What I Learned at the AICR Annual Research Conference

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 bigstock-Gmo-Food-11014355survivorship, 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


Healthy Weight, Diet, and Ovarian Cancer Survival

Ovarian cancer is among the most deadly women’s cancers. That’s because its symptoms, such as abdominal bloating, are difficult to diagnose until it has progressed to a late stage. Only 44 percent of ovarian cancer survivors live 5 years past diagnosis.

Unveiling #1 - Covered & ConfidentBut results of a new study of post-menopausal women in the Women’s Health Initiative trial unveiled this week at our research conference associate higher diet quality index score in combination with physical activity with greater survival after diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Researchers at the University of Arizona Cancer Center presented these results in a poster at our conference.

The results are not yet published and has not yet gone through the peer-reviewed process.

Study author Tracy Crane, MS, RD, said of the  study, “This secondary analysis supports the ongoing LIVES study, the largest-ever randomized controlled trial (RTC) to investigate the effects of diet, weight and physical activity on ovarian cancer survival.”

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From the Field: Working with Survivors for Stronger Bones

dreamstime_xs_12022463Yesterday 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