Win the Cancer War
In North America, one in every three women will develop cancer during her lifetime. However, new research shows that increasing fruits, vegetables, and plant foods, and limiting the intake of salt, additives, fat, and meat may significantly decrease cancer incidence and mortality. The study followed 29,564 women, aged 55-96 and initially free of cancer, from 1986 to 2003. Other lifestyle recommendations included exercise, maintain a healthy body weight, limit alcohol, and eliminate tobacco use.
Cerhan JR, Potter JD, Gilmore JM, et al. Adherence to the AICR cancer prevention recommendations and subsequent morbidity and mortality in the Iowa Women’s Health Study cohort. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004;7:1114-1120.
A Role for Soy in Endometrial Cancer Prevention
Regular consumption of soy foods, especially in overweight women, seems to reduce risk for cancer of the endometrium, according to researchers at Vanderbilt University and the Shanghai Cancer Institute. Comparing the soy intake of 832 women with endometrial cancer to that of 846 unaffected women, the researchers found that those consuming more than 16 grams of soy daily had a reduced risk of 33 percent. It is believed that the anti-estrogen activities of soy isoflavones may have been a factor in the observed benefit.
Xu WH , Zheng W, Xiang YB, et al. Soya food intake and risk of endometrial cancer among Chinese women in Shanghai: population based case-control study. BMJ. 2004;328(7451):1285. Epub; doi:10.1136/bmj.38093.646215.AE; 2004 May 10.
Fiber Controls Estrogen in Breast Cancer Patients
A high-fiber diet was associated with a significant decrease in the reproductive hormone estradiol in women previously diagnosed with breast cancer, according to a study from the University of California–San Diego. Researchers measured serum reproductive steroid hormones, which are suspected of playing an important role in the development of breast cancer, in 291 women with a history of the disease at enrollment and again one year later. Women who increased their intakes of fiber, vegetables, and fruits while reducing fat had a decrease of bioavailable estradiol, which may decrease the risk of cancer recurrence and increase overall survival.
Rock CL, Flatt SW, Thomson CA, et al. Effects of a high-fiber, low-fat diet intervention on serum concentrations of reproductive steroid hormones in women with a history of breast cancer. J Clin Oncol. 2004;22:2379-87.
Diabetes Linked to Colorectal Cancer Risk and Mortality
Type 2 diabetes—preventable in nearly 90 percent of cases—was associated with a threefold risk of colorectal cancer and also with lower survival rates, according to two new studies.
University of Cambridge researchers followed 10,000 British adults aged 45 to 79 who were initially free of cancer. Researchers found that people with diabetes were at three times the risk for developing colon cancer. Increased risk was directly related to the glycated hemoglobin level, a measure of average blood sugar levels, even among those free of diabetes. For every 1 percent increase, cancer risk increased 33 percent.
CDC researchers tracked more than 400,000 men and 500,000 women with no history of cancer for 16 years, finding that diabetes was significantly associated with fatal colon cancer and pancreatic cancer in both genders. For men, diabetes was also significantly associated with liver and bladder cancer, and for women, with breast cancer. Associations were not explained by high body mass.
Khaw KT, Wareham N, Bingham S, Luben R, Welch A, Day N. Preliminary communication: glycated hemoglobin, diabetes, and incident colorectal cancer in men and women: a prospective analysis from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer-Norfolk study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004;6:915-919.
Coughlin SS, Calle EE, Teras LR, Petrelli J, Thun MJ. Diabetes mellitus as a predictor of cancer mortality in a large cohort of U.S. adults. Am J Epidemiol. 2004;159:1160-1167.
Milk Consumption Is a Risk for Prostate Cancer
In a meta-analysis study, researchers in Japan found a significant positive association between milk consumption and prostate cancer. The analysis included 11 case-control studies published between 1984 and 2003 in eight different countries. Their finding is consistent with a previous study which calculated the relationship between the incidence rate of prostate cancer and dietary practices in 42 countries and found milk to be closely correlated with prostate cancer incidence. Researchers have previously observed that prostate cancer mortality rates have risen in Japan since the Westernization of the diet after World War II; however, the underlying mechanisms—possibly fat, calcium, hormones, or other factors—require further investigation.
Qin LQ, Xu JY, Wang PY, Kaneko T, Hoshi K, Sato A. Milk consumption is a risk factor for prostate cancer: meta-analysis of case-control studies. Nutr Cancer. 2004;481:22-27.
1. Red beans
J Agr Food Chem 2004 Jun.