Cancer Prevention Report Shows Consensus Among Global Experts on 10 Steps to Reduce Risk

An internationally released comprehensive analysis of research on lifestyle factors and cancer prevention confirms the critical links between cancer diagnoses and diet, physical activity, and weight. Independent experts from across the globe reviewed decades of scientific evidence to develop the most reliable cancer prevention advice currently available, summarized in 10 cancer prevention recommendations.

The Third Expert Report, Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Cancer: A Global Perspective, released by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund, presents evidence-based recommendations established from rigorous analysis of the science. The evidence shows that modifying what people eat, being more physically active, having a healthy body weight, and other health-related choices can prevent nearly half of all cancer diagnoses.

Based on a review of data from 51 million people, including 3.5 million cancer cases in 17 cancers, the evidence remains consistent with earlier analyses conducted in 1997 and 2007 on what actions people can take to dramatically cut personal cancer risks.

“At a time when each individual scientific study seems to contradict a previous one, it is essential to examine the entirety of the research to understand the real impact of various risks,” said Kelly Browning, Chief Executive Officer of AICR. “The evidence is clear that making changes to diet and exercise and maintaining a healthy weight cuts cancer risks, regardless of age. The message may not be glamorous, but these changes can save your life.”

Data show approximately 40% of men and women in the United States are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes, but experts are unequivocal that many of these diagnoses can be prevented. The recommendations in the report include guidance on keeping a healthy weight; consuming a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans; limiting the amount of sugar-sweetened and alcoholic beverages consumed; and others.

“Following this package of diet, exercise, and lifestyle recommendations is the best way you can lower your odds of getting cancer,” said Alice Bender, MS, RDN, Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. “Making lifestyle changes takes some effort, but the rewards can be life-changing.”

AICR has also launched Cancer Health Check, a tool that shows how one’s lifestyle stacks up against known cancer risks and outlines the changes one can make to follow AICR's evidence-based Cancer Prevention Recommendations, and the New American Plate Challenge, a 12-week program providing information, recipes, and the support of an online community to help participants incorporate changes into their daily routines. 

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.




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