Monday, 11 December 2017

30. Breast Cancer Prevention - New Study

      Overweight women can reduce the risk of contracting breast cancer by losing just 7 pounds, (3.2kilo) according to new study presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium this month. This is a modest weight loss with a significant effect. However if they lose 28 pounds, ((12.7 kilos), that risk is reduced by no less than 33 percent.
     The study tracking 61,335 women aged between 50 and 79 over 14 years was undertaken by the City of Hope Medical Centre, California and Harvard University, Boston.
       It has been known for some time that obesity increases the risk of breast cancer, as it does for cancer of the uterus. as is cancer of the uterus. Obesity in either sex can also lead to other cancers, including esophageal, stomach, liver, gallbladder and pancreatic cancers.
     Lead author of the study findings, Professor Rowan Chlebowski commented: ‘we found that relatively modest weight loss was linked to a statistically significant lower breast cancer incidence. That’s pretty remarkable.’
      The statistics also showed that women who gained excess weight during the study had 54 per cent greater risk of developing difficult to treat Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, which afflicts one in six women of diagnosed with this disease.  
     Statistics show that one in eight women in the UK are likely to develop breast cancer in the course of their lifetime, which equates to some 55,000 cases diagnosed annually. Furthermore, the numbers are rising as the population ages and become overweight or obese.
       Professor Ian Hampson of the University of Manchester Division of Cancer Sciences states: ‘ Together with smoking, obesity is now another well-established cause of cancer. Thus it is very clear that simple changes in lifestyle can very significantly reduce the risk of cancer.  The most remarkable thing about this new study is that such most changes in body mass can have such a profound effect.’
Ian MacWatt

Further Reading

Know Your Lemons - What breast cancer can look and feel like.
A detailed look at Breast Cancer
Cancer Prevention and Obesity

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

29. Diet and Colorectal Cancer Prevention

Diet and Colorectal Cancer Prevention

     Research shows that diet and exercise provide powerful protection against colorectal cancer according to a recent report by the American Institute of Cancer Research and the Scotland-based Worldwide Cancer Research.
     “This report demonstrates that there is a lot people can do to dramatically lower their risk" says Edward L Giovannucci, Professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
      The report shows a clear relationship between eating whole grains daily and a reduction in colorectal cancer risk. The more you eat, the lower the risk. Eating three servings a day reduces the risk by a remarkable 17 percent; a useful addition to a 'Stop Cancer' diet!
   Evidence confirms the known fact that overweight and obesity adds noticeably to the risk not only to colorectal cancer but also to a plethora of other cancers, as does the lack of regular exercise.
     The report points to emerging evidence that a diet with fish, and fruit and non-starchy vegetables high in vitamin C help to provide cancer prevention. However it strengthens the link between colorectal cancer and over-consumption of red or processed meats.“
      As research continues to emerge for these factors, it all points to the power of a plant-based diet, says Alice Bender, AICR Director of Nutrition Programs.
     “Replacing some of your refined grains with whole grains and eating mostly plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables and beans, will give you a diet packed with cancer-protective compounds and help you manage your weight, which is so important to lower risk. 
     “When it comes to cancer there are no guarantees, but it’s clear now there are choices you can make and steps you can take to lower your risk of colorectal and other cancers,” she points out.

Ian MacWatt

Further Reading
     AICR eNews New colorectal cancer report
     AICR  Foods That Fight Cancer
     Diet and Lifestyle with CCT   Cancer Prevention through Diet

Sunday, 5 November 2017

28. Stomach Drugs, Cancer and Lifestyle

Stomach Drugs, Cancer and Lifestyle

     An association between proton pump inhibitor drugs, (PPIs) and stomach cancer has finally been positively identified. A study by the University of Hong Kong and University College London published in Gut, a leading international journal in gastroenterology and herpetology, has shown that long term use of PPIs presents a 2.4 times higher risk of developing stomach cancer.
     A link between PPIs and a higher stomach cancer risk has previously been identified by academics – but never in a study that first eliminates Helicobacter pylori (HP), a bacterium suspected of fuelling the illness’s development.
    The PPI study found that after HP was removed, the risk of developing the disease still rose in line with the dose and duration of PPI treatment.  However patients on H2 blockers, another class of drugs that are prescribed to reduce stomach acid production, had no increase in cancer prevalence compared to those on PPIs.  
     More than 50m prescriptions for PPIs are handed out every year in UK for stomach ulcers and their causes. PPIs are also prescribed for acid reflux causing heartburn and inflammation of the gullet, (which can itself lead to oesophageal cancer).
    As always, prevention is better than cure. Acid reflux and consequent heartburn and inflammation of the gullet, can be caused by obesity, smoking or alcohol excess. Any of these can lead to a number of life-threatening cancers. Combined together, obesity, tobacco and alcohol excess are a lethal cocktail that will certainly ensure a shortened life, if not from one of a number of consequent cancers such as cancer of the colon, rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, kidney, gullet or postmenopausal breast.

