Study: Cut Alcohol, Up Plant Foods for Lower Cancer Risk

Low alcohol consumption and a plant-based diet, part of AICR’s Recommendations for Cancer Prevention, are associated with reducing the risk of colorectal and other obesity-related cancers, finds a new study, adding to a growing body of independent research on how following AICR’s recommendations links to lower cancer risk, longer survival, and improved overall health.Wines_FD001551_7

This latest study was published in Cancer Causes & Control. You can read more about the other studies investigating AICR recommendations here.

The Cancer Causes & Control study included almost 3,000 cancer-free adults who had no history of cancer. Participants were part of the ongoing Framingham Heart Study. Back in 1991, everyone filled out a questionnaire about how much they weighed, what they ate and their activity habits.

After almost 12 years, 480 of the participants had developed an obesity-related cancer, such as colorectal or breast.

Study researchers then scored how much participants met seven of AICR’s recommendations, giving them zero, half point or one point. The scoring included Continue reading


Organization: Possible key to bacterial invasion for some colon cancers

A growing body of evidence indicates that the trillions of bacteria that live in the digestive tract – might play a role in altering cancer risk. Now, a study suggests that how those bacteria are organized and where they are located in the gut might influence the risk of certain colon cancers.

BacteriaThe study, published in The Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, focused on biofilms – communities of bacteria that help bacteria communicate with each other and grow more efficiently.

When bacteria organize into biofilms, they can breach the protective inner layer in the gut and invade the local tissue, promoting inflammation and possibly cancer.

We have an interesting relationship with the bacteria in our gut. Although many of the microbes provide beneficial services, bacteria – both “good” and “bad” – can cause us harm, so we keep them all at arm’s length, so to speak. Normal, healthy tissue in the colon is coated with a two-layered covering of mucus –a mesh-like outer layer and a gel-like inner layer. Whereas the outer layer creates a moist, cozy environment for bacteria, the inner layer is less hospitable: it provides the last line of defense against their invasion.

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No, Cancer Isn’t Just “Bad Luck”

A paper published recently in the journal Science has generated an enormous amount of media coverage. The paper’s matter-of-fact title, “Variation in Cancer Incidence Among Tissues Can Be Explained By the Number of Stem Cell Divisions,” doesn’t sound like something that would set the internet buzzing, but it sure did.
Cell Division
That’s because of how the paper was promoted and covered: “MOST CANCERS DUE TO BAD LUCK, NOT PREVENTABLE, STUDY FINDS” screamed one headline. But there’s a sharp disconnect between this paper’s findings and the hype surrounding it.

Here at AICR, we fund and analyze the research showing that a healthy weight, a healthy diet and regular physical activity could prevent hundreds of thousands of U.S. cancers every year. We’re concerned that the oversimplified coverage this study received will reinforce the widespread conviction that cancer “just happens” and cause Americans to throw up their hands and ignore the empowering, evidence-based message that everyday choices play an important protective role in risk for many of the most common cancers.

When looking at this paper, ask yourself three basic questions. Continue reading