Plenary lecture: Lifestyle and cancer – who really cares? – Annie Anderson, University of Dundee, UK


Room: Hall 1A

The evidence for lifestyle (tobacco, obesity, alcohol, diet and physical activity) in the aetiology of cancer and in outcomes following diagnosis indicate significant potential for reducing disease incidence, morbidity and mortality. Globally, cancer control programmes cannot afford to ignore the importance of healthy ways of life but, (beyond tobacco use) there is little investment in implementation research, training and development to support cancer prevention and survivorship rhetoric. To date, the cancer community has failed to offer and deliver effective lifestyle interventions in favour of waiting for long term changes in public health policy and thus negating responsibility for offering preventative actions within cancer screening, surveillance, treatment and rehab settings. Opportunities for cost effective advocacy, action and support for reducing risk of cancer occurrence and recurrence by (side effect free) lifestyle change needs to be funded and explored as urgently as the quest for chemopreventive agents. The absence of endorsement for the importance of lifestyle in cancer risk reduction demonstrates a lack of conviction for supporting this approach which we must reverse.