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About 340,000 of Common Cancer Cases Preventable in U.S. – Lifestyle Factors Key to Saving Lives

February 4, 2011

GENEVA, February 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — New estimates released today, on
World Cancer Day, by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and
World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)[1] show that by eating a varied and healthy
diet, undertaking regular physical activity, being at a healthy weight and
limiting alcohol intake, about 340,000 cases of cancer in United States could
be prevented each year. In fact, significant reductions in particularly
common cancers could be achieved including breast (38 percent of cases),
stomach (47 percent of cases) and colon (45 percent of cases).[1]

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These findings are further supported by the World Health Organization’s
(WHO) new Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health.[2] This
landmark report reinforces the AICR/WCRF conclusion that regular physical
activity can prevent many diseases such as breast and colon cancers,
cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes. The report provides concrete
recommendations for levels of physical activity needed for health at three
ages (5-17 years, 18-64 years, and over age 65);[2] these recommendations are
especially helpful for low- and middle-income countries, where few national
guidelines for physical activity exist.

“Physical activity is recommended for people of all ages as a means to
reduce risks for certain types of cancers and other non-communicable
diseases,” says Dr. Tim Armstrong, from WHO’s Department of Chronic Diseases
and Health Promotion. “In order to improve their health and prevent several
diseases, adults should do at least 150 minutes moderate physical activity
throughout the week. This can be achieved by simply walking 30 minutes five
times per week or by cycling to work daily.”

There is also consistent evidence that other choices we make personally
or collectively can reduce the risk of cancer including not using tobacco,
avoiding excessive sun exposure, and protecting against cancer-causing
infections. To help fight the global cancer epidemic, the Union for
International Cancer Control (UICC) is urging Americans to take action and
support the World Cancer Declaration – at
http://www.worldcancerday.org/signdeclaration

Signing the Declaration will help UICC in its effort to motivate global
leaders to set realistic and achievable directives for preventing cancer
during the United Nations Summit for Non-Communicable Diseases, which will be
held in September, 2011. This will be only the second UN General Assembly
special session focused on health since 1947.

Dr Eduardo Cazap, President of UICC summarised, “Support World Cancer Day
by signing the World Cancer Declaration and help us achieve the goal of one
million supporters for a Cancer Free World. With individuals, governments and
policy makers of the world working together, we have the ability to ease the
global burden of cancer now and for future generations.”

“The American Institute for Cancer Research is honored to be part of the
effort to reduce cancer risk both in the United States and across the world.
We urge Americans to make the simple lifestyle changes of eating healthy
food, getting regular physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight to
reduce cancer risk,” said Tim Byers, MD, MPH of the Colorado School of Public
Health, AICR/WCRF panel member. “We are making progress, but with hundreds of
preventable cancer cases still being diagnosed every day in the United
States
, and thousands worldwide, it’s imperative that we all take action now
through both the personal and collective choices we make. I urge everyone to
sign the World Cancer Declaration petition to move us forward in the fight
against cancer everywhere.”

To further support World Cancer Day, learn more about the facts of the
global cancer epidemic by taking the LIVESTRONG 5 question World Cancer Day
Quiz at http://quiz.livestrong.org

Background information

About cancer

Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world and its incidence
continues to rise. Each year 12.7 million people discover they have cancer
and 7.6 million people die from the disease. Evidence shows that 30-40% all
cancers deaths can be prevented,[3] and one-third can be cured through early
diagnosis and treatment.

As with most illnesses cancer is multifactorial which means that there is
no single cause for any one type of cancer. However, certain largely
controllable or avoidable lifestyle and environmental factors are also known
to cause mutations that can cause cancer. For more information on health
living initiatives please visit: http://www.worldcancerday.org/prevention

About UICC

The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) is the leading
international non-governmental organisation dedicated to the global
prevention and control of cancer. UICC’s mission is to eliminate cancer as a
life-threatening disease for future generations. Founded in 1933, UICC unites
400 member organisations, specialised and engaged in cancer control, in more
than 120 countries across the world. UICC is non-profit, non-political and
non-sectarian. Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland. For more
information please visit http://www.uicc.org or join our join us on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cancer-Free-World/134386073255136

About the World Cancer Declaration

The World Cancer Declaration is a tool to help bring the growing cancer
crisis to the attention of government leaders and health policymakers in
order to significantly reduce the global cancer burden by 2020. It represents
a consensus between government officials, public health experts and cancer
advocates from around the world who are committed to eliminate cancer as a
life-threatening disease for future generations.

The Declaration outlines 11 targets to be achieved by 2020 including:
significant drops in global tobacco consumption, obesity and alcohol intake,
universal vaccination programmes for hepatitis B and human papilloma virus
(HPV) to prevent liver and cervical cancer, universal availability of
effective pain medication and dispelling myths and misconceptions about
cancer. As the custodian of the Declaration, UICC encourages priority actions
to achieve the Declaration’s targets locally and nationally and promotes a
comprehensive response across the globe. For more information please visit -
http://www.uicc.org/declaration

About the UN high level meeting on non-communicable diseases

In May 2010, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed a
resolution on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases (NCDs),
calling for a UN Summit on NCDs to be held on the 19-20 September 2011 in New
York
. The Summit will address the prevention and control of cancer,
cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes, which
together account for 60% (35 million) of global deaths. The largest burden -
80% (28 million) – occurs in low- and middle- income countries, making NCDs a
major risk to global development and economic growth. For more information on
the NCD summit visit: http://www.ncdalliance.org

References

[1] AICR/WCRF preventability estimates: Update to estimates produced for
the 2009 Policy Report. 2011. American Institute for Cancer Research/World
Cancer Research Fund

[2] WHO. Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health

[3] WHO, 2007: ‘The World Health Organization’s Fight Against Cancer’.
Available at:
http://www.who.int/cancer/publicat/WHOCancerBrochure2007.FINALweb.pdf. Last
accessed Jan 2011

SOURCE The Union for International Cancer Control (UICC)


Source: newswire



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