The Cancer Prevention Deal: Nurturing Nature

Your genes are not your medical destiny.

Dr. David Katz

With relatively uncommon exception, that is the rule established by ground-breaking research published over recent years, and nicely illustrated by a 2008 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. That rule could, and perhaps should, remake the way you play the game of life.

The illustrative trial was a pilot study of 30 men with early stage prostate cancer who were eligible to be observed carefully for disease progression without undergoing surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. These men were enrolled into a trial called GEMINAL, developed and implemented by my friend, Dr. Dean Ornish, and his colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco.

The study took advantage of often indolent prostate cancer to assess the effects of a lifestyle intervention, without the confounding influences of medical or surgical cancer treatments. The men participating in the GEMINAL study received a lifestyle intervention: low-fat, whole foods, plant-based nutrition; stress management techniques; moderate exercise; and participation in a psychosocial support group. The study lasted three months. Continue reading


When You Lose Weight, Where Does it Go?

If you’re carrying a few extra pounds, you probably know that losing weight will lower your risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. When you lose weight, yfat-cellsour fat doesn’t just disappear. But do you know where it goes?

If you’re stumped, don’t feel bad—the authors of a recently published paper asked 150 family doctors, dietitians, and personal trainers the same question and found that most of them got the answer wrong.

The most common answer given was that fat is converted to energy, but the authors point out that this violates the law of conservation of mass, one of the fundamental laws of chemistry.  Other misconceptions were that fat is converted to muscle or broken down and excreted in the feces. Continue reading


Coffee One Way to Cut Endometrial Cancer Risk

Coffee lovers are likely enjoying a new study finding that coffee lowers risk for endometrial cancer, with the drink being almost the lone dietary factor linked to risk. The study was a large one and it’s coffee findings are similar to those of AICR’s report released last year.22007913_s

That’s certainly good news for coffee lovers, but whether you do or don’t enjoy coffee, the beverage is only one of several ways you can protect yourself against endometrial cancer.

The study, published in this month’s Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, looked at 84 foods and/or nutrients related to endometrial cancer risk. Study researchers first investigated the link among about 300,000 women participants of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). Women had filled out questionnaires about what they ate and other lifestyle habits, and then they were tracked for endometrial diagnosis or death. This led to 10 factors linked to either increased or decreased risk, including coffee, total fat, butter, and cheese.

Then the researchers looked at how these factors linked to 155,000 women who were in two US studies, the Nurses’ Health Studies I and II. These women had also had answered questions about diet and other factors. Continue reading