’s breastfeeding grades are improving with the highest rates since they began measuring in 2001.

And that’s good news because breastfeeding offers many health benefits for babies and moms, including decreased risk for moms for both pre- and post-menopausal breast cancer, and lower risk for obesity for baby. One of AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention is that mothers breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months.

From my work in breastfeeding education and promotion even just 15 years ago, I know the struggles breastfeeding advocates face in encouraging moms and dads to try breastfeeding and in making hospitals and other institutions supportive of breastfeeding. So I am pleased to see more families choose to try for at least some length of time. Continue reading