A new survey published by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) suggests that most Americans don’t understand what causes cancer. Most Americans blame things like genetically modified foods, stress and food additives for causing cancer and don’t understand the steps they can take to minimize cancer risk.
Instead of worrying about food additives and GMOs potentially causing cancer, Americans should be looking at:
- A lack of exercise
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Tobacco consumption
- Exposure to carcinogenic chemicals at work
- Poor quality diets
The survey was conducted by the AICR to mark world cancer day (February 4).
The survey revealed that many Americans think the things that cause cancer are beyond their control — genetics, family history. However, cancers cause by genetics only account for 1 in 5 cancers. Most are related to chemical exposure and lifestyle habits.
According to the survey most people believed genetics played a much more important role in determining if they would cancer than anything else. The reality is that exercise and diet play a far more important role in preventing cancer.
The AICR wants to stress that Americans should focus on the lifestyle factors that they can control, instead of the less common genetic factors.
Cancer remains the second highest cause of death globally. In the past few decades, cancer death rates have declined thanks to improved medical technologies and medicines. Unfortunately the growing obesity epidemic has seen the rates of some cancers increase in developed countries.