Breast cancer deaths have been decreasing since 1990, with breast cancer screening playing a significant role. Unfortunately, the percentage of women who report that they have had a mammogram in the past 2 years has leveled off, remaining at the same level since 2000. If we can increase the number of women who have mammograms, more women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at an earlier stage, which dramatically increases their chances of surviving cancer. Although colorectal cancer screening not only results in earlier detection, but also can actually prevent cancer from developing, less than half of Americans age 50 and older are current for colorectal cancer screening.
The President’s Cancer Panel
“In the . . . immediate term, the principal causes of lung and numerous other cancers are amenable to change through behavioral and policy/environmental interventions, which offer the best chance of substantially reducing the cancer burden.” The President’s Cancer Panel recently released a report that summarized the findings of four meetings convened between September 26, 2006, and February 27, 2007, to discuss behaviors that affect cancer risk.8 These meetings examined the evidence regarding the effects of diet, nutrition, physical activity, tobacco use, and tobacco smoke exposure on cancer risk. The meetings also discussed actions – ongoing and potential – that could reduce the burden of cancer by promoting healthier lifestyles. The panel’s report commented that most of the federally sponsored cancer prevention research emphasizes genetic and other biologic factors, but the work needs to be accompanied by research that addresses the importance of physical, social, and cultural contexts in which food choices, physical activity, and tobacco use occur. The overall message from the research is: “Getting up off the couch or that chair can add years to your life”. -This information provided courtesy of the American Cancer Society