Ian MacWatt

Further Reading

Gut MBJ   PPIs and gastric cancer risk study

Patient Platform Proton Pump Inhibitors

Healthline  H2 Blockers

National Cancer Institute   Obesity and Cancer

New England Journal ofMedicine  Body Fatness and Cancer

NHS Choice  Indigestion

Monday, 27 March 2017

27. Cancer Prevention and Obesity

           With the passing of each month the importance of healthy diet, lifestyle and         exercise in Cancer Prevention becomes more evident.  Recent studies in USA           have shown that unhealthy lifestyle factors are responsible for over 70% of a           number of different Cancers diagnosed; cancers that could well have been                 prevented by an improved Stop Cancer diet, a healthy lifestyle and adequate             exercise.   

     We all know the danger of lung cancer from smoking, but most are ignorant of the risk of throat cancer from alcohol excess, or obesity .
     Recent World Health Organisation statistics for the EU show that 40-50% of men and 25-35% of women are overweight thanks to poor diet and sedentary habits, and some 50% of these are obese. In USA the figures are worse: 68% of adults are overweight and 33.8% obese.   In UK, one in five children aged 10 are now considered obese   Obesity is now a major causation factor or risk elevation for a considerable number of cancers. Indeed obesity looks set to overtake smoking as the major cause of cancer.                                                       
    The list of cancers that can be caused from obesity is daunting: cervical; colorectal; endometrial, (lining of the uterus); oesophagus, (gullet); hepatocellular, (subtype of liver cancer); gallbladder; kidney; malignant melanoma; post-menopausal breast cancer; non-Hodgkinson’s Lymphom, thyroid cancer.                      The present parlous state of the NHS in the UK, together with the US President’s desire to slash federal funding for Medicare, Medicaid and the US Institute of National Health, make the reduction of obesity ever more crucial in primary cancer prevention as well as in cancerous growth and metastasis, (development of secondary malignant tumour growths at a distance from a primary cancer site).         
     In addition to essential weight loss and a healthy lifestyle in cancer prevention, there are a number of plant-based foods that have nutrients, which appear in studies to have cancer-preventive properties as well as inhibiting cancer growth and metastasis. Unlike sugar, which feeds sucrose-loving cancer tumours, they help to starve and eliminate cancer cells and the growth of blood cells that tumours feed on. Their phytochemical interferes with the cellular communication that triggers inflammation and stimulates the emergence and progression of cancer tumours in the body.  In effect they become biological response modifiers, changing the way the body works.          
      While all the nutrients shown below can be taken as (sometimes expensive) supplements, they are present in the sort of fresh organic vegetables, fruits, fish and dairy products that can be found in healthy eating such as the Mediterranean Diet.

 Ursolic Acid.   Present in apples, basil, bilberries, cranberries, elderflower, peppermint, rosemary, lavender, oregano, thyme, hawthorn, prunes.
        Vitamin D.   Present in wild caught, (as opposed to farmed)  fatty fish   like salmon,             free range eggs, whole milk, Sunlight. Cooking reduces vitamin D by 30%.

        Curcumin.     Present in turmeric root.
           Sulforaphane.  Present in many cruciferous vegetables such as  cauliflower, brussels            sprouts, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, turnip, radish, watercress.
           Quercentin.   Present in onions, capers, blackberries, dark cherries, cocoa, kale,              apples.
           Apigenin  Present in fresh grapefruit, onions, oranges, parsley, chamomile tea.
           Luteolin. Present in green peppers, celery, chamomile tea.
           Anthraquinones Present in rhubarb,

                                                                                                   Ian MacWatt                        

Further Reading

          Frugal Chemoprevention