February is Cancer Prevention Month. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is leading a national campaign to help Americans separate the myths from facts about cancer risk. Throughout the month, AICR will debunk cancer misperceptions and empower Americans with accurate, evidence-based advice on cancer prevention.
Cancer is often genetic – I can’t do anything about it
Experts say, not true. Even if someone has a genetic mutation known to significantly increase cancer risk — such as the BRCA1 gene that is known to cause breast cancer — it is not certain that the person will eventually get breast cancer. AICR estimates, around 40 percent of cancer cases are preventable. Eating a healthy diet, being more active each day and maintaining a healthy weight are, after not smoking the most important ways you can reduce your cancer risk.
Drinking red wine is good for me
The headlines around red wine make it tempting to believe that alcohol can be healthy. But the fact is that all alcohol, regardless of the source, is a carcinogen. AICR’s latest report showed that drinking alcohol of any type links to increased risk for breast and several other cancers.
Drinking coffee can cause cancer
A recent court case in California perpetuated the myth that drinking coffee can cause cancer. Scientists say coffee does not need to carry a cancer warning. In fact, research shows that coffee reduces risk for liver and endometrial cancers.
Eating organic fruits and vegetables offer extra protection against cancer
Eating a diet rich in plant foods can help reduce the risk of cancer – whether organically or conventionally produced. Research so far has not shown that organically grown foods are more cancer-protective than those grown conventionally.
Eating soy increases breast cancer risk
Studies have shown that eating whole soy foods may actually reduce risk of cancer for some women. Soy foods can be healthy alternative to meat.