New Cancer Information Released

The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures 2006 has made available the latest statistics online regarding the disease.

Some of the highlights are:

Researchers estimate that about 30 percent of cancers are related to poor nutrition, physical inactivity, being overweight, and obesity. The percentage of adults who are obese rose from 15 percent in 1976 to 31.1 percent from 1999-2002.

Progress has been made in reducing tobacco use and the percentage of high school students who smoke decreased from 36 percent in 1997 to 22 percent in 2003. Fifteen states have implemented statewide smoking bans that prohibit smoking in workplaces and/or restaurants and/or bars. States spend very little to counter the tobacco industry’s promotion and marketing of tobacco products and of the 45.4 million Americans who smoke, more than 41 percent attempt to quit for at least one day.

Children and adolescents spend an average of about 4.5 hours a day watching some kind of electronic screen, television, or video and nearly one in four adults reports no leisure time activity.

Fewer than one in four Americans report eating five or more servings of vegetables and fruit daily.

Seventy-nine percent of adult women report having a Pap test in the past three years.

Although there is strong evidence the colorectal cancer screening can both prevent this type of cancer and detect it early, 42 percent of U.S. adults aged 50 and older had either a home-test within the past year or a colorectal endoscopy procedure within the past five years. The American Cancer Society continues to advocate for state legislation ensuring insurance coverage for the full range of colorectal cancer screening.

“UV exposure is associated with more than one million cases of basal and squamous cell cancers and 62,190 cases of malignant melanoma in 2006,” said Lori Soderbergh of the American Cancer Society’s Fort Worth, TX office. “An American Cancer Society study showed that fewer than one in three youths aged 11 to 18 used any type of sun protection measures and in another study, almost three-quarters of youth reported getting sunburned during the summer months.”

Soderbergh said the Sociuety’s annual Relay For Life event held every spring all over the country on various dates which raises funds for cancer research, prevention, and treatment, is “an exciting event to deliver a lifesaving educational message.”

“You can raise funds needed to help achieve the Society’s mission by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy, and service,” she said. “Relay For Life is one of the American Cancer Society’s most powerful vehicles to help achieve the American Cancer Society’s mission.”

The Society’s philosophy of the event represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

For more information, go to or call 1-800-ACS-2345.

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