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Cancer prevention

 

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Prevention of Cancer
News

The launch of two studies at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center aimed at testing the anti-inflammatory drug Celebrex's potential to prevent lung cancer was highlighted on July 31 and Aug. 1 in reports by ABC Network Radio, CBS Network Radio, Reuters newswire, KABC-TV and City News Service. Dr. Jenny Mao, assistant professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine and researcher at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center, is the principal investigator for the studies and was quoted. "Arthritis Drug Studied as Lung Cancer Preventative" Reuters
http://www.reuters.com/news_article.jhtml?type=sciencenews&StoryID=141269#


The Los Angeles Times' Health section, on July 23, ran a brief on the launch of a new clinical trial of Herceptin for women with early-stage breast cancer, available to patients worldwide through UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center and the Breast Cancer International Research Group, which is directed by Dr. Jean Marc Nabholtz, who also is director of the Cancer Therapy Development Program at UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center. Nabholtz and Dr. Dennis Slamon, director of Clinical/Translational Research at the Jonsson Cancer Center and chief of the division of Hematology/Oncology at the UCLA School of Medicine, are co-chairmen for the study.


Cause of Cancers
Risk Factors for Breast Cancer
Should I take Any dietary supplement to Prevent Cancers?
Alcohol and Cancer
Suggestion of Dietary Supplements
for cancer prevention
Nutrition Guild for People Living With Cancer

Prostate cancer and diet


Cause of Cancers (obtained from American Institute of Preventive Medicine)

Cancer refers to a broad group of diseases in which body cells grow out of control and are or become malignant (harmful).  Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States (heart disease is first). Current estimates say that 30 percent of all Americans will develop some kind of cancer in their lifetimes. The most common forms are cancer of the skin, lungs, colon and rectum, breast, prostate, urinary tract, and uterus.
Exactly what causes all cancers has not yet been found. Evidence suggests, however, that cancer could result from complex interactions of viruses, a person's genetic make-up, their immune status and their exposure to other risk factors that may promote cancer.
These risk factors include:
    Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays, nuclear radiation, X-rays, and radon.
    Use of tobacco and/or alcohol (for some cancers).
    Use of certain medicines such as DES (a synthetic estrogen).
    Polluted air and water.
    Dietary factors such as a high fat diet, specific food preservatives, namely nitrates and nitrites; char-broiling and char-grilling meats.
    Exposure to a variety of chemicals such as asbestos, benzenes, VC (vinyl chloride), wood dust, some ingredients of cigarette smoke, etc.).
Lifestyle:
    Do not smoke, use tobacco products or inhale second hand smoke.
    Limit your exposure to known carcinogens such as asbestos, radon, and other workplace chemicals as well as pesticides and herbicides. Have X-rays only when necessary.
    Limit your exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays, sun lamps and tanning booths. Protect your skin from the sun's UV rays with sunscreen (applied frequently and containing a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher) and protective clothing (sun hats, long sleeves, etc.).
    Reduce stress. Emotional stress may weaken the immune system that is relied on to fight off stray cancer cells.


Risk Factors for Breast Cancer

The most important risk factors are:
    Increasing age (risk doubles between ages 45 and 65)
    Previous breast cancer in the same patient
    Family history of breast cancer - particularly breast cancer in a woman's mother, sister, or daughter If blood relative (mother, sister, or daughter) is pre-menopausal and has bilateral breast cancer - risk is nine-fold If blood relative is pre-menopausal and has unit-lateral breast cancer - risk is three-five fold If blood relative is post-menopausal and has breast cancer - risk is two-fold
Less significant risk factors are:
    Carriers of genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 are very highly at risk. However, probably fewer than 1 in 20 women with breast cancer have these genes.
    Female descendants of European Jews have a higher than normal risk
    Women with a family history of cancer of the cervix, uterus or colon have a slightly increased risk
    Early menarche (before age 13)
    Late menopause (over age 52)
    Nulliparity (no pregnancies)
    First pregnancy over age 30 may slightly increase risk
    Obesity is said to be a risk factor, but it may just obscure and delay discovery of a breast mass
    Breast augmentation - Does not increase risk of breast cancer and does fall into a higher risk category, however, as a tumor would be more difficult to detect because mammogram cannot
be performed as effectively. Strongly advised to have a pre-surgical mammogram as a baseline before having augmentation
    Oral Contraceptives - Most studies have shown no significant increased risk for breast cancer from oral contraceptive use, although there is evidence they may reduce risk for ovarian and
uterine cancer. A few recent studies suggest a small increase in risk in specific subgroups of women who have mainly used older types of oral contraceptives which contained more
estrogen than those commonly used today. The largest overall analyses show no significant increase in risk of breast cancer for women who take oral contraceptives when compared to
women who do not take oral contraceptives. Modern pills contain less estrogen than those commonly prescribed 20 years ago. It may be that there is a very small increase in risk which would have to be balanced against what can for some women be a much greater risk of not taking the pill. Individual women should discuss this with their family physician at the time of renewing their prescription.
    Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT)
1.For menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, etc: Most studies have shown a 1.5x increased risk for breast cancer from HRT if taken for more than 5-10 years. There is evidence that HRT reduces ovarian cancer risk as well as risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis (not osteoarthritis) in post-menopausal women. Any potential, as yet unproven, increased breast cancer risk from estrogen HRT must be balanced against the positive effects in reducing menopausal symptoms and decreasing risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis.
2.For women who have had breast cancer:
Present opinion is that HRT is not recommended for women with a previous history of breast cancer (except for a very few exceptions defined individually between the woman and her doctor).
    An injury to the breast is not associated with increased risk of developing cancer but on occasion draws attention to the mass.
    Calcium deposits (see below for information under Diagnosis)
Abortion and Breast Cancer Risk
Delaying a first full term pregnancy, or not becoming pregnant at all, increases a woman's chance of developing breast cancer. A spontaneous or induced abortion does not independently increase a woman's chance of developing breast cancer Prolonged lactation (breast feeding) seems to offer a weak protection from breast cancer.
Diet and Alcohol Consumption
The role of diet in affecting the risk of breast cancer is still inconclusive, however, there are several large studies underway now to examine the importance of dietary fat (which may increase risk). The evidence that alcohol consumption increases risk is consistently found, however, its effect on increasing risk is not strong - risk is one and one-half to 2 fold.

