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Report: Many Cancers Could Be Prevented in US
Date:2/26/2009

Comprehensive, Evidence-Based Recommendations for All Levels of Society

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new global policy report estimates that approximately 45 percent of colon cancer cases and 38 percent of breast cancer cases in the US are preventable through diet, physical activity and weight management. The report sets out recommendations for policies to reduce the global number of cancer cases.

The overall message of the report, Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention, published today by World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), is that all sections of society should make public health, and cancer prevention in particular, a higher priority. It includes estimates on the proportion of all cancer cases that could be prevented through diet, physical activity and weight management.

Overall, the report estimates that approximately one third of the most common cancers in the US could be prevented. That figure does not include smoking, which alone accounts for about a third of cancers.

A panel of experts made a total of 48 recommendations for nine different sectors of society. These sectors are: multinational bodies; civil society organizations; government; industry; media; schools; workplaces and institutions; health and other professionals; and people.

Sir Michael Marmot, Chair of the WCRF/AICR Panel, said: "The evidence shows that when it comes to cancer prevention, all levels of society have a role to play. This report is relevant to everyone from heads of government down to the people who do the weekly food shopping for their family."

The new WCRF/AICR Policy Report is a companion document to an expert report called Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective, which was published by AICR and WCRF in November of 2007.

"The 2007 expert report identified the specific choices that people can make to protect themselves against cancer, but actually making those healthy choices remains difficult for many people," said policy report panel member Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "The policy report takes the next step - it identifies opportunities for us as a society to make those choices easier."

To read the report's recommendations, detailed estimates of the proportion of cancer cases that could be prevented by diet, physical activity and weight management, and view interviews with panel members, visit www.aicr.org/policy.


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SOURCE American Institute for Cancer Research
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