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Scariest Word in the U.S.: Cancer

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What do Americans fear more than being a victim of a terrorist attack, a violent crime or a serious car accident?

Far and away, it's cancer, according to the findings of a nationwide survey released yesterday.

The disease was the greatest fear of 30 percent of those polled in a geographically representative sample of 1,000 adults.

Coming in second was a serious car accident (19 percent), followed by a terrorist attack (13 percent) and violent crime (12 percent).

The survey, conducted by pollster Mark Allen of Public Strategies, was commissioned by the American Association for Cancer Research and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Asked which disease they feared the most, more than one-third of those polled - 34 percent - said cancer.

Heart disease ranked second, at 16 percent, with Alzheimer's disease at 14 percent, and both HIV and diabetes at 9 percent.

Three-quarters of those responding said that they favored increasing the government's funding of cancer research, with 63 percent saying that they would be willing to double the current federal cancer budget.

Copyright 2003 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

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