How Much Do Americans Know about Cancer Risk Factors?

Most Americans are aware that sun exposure and smoking tobacco are risk factors for cancer. But an alarming percentage of the 4,000 adult participants in the National Cancer Opinion Survey commissioned in 2017 by the American Society of Clinical Oncology apparently were not aware of other conditions and lifestyle choices that can cause cancer. For example, only 31 percent knew that obesity is a risk factor, and only 30 percent of the respondents identified drinking alcohol as a cancer risk.

The truth about cancer risks:

  • Obesity is the second-leading preventable cause of cancer, behind tobacco use. Studies have linked obesity with an increased risk of colon, breast, prostate, and uterine cancers.

  • Studies have found that alcohol consumption can increase the risk of mouth, liver, and breast cancers.

  • The results also highlighted some widespread myths. About 14 percent said they thought cellphones could increase the risk of cancer, while 8 percent said the same about caffeine consumption.

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More Info: American Society of Clinical Oncology

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