Today, in a bold position paper published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology alerted its members and the public to the clear and convincing link between obesity and cancer, and outlined a strategy for combating obesity that will help reduce cancer incidence in the years ahead.
“Obesity is a major, under-recognized contributor to the nation’s cancer toll and is quickly overtaking tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer,” reads the JCO paper.
We at AICR strongly agree, and officially welcome today’s development as important progress in much-needed prevention efforts that could save millions of American lives in the years ahead.
The reason this JCO position paper is so important is because oncologists stand on the front lines of our national battle against cancer, and are uniquely positioned to counsel patients about weight management.
The paper goes on to outline a series of new ASCO initiatives to:
1) increase education and awareness of the obesity-cancer link;
2) provide tools to help oncologist address obesity with their patients;
3) foster research to better understand how to best help their patients manage their weight, and;
4) advocate for policy to make the kind of societal changes that will make it easier for patients to manage their weight.
AICR is delighted to have ASCO officially weighing in on this vital area, and we are excited to offer any help we can. We’ve established the evidence base that shows that obesity increases the risk for eight different cancers. In the coming months and years, our ongoing analysis will likely find even more. In the meantime, we’ve developed interactive tools, brochures and infographics to raise awareness about the obesity-cancer link, and evidence-based advice for individuals on how to lose weight and lower their risk.
But the statistics are stark, and they challenge before us is great. It will take all of us working together to combat obesity and the chronic diseases that follow on from it. We are grateful to have an old ally officially declare itself and join us in the fight.