Fruits and Vegetables Lower Pancreatic Cancer Risk in Men
Pancreatic cancer has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers. However, a new study suggests that dietary changes may lower the risk of developing this disease. Canadian researchers analyzed dietary data for 585 people with pancreatic cancer and 4,779 people without the disease. After adjusting for age, smoking, body mass index, physical activity, Canadian province, education, and total calorie intake, researchers found that men consuming the greatest amount of fresh fruits and vegetables were half as likely to develop pancreatic cancer as men who consumed the least amount of these foods. For unknown reasons, the benefit of fruits and vegetables was limited to males. Fruits and cruciferous vegetables are loaded with antioxidants and other cancer-fighting compounds.
Nkondjock A, Krewski D, Johnson KC, Ghadirian P. Dietary patterns and risk of pancreatic cancer. Int J Cancer. 2005;114:817-23.
Low-Fat Diet Improves Breast Cancer Survival
A new report concludes that breast cancer survivors may reduce the risk of recurrence by following a low-fat diet. A National Cancer Institute study followed 2,437 post-menopausal breast cancer patients for five years after standard surgery and cancer treatments. Researchers instructed 1,462 of the patients to continue their regular diets, while 975 patients were given intensive counseling with a dietitian to reduce their fat intake. The control group consumed an average of 51.3 grams of fat per day—which is still lower than the average American’s fat intake; the low-fat group averaged 33.3 grams per day—slightly more than in a typical vegetarian diet. After five years, 12.4 percent of the women eating their usual diet had cancer recurrences, compared to only 9.8 percent of the low-fat diet group: a 24 percent reduction in recurrence. Low-fat dieters with estrogen-negative tumors experienced a 42 percent reduction in recurrence.
Chlebowski RT. Dietary fat reduction in postmenopausal women with primary breast cancer: Phase III Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS). Paper presented at: American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting; May 16, 2005; Torrance, CA.
Fish Consumption Multiplies Prostate Cancer Risk
Studies looking at the specific components of a traditional Asian diet have concluded that the high vegetable and soy content as well as the low fat and animal protein composition may all play beneficial roles in prostate cancer prevention and survival. Researchers further explored this idea by tracking the diets and prostate cancer diagnoses of 18,115 Japanese men. They found that fish intake was the only dietary factor significantly associated with increased risk of developing prostate cancer. Men who ate fish products four or more times per week had a 54 percent increased risk of developing prostate cancer compared to men who consumed fish products fewer than two times per week.
Allen NE, Sauvaget C, Roddam AW, et al. A prospective study of diet and prostate cancer in Japanese men. Cancer Causes Control. 2004;15:911-20.