High Dose Vitamin E May Actually Increase Risk Of Prostate Cancer

High dose supplemental vitamin E does not decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer and may in-fact increase risk slightly according to the results of a study published in the October 12 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers used data from The Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial to determine whether supplementation of either vitamin E, selenium, or both in combination could reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.


Egg Eaters More Likely To Die From Prostate Cancer According To Study

An eggMen who frequently consume eggs are much more likely to die from prostate cancer according to the results of a study published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research last month. The study also found suggestive evidence that consuming large amounts of poultry and processed red meat following prostate cancer diagnosis increased the risk of subsequently dying from the disease.


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.


CDC Releases Data On Smoking Rates By Occupation

CigarettesThe latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released by the CDC contained some interesting data on the prevalence of smoking across different occupational groups.

The prevalence estimates were based on data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) 2004-2010 which involved a combined 113,226 participants. Researchers found huge differences in smoking rates across various occupational groups with rates as high as 31.4% and as low as 8.7%.


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.


Smoking Marijuana Doesn’t Appear To Increase Cancer Risk

Marijuana plantsOver the years, many scientific studies have looked at whether marijuana smokers are at an increased risk of developing cancer. Interestingly, despite the fact marijuana smoke shares many of the same carcinogens as cigarette smoke, no study has found a significantly increased risk of cancer as a result of smoking marijuana.


Waist Size Linked To Increased Risk Of Breast Cancer

A tape measureFor many years, obesity has been suspected of playing a role in breast cancer risk. Most studies find little association between obesity and breast cancer risk in pre-menopausal women but a significantly increased risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Recent research suggests that measures of central obesity such as waist circumference and the waist-to-hip ratio may be more accurate predictors of breast cancer risk than BMI alone.


What Are A Smokers Chances Of Dying From Lung Cancer?

Many smokers want to know their probability of dying from lung cancer in a given time frame, however calculating precise risks can be difficult because there are a variety of factors that influence lung cancer probabilities.

The most important factors influencing lung cancer risk are age, number of years of smoking, average number of cigarettes smoked per day, number of years since smoking ceased (if the individual is a former smoker), and a history of asbestos exposure (working in a high risk occupation for at least 5 years).


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.


5-Year Cancer Survival Rates Are Increasing

A quick look at the latest figures from SEER, the statistical database provided by the National Cancer Institute, shows that survival rates for most forms of cancer have increased dramatically over the past 30 years or so. Overall, 5 year cancer survival rates have increased from 48.9% in 1975 to 66.7% in 2003. The following graph shows 5-year survival rates for some of the most common forms of cancer.


Cancer Rates In The USA Compared To Japan

Cancer rates vary dramatically between countries, none more so than between Japan and the USA. Overall age adjusted cancer rates in the USA are more than 50% higher than in Japan.

Americans have a 30% chance of developing cancer and a 11.2% chance of dying from it by the age of 75 compared to a 20.4% chance of developing cancer and a 9.7% chance of dying from it in Japan. The only common forms of cancer that are more prevalent in Japan are pancreatic, liver, colorectal, and stomach cancer. Interestingly enough, Japan has one of the lowest cancer rates in the developed world despite a relatively high percentage of Japanese being regular smokers.

The disparities in cancer rates are one of the major reasons life expectancy is almost five years higher in Japan than the United States (82.9 vs 78.1).

The following table shows age adjusted cancer rates per 100,000 people for both the United States and Japan courtesy of data from GLOBOCAN, 2008. Rates are for men and women combined with the exception of breast and prostate cancer which are female and male only rates respectively.


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.


Which Country Has The Highest Rate Of Lung Cancer?

A cigaretteCurrently Hungary has the dubious honour of having the highest age standardised rate (ASR) of lung cancer in the world for men and the highest rate overall. At more than 50 cases per 100,000 people per year, Hungary’s lung cancer rate is more than twice the global average. The United States has the highest rate of lung cancer among women and the second highest rate overall. The following table shows the fifteen countries with the highest rates of lung cancer in the world (excludes countries with less than 1 million people).


Cancer More Likely In Tall People

A recent study published in The Lancet this month adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests tall people are more likely to develop cancer than their shorter counterparts.

The study, led by British researchers at the Cancer Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, involved almost 1.3 million women who were followed for an average of 9.4 years.


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.


Lack Of Sleep Increases Breast Cancer Risk By Inhibiting Melatonin Production

A recent Japanese study, published by the British Journal of Cancer in September this year, has found that women who get six or less hours sleep a night are much more likely to develop breast cancer than the rest of the population.

The study involved 23,995 Japanese women aged between 40 and 79 who were followed for an eight year period. Over the course of the study, 143 women developed breast cancer. The researchers found that women who slept for 6 or less hours a night were 62% more likely to develop breast cancer compared to women who slept for an average of 7 hours a night.