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Should I take Any dietary supplement to Prevent Cancers?

When researchers find that diets high in carotenoids, vitamin C, or any other dietary components may provide cancer protection, it doesn't necessarily follow that supplements containing them will have the same effect. It also doesn't mean that you will obtain a more beneficial result by taking more or more potent supplements. In fact, human trials using supplements in varying combinations and doses have produced confusing results, at times even showing increased cancer rates in those being supplemented.

Scientists are finding that whole foods rich in nutrients and other compounds, especially a variety of vegetables and fruits, are the best defense against cancer.  

Scientisats have shown for the first time that EGCG, which is present in green tea at relatively high concentrations, inhibits the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), which is a recognized, established target for anti-cancer drugs

What this means......

There is no magic pill that will help prevent cancer, but a healthy diet can. Supplements seem like an easy way to bolster vitamins, minerals and fiber in your diet, but research shows that consuming these nutrients in wholesome foods is the best way to achieve cancer protection.

If you are a healthy person and find yourself relying on an array of supplements, check with your doctor or a registered dietitian. Find out which foods contain the vitamins, minerals and fiber you need and learn how you can get adequate amounts of these foods in your menus.

Alcohol and Cancer( Contents from the American Institute for Cancer Research)

What is the link between alcohol and cancer risk?

According to the expert report from the American Institute for Cancer Research, Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective, there is convincing evidence that alcoholic drinks increase the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus. The risk of upper respiratory tract cancers is greatly increased if drinkers also smoke. Alcohol also increase the risk of liver cancer and probably increases the risk for colon, rectal and breast cancers.

How does drinking alcohol increase cancer risk?

When you drink, the sensitive tissues of your upper-respiratory tract are directly exposed to alcohol in beverages, causing damage to cells and possibly initiating cancer. Cancer of the liver is probably preceded by alcoholic liver cirrhosis which develops after years of drinking. There is less known about how drinking alcohol affects the development of other cancers.

What can I do to lower my cancer risk?

One thing you can do is choose not to drink alcoholic beverages, or choose to drink them only in moderation. That's no more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 for women.

1 drink =

1 bottle or can of beer (12 oz)

 

1 small glass of wine (5 oz)

 

1 shot of 80 proof liquor (1.5 oz)

Why is the recommended limit different for women and men?

Alcohol affects women and men differently. A woman's body has more fat and less muscle than a man's. Alcohol can be diluted into water-holding muscle tissue, but not into fat tissue. Therefore alcohol cannot be diluted as quickly in her body as in his. Also, a woman cannot metabolize alcohol as quickly as a man. Therefore, alcohol stays in her bloodstream longer.

Does drinking present special risks for women?

The risk for developing breast cancer, the second most common cancer in women in the States, rises with increased alcohol consumption. Women at a high risk for breast cancer should consider not drinking. Women develop alcohol-related health problems, such as cirrhosis of the liver, faster then men who drink the same amount. Finally, alcohol can severely injure a pregnant woman's unborn child.

Is it true that drinking alcohol can lower my risk for heart disease?

There is evidence that drinking modest amounts of alcohol is associated with a lower risk for coronary heart disease in men, and perhaps women. However, drinking higher amounts of alcohol raises the risk of cancer along with risks for high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, birth defects, inflammation of the pancreas, damage to the brain and heart, malnutrition, osteoporosis, accidents, violence and suicide. There are better ways to decrease your heart disease risk, including exercising, reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, lowering saturated fat in your diet, controlling blood pressure and not smoking.

Suggestion of Dietary Supplements for cancer prevention
Most people can not receive enough  vitamins and minerals from food for different reasons, although whole foods rich in nutrients and other compounds, especially a variety of vegetables and fruits, are the best defense against cancer. 

The following vitamins, minerals, nutrition considered particularly valuable in cancer prevention.

Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin D3, carotenoids, Omega 3 fatty acids, Rutin, lycopene, dietary fibers,  .  

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