A lot of questions go through one’s mind when they are diagnosed with cancer—or even hear that someone they know or love has been diagnosed. Is there anything I can do to decrease my risk of developing cancer? Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of surviving a cancer diagnosis? What do I do now?
In my experience, cancer focuses us on the things we can control vs. those things we cannot. It makes us a little more curious about what we can do to be healthy in the long-term, as well as a little more motivated to take those healthy actions more often. But, if you don’t have access to a dietitian or a respected resource on the topic, it is easy to spin your wheels and not know what the highest-impact actions are to take.
That’s where the NEW American Institute for Cancer Research’s “Cancer Health Check” tool comes in.
WHAT it is: An short, online quiz with questions about the diet and lifestyle choices you typically make. Based on how you answer the questions, it gives you an indication about how you are doing compared to recommendations and tips for other actions you can take.
WHY you should do it: Because once you know how your current decisions are stacking up against your cancer risk, you can make an informed choice—you can choose to add something in, cut something out, make small changes, or whatever you decide.
WHY I think it’s a great tool:
- It’s quick, yet comprehensive—in just about 5 minutes you can get real-time feedback about where you stand on modifiable risk factors for developing cancer such as weight, physical activity, food and beverages choices, and other lifestyle factors.
- You get a subtle indication of how you are doing in relation to each risk factor (with associated smiley, neutral, or frowny faces). Each is evaluated separately and comes with judgement-free encouragement, as well as tips on how to further decrease cancer risk.
- It’s housed on the AICR web site, so once you know, you can look around for other helpful information and have the confidence that it’s science-based and credible.
Take the test for yourself and then tell us how you are doing and what you plan to do more/less of!
Virginia Cancer Specialists Dietitian