Attending AICR’s Annual Research Conference is a little like standing under a waterfall—it’s hard to drink it all in. That’s because the Conference brings together some of the world’s leading researchers in cancer prevention, treatment, and survivorship, and provides them the opportunity to share their research, passion, and experiences, all in one place.
What did I learn from the conference? A lot. But if I were to sum it up in a short list, I would include these three takeaway messages:
1. Preparation matters. How I prepare my food is more important than I thought. Gently steaming broccoli and other crucifers; chopping or blending carotenoid-containing fruits and vegetables; and slow-cooking meat can make a difference in reducing my cancer risk.
This article from Health has more information about the research presented on the role of food preparation techniques in reducing cancer risk. Continue reading
For cancer prevention, the evidence is pretty clear: vitamins, minerals and other supplements alone don’t work. Not relying on supplements is one of AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention — a recommendation made after analyzing the global research.
Now a review of the research supports this conclusion, finding that many popular supplements do not protect against both cancer and heart disease, the two leading causes of death in America. At least among healthy individuals. And some supplements may possibly cause harm among certain groups of people. The report was published by the US Preventive Task Force, an update to their 2003 report with similar findings.
The analysis reviewed all the new evidence since the last report, collecting only “good quality” studies. At the end of it, there were 26 new studies.
Yesterday at our research conference, one popular session focused on bone health for cancer survivors. More than 40 million adults in the US have or are at high risk for osteoporosis, a bone weakening disease.
Often due to some cancer therapies, survivors are at higher risk for bone loss and osteoporosis than the general population.
Breast and prostate cancer treatments may cause low estrogen or androgen levels, two hormones important for strong bones.
Between sessions, I talked with several oncology dietitians about how they work with survivors on bone health in their centers and clinics. While not unanimous, most RDs said their patients are very aware of their increased risk for bone loss and receive DEXA screening — a test for bone mineral density — and treatment, including diet and lifestyle prescriptions as well as appropriate medications. Continue reading