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Pledge to Reduce Your Cancer Risk

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Sponsor: The Breast Cancer Site

Take action! Reduce smoking, obesity, sedentary behavior, and alcohol consumption, and increase the use of effective screening tools to achieve the Cancer Moonshot goal!


Are you concerned about cancer and want to do your part in reducing the risk of developing it?

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has found that without further action, the United States will fall short of the Cancer Moonshot goal of cutting cancer deaths by at least 50% over the next 25 years. The current rate of decrease of cancer deaths is higher than observed between 2000 and 2015, but this rate of decrease will cut the cancer death rate by only 44% by 2047. This rate would fall short of the 50% decline goal as outlined in the Cancer Moonshot1.

To reach the Cancer Moonshot goal, the cancer death rate must decline by 2.7% per year. This means that disparities in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment must be addressed2. According to the American Cancer Society, black men and women have the highest cancer death rates among all racial or ethnic groups3, and cancer death rates are also significantly higher in the lowest-income counties compared to the wealthiest. For young and middle-aged adults, the rate is 56% higher, while for seniors, it is 14% higher4.

To prevent and treat the six leading causes of cancer deaths in the United States (lung, colon, pancreas, breast, prostate, and liver cancers), specific advances are needed. These cancers together caused 57% of the 600,000 cancer deaths in 2019. Progress against these types of cancers is required to meet the Cancer Moonshot goal, although lung, colon, and breast cancers are already in substantial decline5.

A reduction in smoking, obesity, sedentary behavior, and alcohol consumption could lead to a greater reduction in these cancers6. Quitting smoking can significantly reduce the risk of developing many types of cancer, including lung, throat, mouth, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas cancer.

Improving the use of effective screening tools such as low-dose CT scans, colonoscopy, and mammography, and increasing the use of hormone therapy to prevent and treat breast cancer are other ways to achieve the Cancer Moonshot goal.7

But we can't achieve these goals alone. We need your help.

Take the pledge to reduce your risk of developing cancer and support the National Cancer Plan8 to help us all achieve the goals of the Cancer Moonshot. Together, we can work towards a future where cancer deaths are cut by at least 50%, and everyone has access to quality cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment, regardless of their race, ethnicity, or income. Take action now, and join us in the fight against cancer!

More on this issue:

  1. National Cancer Institute (17 April 2023), "NCI study outlines opportunities to achieve President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot goal of reducing cancer death rates in the United States."
  2. National Institutes of Health (17 April 2023), "NIH study outlines opportunities to achieve President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot goal of reducing cancer death rates in the United States."
  3. American Cancer Society (2023), "Cancer Facts & Figures for African American/Black People."
  4. National Cancer Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health (5 March 2021), "Age and Cancer Risk."
  5. Meredith S. Shiels, Stanley Lipkowitz, Nicole G. Campos, Mark Schiffman, John T. Schiller, Neal D. Freedman, Amy Berrington de González, Cancer Discovery (D M Y), "Opportunities for Achieving the Cancer Moonshot Goal of a 50% Reduction in Cancer Mortality by 2047."
  6. Christine M Friedenreich, Charlotte Ryder-Burbidge, Jessica McNeil, Molecular Oncology (2021 March), "Physical activity, obesity and sedentary behavior in cancer etiology: epidemiologic evidence and biologic mechanisms."
  7. Advocate Health Care (2023), "Cancer prevention & screenings."
  8. National Cancer Plan, National Cancer Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, "Why Is a National Cancer Plan Needed?"
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The Pledge:

I understand the importance of taking steps to reduce the risk of cancer. With cancer being one of the leading causes of death globally, it is crucial that we do everything we can to prevent it. By pledging to take action today, we can make a difference and reduce our own risk of cancer, while also contributing to a healthier future for ourselves and our loved ones.

Here are 10 actions that I pledge to take to reduce my risk of cancer:

  1. Quit smoking: Smoking is the leading cause of preventable cancer deaths in the world. By quitting smoking, I can significantly reduce my risk of lung cancer and other types of cancer.
  2. Limit alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption is a risk factor for several types of cancer, including breast, liver, and colorectal cancer. By limiting my alcohol consumption, I can lower my risk of cancer.
  3. Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity is a risk factor for several types of cancer, including breast, colon, and pancreatic cancer. By maintaining a healthy weight, I can reduce my risk of cancer.
  4. Exercise regularly: Regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colon, and lung cancer. By exercising regularly, I can improve my overall health and reduce my risk of cancer.
  5. Eat a healthy diet: Eating a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help lower the risk of several types of cancer, including colon and stomach cancer.
  6. Protect myself from the sun: Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun is a risk factor for skin cancer. By protecting my skin from the sun's harmful rays, I can reduce my risk of skin cancer.
  7. Get vaccinated: Certain viruses, such as human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B and C, can increase the risk of cancer. By getting vaccinated, I can lower my risk of developing these types of cancers.
  8. Screen for cancer: Early detection is key to treating cancer successfully. By getting screened for cancer regularly, I can increase the chances of detecting cancer early when it is more treatable.
  9. Limit exposure to environmental toxins and pollutants: Environmental toxins and pollutants can damage DNA, leading to mutations that increase the risk of cancer development. By reducing exposure to these harmful substances, I can decrease the risk of DNA damage and subsequent cancer development.
  10. Reduce stress: Chronic stress has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. By practicing stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing, I can reduce my stress levels and lower my risk of cancer.

By taking these actions, I can significantly reduce my risk of cancer and contribute to a healthier future for myself and my loved ones. I pledge to take these steps and encourage others to do the same. Together, we can make a difference and reduce cancer rates in the U.S. and around the world.

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Signatures: