Survey reveals many Americans lack cancer prevention knowledge

Only one in four U.S. adults report incorporating cancer prevention into their daily lives, according to the results of the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2019 National Cancer Opinion Survey.

The Harris Poll conducted the survey online on behalf of the American Society of Clinical Oncology during July 9 through Aug. 10, 2019. The sample included 5,010 U.S. adults, of whom 1,009 had cancer, 668 had an immediate family member with cancer, and 496 were caregivers for a family member with cancer.

According to the results of the survey, while most respondents are worried about cancer (57 percent), only 24 percent incorporate cancer prevention into their daily lives. One-third of respondents believe cancer is caused by lifestyle choices. Roughly two-thirds of respondents say they do not know which sources of information about cancer are reliable, and roughly an equal number do not know what to do to reduce their risk. Thirty-one and 23 percent of the general population, respectively, do not know that alcohol and certain viral infections are cancer risk factors. Overall, just over half of adults (53 percent) have thought about end-of-life care. Among those with cancer, 66 percent have thought about end-of-life care, but only 26 percent have discussed end-of-life care with a physician.

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