Last month I spoke on obesity and cancer prevention at a conference focused on medical innovations. The attendees were highly educated leaders – executives, investors, clinicians and entrepreneurs – deeply involved in all aspects of the healthcare and medical field.
So I was surprised – whenever I explained my topic – at the many times I heard: “I didn’t realize there’s a link between obesity and cancer.” I had expected these medical leaders and innovators to know about the obesity-cancer link. We know overweight and obesity is a cause of 117,000 cases of cancer every year in the U.S. But this lack of awareness is not unusual.
AICR’s most recent cancer risk awareness survey found that fewer than half of Americans know about that link. The survey participants identified pesticide residue on produce and cancer genes as causes of cancer far more often than obesity. Yet, obesity is second only to smoking as the most important risk for cancer in the U.S. Continue reading
Are you ever in a hunt for something in the grocery store, say a new energy bar, and find yourself choosing the bar whose box is emptier? A recent study published in the journal Appetite suggests that you are not alone: we may be more influenced by the food choices of those around us, than we are aware.
The study included a series of tests that focused on how common it is for people to conform to the eating habits of others, both directly and indirectly.
To begin one experiment, the researchers used a group of 144 people at a local bakery. They placed a bowl of individually wrapped chocolate candies near the ordering counter for customers to take at their leisure. About half of the customers entered the bakery when wrappers were left in the bowl and the other customers visited when there were no wrappers left in the bowl. The customers who passed the ordering counter saw an empty bowl next to the bowl of candy; the other customers saw a bowl with empty wrappers next to the bowl of candy.
You may know that being a healthy weight and exercising can cut your risk of breast cancer, but understanding how to translate these recommendations into action is one of the “critical gaps” in research that can save lives, finds a new study published in Breast Cancer Research.
The study, which comes at the start of Breast Cancer Awareness month, identifies ten critical gaps in breast cancer research. The authors include more than 100 experts.
Developing interventions and support to improve breast cancer survivors’ health and well-being is another gap in the research. Other critical areas where more research is needed include genetics, molecular markers, treatment and tailored screening and survivorship materials. Convincing clinicians to shift their practice into prevention is another area that needs work, according to the study.
You can read all ten gaps the authors identify in the paper.
As the study points out, when it comes to lifestyle change for breast cancer prevention, there remain many unknowns. We don’t know the relative affect of lifestyle changes on lowering the risk of different types of breast cancers, such as ER negative or ER positive. Does the effect of eating habits depend upon whether you are 15 years old or 50? And how many years do these lifestyle interventions offer protection? Continue reading