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M. D. Anderson-Prevention poll finds women can do more to prevent cancer...but aren't
Date:10/1/2007

HOUSTON and NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2007 - When it comes to preventing cancer, women believe they're doing more than they actually are. Perhaps most surprising, women are more afraid of getting Alzheimer's disease than cancer, even though cancer causes nearly ten times more deaths per year.

These are among the new findings of a national opinion poll by The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center and Prevention of 800 women between the ages of 18 and 93. The survey, part of a November issue special feature, "Winning the War on Cancer," hits newsstands this week.

Less than one third of respondents said they are putting wholly into practice what science has shown effective toward preventing cancer, including following daily recommended guidelines for healthy eating and exercise. More alarming, about 42 percent of women who responded said they felt little or no sense of control over cancer and many aren't doing much to thwart the disease, when in fact, 63 percent of cancers are caused by changeable behaviors: smoking, poor diet, physical inactivity and obesity.

Cancer will prove fatal for an estimated 270,000 women in 2007, with the greatest number of cancer deaths attributed to lung cancer. Approximately 678,000 new cases of cancer in women will be diagnosed in the United States this year, including over 178,000 new cases of breast cancer1. Looking at these statistics, the M. D. Anderson-Prevention poll sought to gauge women's knowledge, fears and sense of control over cancer; what, if anything, they are doing to avoid the disease and how these efforts measure up to recommended guidelines.

According to the poll, women who rated themselves as higher on the social status ladder - regardless of wealth - and who reported a stronger support network, were more likely to take an activist approach to personal health and feel empowered in their ability to lower their cancer risk. In contrast, women who viewed themselves as
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Contact: Robin Davidson
RJDavids@mdanderson.org
713-794-1731
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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