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


Study: Children of Older Parents with Cancer at Risk (& Reducing that Risk)

In a finding that underscores the importance of making lifestyle choices that can reduce cancer risk, a layoung people with childrenrge new study now suggests that even when parents are diagnosed with a cancer at an older age the child is still at increased risk of that cancer.

The paper is published online today at BMJ.

We focus on preventing cancer here but there are factors that increase our risk of cancer none of us can avoid, such as our age and our genes. For many cancers, having a parent diagnosed with that cancer increases the cancer risk for the child.

For this study, the researchers pulled information from a Swedish database that includes over 8 million Swedes born after 1931 and their parents. They looked at cancer diagnosis of parents and their children, from newborns to ages 76, and from the years 1961 to 2008. Continue reading