Lowering Cholesterol Levels May Improve Prostate Cancer Survival

Men who have developed castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) may be able to slow the growth of prostate tumours by reducing their cholesterol levels according to the results of a recent article published in the open access journal PLoS ONE last month.

While the research was conducted in mice, if the results are replicated in human studies, it could open new treatments for castration-resistant prostate cancer, which is notoriously difficult to treat.


Can Aspirin Really Cut Your Chances Of Getting Cancer?

Over the last year or so there has been a number of well publicized studies linking aspirin with a reduction in the risk of developing various forms of cancer. Many people will be wondering if the decreased risk of cancer is sufficient to justify taking a low dose aspirin daily. While doctors normally recommend a low dose aspirin regime to prevent myocardial infarction in patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, most shy away from recommending low dose aspirin to apparently healthy individuals.


Popular Statin Cuts Breast Cancer Recurrence Rate By 30%

Simvastatin, a popular statin, may cut the rate of breast cancer recurrence by as much as 30% according to the results of a recent study conducted by American and Danish researchers.

The study, published in October, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, involved almost 18,769 Danish women who were diagnosed with stage 1-3 breast cancer between 1996 and 2003. The women were followed up for an average of 6.8 years. Slightly under 20% of breast cancer patients were prescribed statins following their diagnosis.


Do Soy Foods Promote Breast Cancer?

Soy beansThere has been alot of debate recently about the safety of soy with respect to the development of breast cancer. One theory that hs been promoted by the anti-soy lobby over the years is that because soy contains estrogen-like compounds, it has the potential to enhance the growth of breast cancer, particularly ER-positive tumours.

The Weston A. Price foundation, which is an organisation funded primarily by meat and dairy farmers, is a classic example of the anti-soy lobby.


Olive Oil Linked To Lower Risk Of Breast Cancer

Olive OilOlive oil, which is a key component of the Mediterranean diet, has long been known as a heart-healthy oil due to its high levels of mono-unsaturated fat which help keep LDL cholesterol levels in check. Recent studies have also suggested a link between olive oil and a reduced risk of various types of cancer. The most convincing evidence is for breast cancer where numerous studies have found reductions in breast cancer risk of between 20-40% for those who regularly consume olive oil. Some of these studies are summarised below.


Long Term Statin Use Not Linked To Cancer

Statin use has increased dramatically in the United States over the past two decades. In 1990 just 2% of adults over 45 were taking statins to control cholesterol compared to 25% in 2010. Statins are among the most commonly prescribed drugs and are a huge source of revenue for the pharmaceutical industry. While there is no doubt that statins have had a tremendous impact on reducing the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), concerns have been raised about whether long term statin use might increase the risk of cancer.


The Link Between Sun Exposure, Vitamin D, & Cancer Prognosis

The sunDid you know that your chances of beating cancer depend on the season you are diagnosed in? It may seem bizarre but a large number of studies have found that individuals who are diagnosed with cancer in the summer have a better cancer prognosis than those diagnosed in the winter, apparently due to increased production of vitamin D by the body over the summer months.

A 2004 study, published in the journal Cancer Causes and Control, looked at the effect of sunlight on the prognosis of colon, breast, and prostate cancer in Norway. The researchers found that the case-fatality rate was higher in winter than in other seasons for all three forms of cancer.


Carrots May Protect Against Lung Cancer

Some peeled carrotsCarrots are an extremely popular vegetable in the United States and are second only to potatoes in terms of consumption with an average of 12 pounds of carrots consumed per person per year. Carrots are well known for their ability to improve night vision however what is less known is that carrots and other foods rich in carotene may actually protect against lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers.

One study, published in the journal Cancer Research in 1993, used data on 41,837 women from the Iowa Women’s Health Study to determine the effects of fruit and vegetable consumption on the risk of lung cancer.


Fish Oil May Improve Effectiveness Of Lung Cancer Chemotherapy

Some fish oil capsulesFish oil supplementation has been shown to improve the response rate to chemotherapy and prevent weight loss in the treatment of the most common form of lung cancer according to the results of a study published in the journal Cancer in February.

