Archive for the Category »Cancer «

@ Heart disease, Diabetes and Cancer ….

Heart disease, Diabetes and Cancer have common links

Diabetes and Cancer Link (1)

Eating to Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer (2)

High-fat Dairy May Increase Risk of Breast Cancer Death (3)

From American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)
(1) A strong body of evidence now suggests that people with type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of developing several cancers.
(2) * Same diet that reduces the risk of cancer also prevents heart disease
Cutting cancer risk with heart health
(3) High-fat dairy may increase risk of breast cancer death

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@ American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) – Useful Links

AICR (1) is a  cancer charity that fosters research on diet and cancer prevention, interprets the evidence and educates the public about the results. It is part of the World Cancer Research Fund global network.

Study: Cutting Premature Death with AICR Recommendations

Cancer infographics

Cancer – Facts vs Fears

Ten ways to reduce cancer risk

Eat well for life

Move more for life

Cancer resource 48 page on-line booklet for Cancer Survivors

The facts about – Cancer: Facts vs Fears

Top Eight Findings in Cancer Prevention

(1) AICR

Related links
Search for – World Cancer Research Fund

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* Prostate cancer and ‘Life style factors’

Nutrition and exercise to promote prostate health: Following is an abstract of the key points from the guide by ‘Prostate cancer foundation’ (1)

Understanding the links between Nutrition and Exercise and Prostate cancer

  • Oxidation and inflammation play important roles in the development of prostate cancer.
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant substances found in colorful fruits and vegetables can counteract the damage caused by oxidation and inflammation.
  • Carcinogens from charred meat can trigger chronic inflammation in the prostate.
  • Using alternate methods to cook meat and increasing cruciferous vegetables can minimize intake of and damage from carcinogens.
  • Sugar is a primary energy source for cancer and stimulates production of insulin, which is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and prostate cancer.
  • Cutting back on sugar intake, maintaining a healthy diet, and engaging in regular exercise regimen can slow the growth of prostate cancer.

Obesity and metabolism – Where we went wrong

  • Excess fat promotes insulin resistance, which reduces levels of IGF binding proteins that stimulate prostate cancer cell death.
  • Cutting carbohydrate intake can cut down on excess fat and weight and slow tumor growth.
  • Muscle loss due to aging, inactivity, and hormonal therapies can weaken bones and undermine a mechanism to alleviate insulin resistance.

Nutrition at the molecular level

  • Most of our DNA is involved in determining how and when genes are expressed, and can be affected by environmental and nutritional factors.
  • The ability of anti-oxidants to mop up free radicals enables them to play an important role in the fight against cell damage and the development of cancer
  • Organizing phytochemicals by color is an easy way to differentiate between the types of antioxidants and to get a variety of antioxidants into our diet.
Color group Examples Antioxidants
Red Tomatoes, Pink grapefruit, Watermelon Lycopene
Red/ Purple Pomegranates, Grapes, Plums, Berries Anthocuyanins
Orange/ Yellow Carrots, mangoes, Apricots, Cantaloupes, Pumpkins, Sweet potatoes Alpha and Beta carotenes
Yellow/ Green Spinach, Collard, Yellow corn, Green peas, Avocado, Honeywdew melon Lutien and Zeaxanthin
Green Broccoli, Brsussel sprouts, Cabbage, Bok choy, Kale Sulphoraphane, isothiocyanates, Indoles
White/ Green Garlic, Onions, Asparagus, Leeks, Shallots, Chives Allyl Sulphides

The delicate balancing act of supplement use

  • Learning how vitamins are formed, how they act, and how they are cleared from the body can help in understanding how best to ensure the safe use of supplements.
  • Dietary supplements are just that – a supplement to a healthy diet, not a replacement for one.
Supplement   Recommended daily intake (1)    Upper level intake per day (2)
Vitamin A 900 mcg 3000 mcg
Vitamin B6 1.7 mg 100 mg
Vitamin B12 2.4 mcg Not determinable
Vitamin C 90 mg 2000 mg
Vitamin D 400 IU 2000 IU
Calcium 1200 mg 2500 mg
Folic acid 400 mcg 1000 mcg

(1) Adequate intakes to be used as goals for individuals

(2) Maximum level of daily intake that is likely to pose no risk of adverse effects; represents total intake from food, water and supplements. Values are healthy males aged 51-70.

Implementing a plan for success

  • Avoiding muscle loss and /or gaining muscle through protein intake and exercise can help in achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Increase intake of fruits and vegetables and minimize caloric intake from refined carbohydrates.

