Cancer Report Yields Three Clear Prevention Guidelines
WASHINGTON, DC – WASHINGTON, D.C. – Earlier this month, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) published a definitive review of research on cancer prevention with ten evidence-based recommendations for reducing cancer risk. Now it is offering health-conscious people a free brochure on how to apply those recommendations to their own lives.
“Our just-published second expert report convinced the scientific community that there are things people can do to reduce their chances of developing cancer. Now, our new brochure, Guidelines for Cancer Prevention, explains the changes you can make in your daily life that will keep you healthy,” said Jeffrey R. Prince, AICR Vice President for Education.
Developed over five years and involving the work of nine teams of researchers, a panel of 21 experts and 82 peer reviewers, the expert report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective, presented evidence from 7,000 studies and the experts’ assessment of the results of this research. It contains 517 pages of data analysis, graphs and tables with extensive footnotes. The new brochure provides the “Cliff Notes” for this mass of information.
The AICR report found convincing evidence that body fat is directly linked to six cancers including colorectal and post-menopausal breast cancer. Its first three recommendations advise people to stay lean and then suggest the means for stopping weight gain. For the first time, these recommendations are bolstered by strong evidence and scientific consensus.
Each Change has a Double Effect
For curtailing weight gain, which in turn will curtail cancer risk, the report advocates increased physical activity and a diet based on low-energy-dense foods such as vegetables, fruits and beans. In addition, it points out that increased physical activity reduces cancer risk directly by lowering hormone levels. A diet featuring plant foods also reduces risk directly by supplying plant compounds the body needs to prevent or repair cell damage. So, getting more active and eating wisely carries a double whammy when it comes to knocking out cancer.
The AICR report also raised hackles by consolidating the evidence showing that reducing consumption of alcohol and red meat—particularly processed meat—are important strategies for reducing cancer risk. Although the report does not recommend eliminating either completely, it does call for reducing the amounts Americans ordinarily consume.
“Applying these recommendations to our lives presents most of us with a challenge. They run counter to ingrained habits and the patterns of modern life. But convincing evidence shows that people who make the concerted effort to change the way they eat and live can reduce their chances of getting cancer as well as other chronic diseases,” Prince said.
The 34-page brochure, Guidelines for Cancer Prevention, summarizes the message of AICR’s expert report in simple laymen’s language. It reduces the report’s ten recommendations to three guidelines—one concerning diet, another relating to physical activity and the third focusing on weight management. It then shows how the changes you make concerning these three related areas converge to foster a longer, healthier life.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the cancer charity that fosters research on the relationship of nutrition, physical activity and weight management to cancer risk, interprets the scientific literature and educates the public about the results. It has contributed more than $86 million for innovative research conducted at universities, hospitals and research centers across the country. AICR has published two landmark reports that interpret the accumulated research in the field, and is committed to a process of continuous review. AICR also provides a wide range of educational programs to help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. Its award-winning New American Plate program is presented in brochures, seminars and on its website, www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.