According to a new report published in the journal Cancer, the number of deaths in the United States from colon cancer could drop significantly in the next decade due to improved screening and treatment. In the past 10 years, the death rate has dropped 20% according to the report. By 2020, the researchers predict, the death rate will be one half of what it was in 2000.
This is good news, but colon cancer is one of the most preventable cancers according to David S. Alberts, MD . Diet and physical activity play an important role in lowering cancer risk and Dr. Alberts believes this is a message everyone should hear.
AICR’s expert report showed convincing evidence that consumption of processed meat, high amounts of red meat, body fatness and alcohol are causes of colorectal cancer. Physical activity was shown convincingly to reduce risk of colon cancer. Foods containing fiber and certain vegetables may also decrease risk for colorectal cancer.
AICR recommends that Americans focus on incorporating healthy habits to lower their risk for developing cancer. Eating a mostly plant-based diet, limiting red meat to less than 18 oz per week, exercising at least 30 minutes daily and maintaining a healthy weight are ways to reduce risk for cancer as well as other chronic diseases.
Could more exercise make you smarter? Yes, according to a large population study that showed a positive association between cardiovascular fitness and cognitive performance.
The authors looked at information from more than 1 million men from Sweden born between 1950 and 1976. They analyzed the physical activity and intelligence measures in these men at age 15 and again at age 18. Improved cardiovascular fitness at age 18 was associated with improvements in logical, verbal and other aspects of intelligence.
These results held even after adjusting for genetics and shared environment. The authors caution that since only men were included in the study, the results might not be applicable to women.
So, whether you want to get better grades, wow your boss, or just feel better, AICR has some ideas to help you start and maintain your physical activity this holiday season.
Check out these creative ideas from AICR’s December E-news articles:
AICR’s expert panel found convincing evidence that physical activity decreases risk for colon cancer, probably decreases risk for post menopausal breast cancer and cancer of the endometrium. Check our earlier blog postings from the AICR Research Conference on physical activity – how it impacts cancer prevention and survival and how we can improve our sedentary habits.
This beautiful picture of a translucent sea cucumber — released last week by the Census of Marine Life and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution – reminded me of some interesting research presented at AICR’s conference.
The lab research, presented in a poster session, found that a compound in sea cucumber decreased the growth of breast cancer tumors in mice and decreased cancer growth in cells. Previous lab studies have found that this same sea cucumber compound — called Frondoside A – inhibited the growth of human pancreatic cancer cells.
The research is still only in the laboratory phase but if you want to try a new seafood, look for dried sea cucumbers in Asian markets. (Sea cucumber are a common delicacy in many Asian dishes.)
Sea cucumbers are pretty fascinating. They are generally cucumber-shaped and there’s over 1,000 different species of them. To escape predators, sea cucumbers can jettison some of their internal organs, and then grow them back again.
You can see more newly-identified deep-sea organisms here.
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American Institute for Cancer Research
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