The study, conducted by Canadian researchers at the University of Alberta, followed 46 patients who were receiving treatment for non small cell lung cancer. All patients underwent a common chemotherapy regime (carboplatin combined with vinorelbine or gemcitabine). A fish oil supplement containing 2.5g of EPA and DHA was given daily to 15 of the patients while the remaining 31 received the chemotherapy treatment only.


Preventing Colorectal Cancer Through Diet And Exercise

Colorectal cancer is an extremely common and often fatal form of cancer. In the United States, it is the fourth most common type of cancer and is second only to lung cancer in terms of mortality with almost 52,000 deaths in the USA alone last year. The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer for a 30 year old living in the United States today is 5.24%. Although great advances have been made in recent years in the early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer, the 5-year survival rate from diagnosis is only 65%, much lower than the survival rates for some other common types of cancer such as breast, skin, and prostate cancer.


Fruit & Vegetables Only Marginally Reduce Cancer Risk

Fruit SaladA commonly held belief is that diets containing high amounts of fruit and vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of developing a variety of cancers. However a study published online in April this year has found that consumption of fruit and vegetables leads to only a marginal decrease in overall cancer risk.

The research, which appears in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, looked at data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study which involved more than 500,000 individuals from 10 countries across Europe.


Walnuts Slow Growth Of Breast Cancer Cells

A study, published in the peer reviewed medical journal Nutrition and Cancer, has found that walnuts can dramatically cut the growth rate of breast tumors in mice.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the Marshall University School of Medicine in West Virginia, USA, involved the implantation of human breast cancer cells in a group of 22 mice. The tumors were allowed to grow to between 3mm and 5mm in size at which point the mice were divided into two groups.


Study Finds Red Wine Reduces Lung Cancer Risk In Smokers

Red wine in glassA study, published this month in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers, And Prevention, has suggested that smokers may be able to reduce their risk of developing lung cancer by as much as 60% by consuming at least one glass of red wine each day.

The study was conducted by scientists at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, and involved the study of 84,170 men aged between 45 and 69.


Vitamin E Supplementation Decreases Risk Of Prostate Cancer In Smokers

Some red pillsA form of Vitamin E known as alpha-tocopherol may reduce both the risk of developing and dying from prostate cancer in smokers according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

The study, which was published back in 1998 by researchers at the Department of Public Health in Helsinki, Finland, looked at the effect of daily supplementation of 20mg of beta-carotene and/or 50mg of alpha-tocopherol on the risk of prostate cancer. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that is converted by the body into Vitamin A.


Broccoli Rich Diets Ward Off Prostate Cancer

A broccoli headA new study has found that men who eat at least 400g of broccoli a week (around three servings) may be at a decreased risk of developing prostate cancer due to broccoli’s ability to modify the expression of certain genes involved in the development of prostate cancer.

The study was carried out by researchers from Norwich in the United Kingdom and was published in the July issue of the journal PLoS One. Researchers followed 22 men aged between 57 and 70 who were at high risk of developing prostate cancer.


Regular Exercise May Cut Cancer Risk In Men

A man bikingA new study, conducted by Swedish researchers at the Karolinska Institute, has suggested that men who engage in moderate physical exercise in a regular basis have a reduced risk of developing and subsequently dying from cancer.

The study was published this month in the British Journal of Cancer and involved the study of 40,708 Swedish men aged between 45 and 79 who were questioned on their exercise habits.


Eating Fish May Reduce Cancer Risk

Tinned fishRegular consumption of fish may reduce the risk of developing many forms of cancer including cancers of the esophagus, mouth, stomach, colon, and pancreas according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in July 1999.

The study, conducted by Italian researchers, involved the comparison of over 8,000 people who had been diagnosed with various forms of cancer with 7,990 control subjects who were free of cancer.


Folate May Reduce Pancreatic Cancer Risk

Diets high in folate, also known as folic acid or vitamin B9, have been implicated with a reduced risk of many cancers including colo-rectal, lung, and esophageal cancer. Recent evidence also suggests a link between folate and a reduction in pancreatic cancer risk of up to 75% in some cases.

The study, conducted by Swedish researchers and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in March 2006 involved the study of 81,922 men and women from Sweden for an average of 6.8 years.