The AICR's It's Never Too Late To Lower Your Cancer Risk Survey included 587 adults over 50 years of age who were called at random and asked questions related to aging and cancer risk. Some of the survey results showed that
Only about 33% of adults over 50 years of age realize that cancer risk increases with age with the greatest proportion unaware of this link being adults over 71 years of age.
As we age, the percent of Americans who believe it is too late to do anything about their personal cancer risk increases.
43% of adults over 50 years of age do not believe that cancer can be prevented.
Nearly 20% of older Americans are unaware that physical activity can lower their personal risk of breast cancer, though over 90% realize that eating a healthy diet can lower their cancer risk.
The results of this survey make it clear that an uncomfortably high proportion of older Americans are (1) unaware that their risk of cancer increases with age and (2) that believe it's too late for them to do anything about it. This is particularly disturbing if the current population estimates (~20% of the population is projected to be over 65 years of age by the year 2030) are accurate. The results of this survey were the driving force behind AICR's It's Never Too Late To Lower Your Risk campaign. This campaign is designed to help older Americans become more aware that there are steps they can take to control their cancer risk, including getting plenty of daily exercise, eating right, and maintaining a healthy body weight. This is a wonderful and important campaign that helps enhance cancer awareness for all of us.