Cancer Prevention Treaty

When I compile the current column I envisioned myself sporting a perfectly coiffed hair, a designer suit and a flamboyant tie. I’m in the middle of a crowded meeting room filled with some of the big names in the field of cancer research. I have a microphone in hand and I’m speaking directly into the eye of a television camera. “This is JP, the healthy man, live report from the American Association for Front Irish Cancer Research in Cancer Prevention. Experts from around the world have converged in Houston, Texas on the latest and greatest news about how we can all do our less to discuss cancer risk. More about, on top of the hour. Back to you in the studio, Stacey and Charles “. The reality is that I sit at my usual work desk, doing his best to tune to the sounds of a few loud neighbors while watching a bunch of a study presented at the AACR conference mentioned above. It may not be glamorous, but I love it.

 

My tongue in cheek introduction was factually correct. Some of the most respected physicians and scientists involved in cancer research really come together this past week the most recent available data on the natural chemopreventive strategies to share. Dr. Elaine Hardman of Marshall University School of Medicine, Dr. Elizabeth Platz, a senior editor of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, Dr. John Milner, who heads the Nutritional Science Research Group at the National Cancer Institute and Mr. . Tim Byers, Associate Dean at the Colorado School of Public Health were only a few of the keynote speakers at the conference this year. (1)

Although the majority of us can not really be at the conference, the Internet and the cooperation of the AACR allows us to learn about many of the most exciting findings from the Irish Front of Cancer Prevention. Here is an overview of the studies that I found particularly interesting and hopeful:

Study # 1 – Coffee consumption and advanced prostate cancer

A population study conducted in 1986 about 50,000 men followed until 2006. Data were collected every 4 years and in particular at the role that coffee might play in relation to prostate cancer. This study is unique in that the researchers have the effect of coffee consumption on specific forms of prostate cancer examined – localized vs. advanced. Nearly 5000 men diagnosed with prostate cancer during 20 years. However, there was a 60% reduced risk of “aggressive” (high quality) prostate cancer in men who drank the most coffee. According to Dr. Kathryn M. Wilson of Harvard Medical School, “Coffee effects on insulin and glucose metabolism and sex hormones have, all of which play a role in prostate cancer.” (2)

Study # 2 – An excerpt from Hop May prevent prostate cancer

A flavonoid found in hops (xanthohumol) may someday play an important role in preventing and possibly treating prostate cancer. Previous studies indicate that this naturally occurring antioxidant can interfere with estrogen cancer promoting activity. It appears so bound (or refill) estrogen receptor sites. This feature allows for the removal of excess estrogen by the body. Similar effects were found for xanthohumol researchers tested the activity toward testosterone. The next step is to see if this hop extract may, in fact, prevent prostate cancer in an animal model and then, ultimately, in human subjects. (3)

Study # 3 – Exercise can reduce mortality from prostate cancer and General

Men who engaged 5 or more hours of “strenuous exercise” per week showed a “reduced risk to die” from prostate cancer. It is suggested that strenuous exercise can alter hormones, improve the immune system and reduces inflammation – all known to positively affect health of the prostate. But beyond that, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health also determined that: a) 3 hours per week of physical activity provides “a 35 percent lower risk of total mortality” in men- b) 4 or more hours of walking per week can reduce the risk of men “all-cause mortality” by 23% and c) men walking at a brisk pace at least 90 minutes per week showed a 51% reduction in mortality from any cause – compared with men who walked less than 90 minutes at a slower pace. (4)

Studies # 4 & 5 – Antioxidants and Fish Oil vs. Colon Cancer

A new Italian study has shown that the use of a specific antioxidant supplement may increase the risk pre-cancerous polyp recurrence reduction. A group of 411 men and women with a history of colorectal polyp removal participated in this 5-year study. The surcharge is used consisted of 200 mcg selenium (selenomethionine), 6000 IUs of vitamin A, vitamin C 180 mg, 30 mg vitamin E and 30 mg zinc. Dr. Luigiana Bonelli, of the National Institute for Cancer Research in Genoa, Italy, adding that: “The remarkable thing is that the benefit observed after the conclusion of the investigation was to 13 year follow-up.” Another study found that white participants consuming the highest level of fish oil a “39 percent less risk (colon) cancer” had. This same benefit was not established in the black study volunteers. However, this discrepancy requires additional research to confirm or discount. For now, Dr. Kim Sangmi of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences suggests exercising caution “about drawing conclusions about the possible racial difference in favor of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids from this study.” (5,6)

Fish oil may reduce risk of cancer with positive change genetic expressionSource: CMAJ. 2008 January 15 to 178 (2): 177-180. (Link) Study # 6 – pistachios and Lung Cancer Prevention

A group of 36 men and women have recently been divided into two segments. Each group ate a normal diet, but the study (intervention) group consisted of 2 ounces of pistachios to their menu plan over a period of 4 weeks. The tests showed that eating pistachios higher concentrations of a potential “cancer fighting” anti-oxidant in the body had. Ladia M. Hernandez, a senior research dietician at the MD Anderson Cancer Center noted that “a higher intake of gamma-tocopherol, which is a form of vitamin E may reduce the risk of lung cancer.” Pistachios known as one of the richest dietary gamma-tocopherol. Ms. Hernandez went on to say that, “Pistachios are one of those ‘good-for-you’ nuts, and 2 grams per day can be processed in the nutritional strategies to reduce the risk of lung cancer without significant changes in body mass index. ” Her parting remark may suggest a diet change observed during this study: the participants eating pistachios naturally derived more of their daily calories from healthy fats and less caloric density of carbohydrates. This tends to positively influence weight. (7)

If I had the opportunity to present a study at the AACR conference, I would probably have chosen a newly published experiment that was conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago and Yale University. Their recent findings showed that rats raised in a lonely, socially isolated environment developed 84 times more tumors than rats who lived in a group. Imagine what the implications of this finding could be if even remotely applicable to people with cancer. Conducting similar studies in a human population would be challenging to say the least. But perhaps such a test is not as essential as it seems. After all, what could possibly the downside of offering companionship to someone with cancer or adding some extra fish and nuts to your diet in hopes of preventing cancer? “This is JP, the healthy ma
n, I wish you all the best of health. Back to you, Stacey and Charles.” (8)

Be good!

Posted in Alternative Therapies, nutrition.