Massive new study, activity cuts risk of 13 cancers

A large new study that pooled together data from a dozen studies found that those who walk, swim, jog or do other sorts of activity the most are at lower risk of developing 13 different types of cancer compared to those who are the least active. The study included almost 1.5 million participants and supports the importance of physical activity for lower cancer risk.

It was published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Activity MashupAICR research shows that activity lowers risk of colon, breast, and endometrial cancers. There is some evidence being active may play a role in other cancers, but many of these studies are relatively small; AICR continues to analyze the research – including this study – as part of its Continuous Update Project.

The strength of this study was that it could pool together cancers that are not as common. Here, researchers included 12 population studies from the United States and Europe to look at how physical activity links to 26 cancer types. All together, the studies included 1.4 million men and women, ages 18 to 98. The average age was 59. Continue reading

Aspirin and Cancer Prevention: An Update

There are several recognized ways that you can reduce your risk of colorectal cancer, but is taking aspirin one of them? This week the US Preventive Services Task Force released their recommendations on aspirin, cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer – a final take on their draft recommendations released last year.

After a review of the research, the task force recommends that 50 to 59 year olds who have a 10 percent or greater 10-year risk of cardiovascular disease and have no risk for bleeding take a low-dose of aspirin. For these individuals, they conclude, taking aspirin  five to ten years can reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and colorectal cancer. Here, they graded the evidence a B, meaning that there is high to moderate certainty of a net benefit.

If you are between ages 60 to 69, taking aspirin should be an individual decision depending on  preferences and discussion with a health care professional, they write.

Last year we wrote about their draft recommendations, noting that AICR’s focus is on how diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight links to cancer risk, so we have no position on aspirin use and risk.Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 11.01.09 AMWhatever your decision on aspirin, you should also know there is clear evidence that several healthy habits and a healthy weight link to lower risk. Many of these steps also reduce risk for heart disease.

Eating plenty of foods with fiber, limiting red meat and avoiding processed meats, exercising and staying a healthy weight all link to lower risk. AICR estimate that these lifestyle factors could prevent one of every two colorectal cancer cases every year.

Here are AICR’s key findings and the report on colorectal cancer.

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Obesity rates continue to climb, and that’s not good for cancer prevention

Both here in the US and around the world, obesity rates continue to climb. Today, for the first time, more people are classified as obese than underweight, finds a major new study published in The Lancet.

The findings have severe implications for cancer rates. Aside from not smoking, staying a healthy weight is the single largest risk factor related to cancer risk. AICR research links excess body fat to ten cancers, including colorectal, postmenopausal breast and esophageal.

Here in the US, if everyone were a healthy weight, AICR estimates that approximately 128,000 cases of cancer could be prevented each year.

obesity-and-cancer-1 Continue reading