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Healthy Behaviors Can Prevent at Least 50 Percent of Cancer Deaths

Following on the news of the drop in cancer deaths for the second consecutive year, the American Cancer Society is launching the Great American Health Challenge// to educate and motivate Americans to take action to reduce their cancer risk.

Many Americans are concerned about potentially developing cancer, but in fact, at least 50 percent of cancer deaths could be prevented through healthy lifestyle factors. Research indicates that cutting cancer death rates by 50 percent nationally would save about 280,000 lives every year in the United States.

“A recent American Cancer Society survey found that 59 percent of adult Americans are concerned personally about getting cancer,” said Richard C. Wender, MD, president, American Cancer Society Board of Directors. “We’re launching the Great American Health Challenge to provide tools and support to make it easier for people to take steps that could reduce their cancer risk.”

The Great American Health Challenge, a year-long program, encourages Americans to make a commitment to take the following actions to reduce their cancer risk, or detect cancer when it is most treatable:

· Check – Find out which cancer screening tests are appropriate based on age and family history, and discuss these with your doctor. Screening can prevent cancer or detect it at its earliest, most treatable stage.
· Move – Be physically active most days of the week; strive for at least 30 minutes of exercise – over and above your usual activities – on five or more days.
· Nourish – Aim for a healthy body weight and eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and limit consumption of red meats, especially high fat and processed meats. In August, participate in the Great American Eat Right Challenge.
· Quit – Stop smoking, or join the fight against tobacco as an advocate for smoke-free communities.
Consumer surveys indicate that the timing
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