(Arlington, VA, Friday, February 1, 2019) – February is Cancer Prevention Month. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is leading a national campaign to help Americans separate the myths from facts about cancer risk. Throughout the month, AICR will debunk cancer misperceptions and empower Americans with accurate, evidence-based advice on cancer prevention.

AICR estimates that around 40 percent of all cancer cases can be prevented. Eating a healthy diet, being more active each day and maintaining a healthy weight are, after not smoking, the most important ways to reduce cancer risk. The majority of Americans are unaware of these science-based strategies, leading to confusion about lifestyle and cancer risk.

AICR’s Cancer Risk Awareness survey found that 89 percent of the people believe that “cancer is often genetic – it is inherited risk and they can do nothing about it.” Experts say, not true. Even if someone has a genetic mutation known to significantly increase cancer risk — such as the BRCA1 gene that is known to cause breast cancer — it is not certain that the person will eventually get cancer.

Many of the common misperceptions are perpetuated by sensational headlines from an early animal study or results from a small human trial that are never replicated in larger studies. Alice Bender, MS, RDN, Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR will be able to discuss some of the hot topics that have been in the news lately and how they actually do – or don’t – relate to cancer risk:

  • Drinking red wine;
  • Eating organic fruits and vegetables;
  • Drinking coffee; and
  • Eating soy.

Through this campaign, AICR wants people to know the best evidence-based steps they can take to lower their cancer risk. Downloading the free 30-Day Cancer Prevention checklist is a great way to start. The American Institute for Cancer Research champions the latest and most authoritative scientific research from around the world on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight and physical activity, so that it can help people make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their cancer risk.

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