Chicken Wears Green for St. Patty’s

chicken-and-cabbage cropped3 This week our new report on ovarian cancer means that there are now eight cancers linked to obesity. Our Health-e-Recipe for Chicken Baked with Cabbage and Leek is a delicious way to prepare a satisfying low-calorie meal that also fits St. Patrick’s Day.

Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli contain potent cancer-fighting phytochemicals.Savoy and Napa varieties of cabbage have crinkly leaves and are more tender to chew than regular green cabbage. Yet they still pack healthy sulforaphane (an isothiocyanate compound), indoles and flavonoids – compounds that may protect against cancer. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family, too.

Leeks are a kind of onion and contribute protective allium compounds to this dish. With thyme and Spanish paprika, all of these ingredients blend deliciously with chicken while fortifying your health. Serve over brown rice with a wedge of fresh lemon, if desired.

For more excellent cancer-preventive recipes, visit the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.


A Fresh Topping for Pasta

rigatoni-and-red-peppers cropped copyWho knew that a delicious pasta dish could fit into a cancer-preventive diet? Our Health-e-Recipe for Rigatoni with Red Peppers fortifies with phytochemical-rich vegetables and fiber, which reduces risk of colorectal cancer.

Whole-wheat pasta has fiber plus protective compounds inherent in whole grains. If you can’t find whole-wheat rigatoni for this dish, try a similar type of bite-size whole-grain pasta, such as penne, rotini or macaroni.

Lightly sautéed red onion, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and spinach to toss with the pasta. You’ll be getting powerful onion phytochemicals, vitamin C in the peppers and tomatoes and lutein from the spinach, all reinforcing each other with health-protection benefits. They’re a fresh change from bottled pasta sauce. Topped with fresh basil and Parmesan, this dish is a tasty and low-calorie way to welcome the spring.

Find more cancer-fighting recipes and information about National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.


Mammograms: Putting Headlines in Context

As an organization that focuses on helping people reduce their risk and survive cancer, we’re getting a lot of questions about a major study released this week on mammograms. And if you’ve read about the study questioning the benefits of mammograms, there’s a good chance you’re confused.mammogram_dreamstime_xs_21847816

The Canadian study involving about 90,000 women ages 40-59 was published this week in the British Medical Journal. The study spanned 25 years and during that time about half the women received regular mammograms and annual breast exams; the other half only had the breast exams.

The study found that whether the women received regular mammograms or not, a similar number of women died from breast cancer over the years.

The value of regular mammogram screening has been controversial for awhile– five years ago the United States Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) changed its guidelines, recommending that regular mammogram screening begin at age 50 every two years rather than age 40 every year. As we wrote at that time, AICR’s recommendations relate to the prevention of cancer through diet, weight and physical activity; for screenings, like mammography, AICR’s materials rely on the National Cancer Institute recommendations.

Your own decision about mammography is best made in consultation with your health care provider who can help you weigh the risks and benefits based on your history and personal risk factors.

For more on the study and perspectives from other organizations, here’s a CNN article.

For prevention, AICR’s expert report and it’s continuous updates have found that lifestyle matters. There are specific steps you can take to lower your risk for breast cancers.  For postmenopausal breast cancers, for example:

  • aim to be physically active at least 30 minutes every day,
  • get to and stay a healthy weight
  • avoid alcoholic beverages or if you do drink, limit to 1 drink a day.

AICR estimates that about 38% of breast cancer cases – about 90,000 every year – in the U.S. could be prevented by following those recommendations.

Learn more about the research on reducing risk for breast and other cancers.