Study: Drinking Coffee Links to Lower Melanoma Risk

Melanoma is one of the most common cancers in the US and is the leading cause of skin cancer death. The National Cancer Institute estimates there will be 74,000 new cases in 2015. Currently, the only established lifestyle risk factor for this disease is exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR), primarily from sun and tanning beds.Coffee still life

Now, a new analysis from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study links coffee drinking with lower risk for the most aggressive form of melanoma. The study used data from 1/2 million non-Hispanic whites who were cancer-free and aged 50-71 when the study began in 1995.

The researchers looked at participants’ daily coffee intake – none; one cup or less; 2-3 cups or 4 or more cups. They found that those drinking 4 or more cups of coffee a day had a 20% lower risk for the aggressive type of melanoma – called malignant melanoma – compared to non-coffee drinkers. Then, they looked at whether participants drank decaf or caffeinated coffee. They did not find a significant difference in malignant melanoma risk for decaf drinkers compared to non-drinkers, but for those who drank regular coffee, there was a 25% lower risk compared to non-coffee consumers. Continue reading

Cancer cases increasing in low-income countries, many preventable

Low and middle income countries are now facing rising numbers of breast, colorectal and other common cancers, finds a new study, due in part to increases in obesity, inactivity and smoking around the world. The United States and other high-income countries continue to have the highest cancer rates, but rates have stabilized here.

Today, 1 in 3 premature deaths of all noncommunicable diseases are from cancer.

Today, 1 in 3 premature deaths of all noncommunicable diseases are from cancer.

The study, published today in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, shows a disturbing trend around the world, where many countries have adopted a lifestyle once attributed primarily to the US and other Western countries. AICR estimates that here in the US, about one-third of cancers are preventable if everyone was to be a healthy weight, be active and eat a healthy diet.

Using estimates from the International Agency for Cancer Research and other registries, the study pulled together incidence and mortality for several common cancers around the world. Among the findings described are:

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death among women worldwide. Incidence increased by about 30 percent in western countries between 1980 and the late 1990s, then these slowed or plateaued since the early 2000s. In Brazil, Uganda and other  low to middle-income countries, rates of this cancer continue to increase. The causes of these increases are not completely understood. Continue reading

First Peach Fossils Found – Why We Love This Ancient Fruit

2.6 million year old peach fossils found in Kunming City in the Yunnan province of southwestern China.

Last week a team of scientists published an article in Scientific Reports with evidence that peaches existed before humans. The recently discovered peach fossils date back 2.6 million years and give new insight into the origins of this popular fruit. (Modern humans date back about 200,000 years.)

Here at AICR, we love peaches – along with other fruits – because they are part of a cancer-protective diet. They are also loved for their sweetness and versatility. But there is a lot more to know about the mighty peach.

Here are 5 fun facts about peaches.

They originated in China. According to the new research, fossils that date back to the late Pliocene Epoch were found in the southwestern region of China and are nearly identical to the peaches of today. It is thought that these early peaches would have been food for primates long before humans arrived. Farming practices such as selective breeding have led to larger and new varieties of peaches but for the most part peaches have not changed in millions of years.

They are part of a cancer protective diet. Diets high in fruit such as peaches are linked to decreased risk of multiple cancers including those of the stomach, lung, and mouth. And the fiber in these sweet gems is linked to lower risk of colorectal cancer. A cup of peaches has 17% of your daily vitamin C needs. Foods containing vitamin C link to lower risk of esophageal cancer. Continue reading