Incorporating good nutrition and exercise into your daily routine

  • Lose body fat: eat fewer calories per day that you burn
  • Maintain muscle mass: increase protein intake and exercise
  • Exercise every day: combine cardio fitness and weight training
  • Eat colorful fruits and vegetables: recommended nine servings per day

A commitment for change

  • Making a commitment to change is the first step in successful thrivership
  • Effective change can only be accomplished in stages
  • Learn from mistakes made over time and use the gains to move forward.

The success factors

  • Reduce stress: live a balanced life and take care of yourself
  • Control your environment: plan ahead to eat healthfully and minimize stress
  • Monitor your action: track your behaviour to help chart your progress
  • Establish your support system: maintain healthy relationships with people who understand what you are going through

(1) Source: Nutrition, Exercise and Prostate cancer booklet by Prostate Cancer Foundation. Original text has 27 pages.

Also see List of books on ‘CancerPrevention and Control’

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Category: Cancer  Comments off

* Risk factors for death from ‘Cancer’

Many of us are aware of the risk of ‘Heart disease’, know its risk factors like smoking, cholesterol, LDL, stress etc. and take them seriously. But the risk for ‘Cancer’? Not so serious? Wait!

You may be surprised from the US Government data for 2009. According to Center for Disease Control (1), Cancer is the second highest cause of death in the USA, very closely following heart disease. In 2009 heart disease caused 599413 deaths as #1 and Cancer was a close 567628 as #2. Cancer deaths are 95% of heart disease deaths, in spite of all the advances in screening and treatment! How less likely is death from cancer compared with death from heart disease? Hardly any difference.

If cancer is almost as likely to cause death as heart disease, do we know its risk factors? Can we do anything about the risk factors, rather than wait for it to be detected too late, as a death sentence?

I found from my personal experience that these are the popular beliefs and practices

  • Most cancers are genetically influenced and can’t be prevented. Exceptions are caused by smoking, exposure to asbestos and some chemicals.
  • Screening can’t detect all cancers. In some cases, by the time it is detected, it may be too late and it may not be possible to save life, only prolong it by a few years.
  • When it strikes, the treatment options are surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. After successful treatment, its recurrence is very likely and is a life long threat.
  • During and after treatment, hardly any self care prescriptions are given about what a patient can do, to reduce the risk factors and try to prevent its recurrence.

In this context, the book “The Cancer Survivor’s Guide – Foods that help you fight back” (2) by Neal Barnard M.D (3) may deserve your attention. The author cautions that you should involve your doctor in making any dietary changes. Other experts focus on the role of Smoking cessation, Environmental toxins, Exercise, Stress management and Social support in preventing and fighting cancer. Some links are at (4).

I also recommend the guide on “Prostate cancer prevention – Nutrition and Exercise” published by the Prostate cancer foundation (5).

Diet related suggestions from many sources are following. Diet is one of the key factors. Other equally important factors from other sources are exercise, relaxation and social support.

  • Enhance Fiber and cut down Fat: Diets high in fiber and low in fat, reduce the amount of estrogens (female sex hormones) circulating in the bloodstream, reducing the likelihood that cancer cells will multiply or spread. Fiber prevents colon cancer. It strengthens the immune system.
  • Avoid Dairy Products: Typical dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, and so forth) are high in fat and cholesterol. Dairy products appear to play an important role in cancer risk. The Physicians’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study found that men who frequently consume dairy products had a higher prostate cancer risk.
  • Avoid Meat: Many research studies have shown that cancer is more common in populations consuming diets rich in fatty foods, particularly meat, and much less common in countries with diets rich in grains, vegetables, and fruits. This is partly due to the high-fat and fiber-free characteristics of meat compared to plant foods. When meats are cooked, cancer-causing chemicals called heterocyclic amines form within the meat.
  • Increase Antioxidants: They are powerful cancer fighters mainly found in vegetables and fruits. They assist in halting free radical damage, which can otherwise lead to cancer development.
  • Immune system’s role in fighting cancer: Beta-carotene, vitamin C, and zinc can help the immune system recognize and destroy cancer cells. Foods rich in fat and cholesterol can interfere with immunity. Studies show that vegetarians have approximately double the natural killer cell activity (natural killer cells engulf and destroy cancer cells) compared to non-vegetarians.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Weight: Healthy weight control is essential for warding off a variety of chronic diseases, and studies have shown that slimmer people are less likely to develop cancer. In addition, trimming excess weight may also improve survival after cancer has been diagnosed.

(1) CDC
(2) The Cancer Survivor’s Guide – Foods that help you fight back
(3) Neal Barnard
(4)  American Institute for Cancer Research
(5) Prostate cancer prevention – Nutrition and Exercise (Full text)   Abstract of key points

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