New Study: Soy Lowers Nonsmokers’ Lung Cancer Risk

We all know by now that the best way to prevent lung cancer is to not smoke or use any tobacco products. But about ten to fifteen percent of nonsmokers still get lung cancer, a disease that accounts for more deaths than any other cancer type.

For nonsmokers, eating high amounts of tofu, edamame and other soy foods may lower their risk, finds a new study along with an analysis of the research.

The study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Study researchers first looked at the diet of approximately 71,000 women who were part of a health study in China. Almost all the women – 97 percent – didn’t smoke. The women answered questions about their typical diet at the start of the study and again two to three years later. They also gave information on their exposure to secondhand smoke and medical history.

After an average of nine years, the study found that women who consumed the most soy foods had almost 40 percent lower risk of lung cancer compared with those who ate the least amounts. This was after taking into account age, other dietary factors and smoking. (Of the 370 women diagnosed with lung cancer during those nine years, all but 30 had never previously smoked.) Continue reading


More for Men’s Health Month: Simple Changes for Prevention

Last week on our blog, Dr. Kate Wolin talked about screening for preventing two of the leading causes of cancer deaths in men. Guys, in addition to screenings there’s more you can do: Take charge and reduce your cancer risk (and other chronic diseases) before and after you go for those screenings.

Here’s how:

  • Get moving. Physical activity reduces risk for colorectal cancer and it’s a lot more fun than a colonoscopy. Dust off the old tennis racquet, invest in a good pair of running shoes or take the family to the park and break out the Frisbee and football.
  • Eat more fruit. Watermelon, red grapefruit and guavas (also tomatoes, especially sauce and juice) are great choices because they contain a carotenoid called lycopene. Foods with lycopene can help reduce risk of prostate cancer. And fruits in general help lower risk for lung and oral cancers.
  • Lose the Spare Tire.  Too much body fat ups your risk for colorectal, esophageal, kidney, pancreatic and gallbladder cancers. And, that expanding waist adds risk for some cancers and for type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Start with one change, like cutting your sugary beverages in half or filling half your plate with non-starchy vegetables first (think carrots, spinach or bell peppers). Then add a new healthy eating challenge each week. For ideas check out our 12-week New American Plate Challenge program.
  • Be Smart about Alcohol. Too much beer, wine or liquor and you’ve added more risk for colorectal, oral, esophageal and liver cancers. If you drink, limit yourself to no more than 2 drinks a day.

Whether you’re a dad, uncle, grandfather, son or nephew, taking care of yourself means you’re more likely to be able to take care of those who depend on you better and longer. Just a few simple steps can make all the difference.

Learn more about preventing cancer here.


For Men’s Health Week: Screening for Prevention

Today starts Men’s Health Week and it is actually a great time for cancer prevention for men. You might not think so with all the controversy surrounding PSA testing, but we are making enormous leaps in the ability to detect cancers early when they are most treatable in two of the leading causes of cancer death in men – lung and colorectal.

Colorectal Cancer. We’ve had great screening options for colon and rectal cancers for years. Depending on your preferences and a conversation with your physician as to which test is best for you, there are three evidence-based approaches to colorectal cancer screening: fecal occult blood testing (FOBT or stool test), colonoscopy and flexible sigmoidoscopy.

1. FOBT is a non-invasive test that needs to be done every one to two years. If your FOBT test comes back positive (for blood), your doctor will send you for diagnostic testing, which is done via colonoscopy.

2. Colonoscopy can be both a screening test and a diagnostic test. In a colonoscopy, the entire colon and rectum are examined using a lighted scope. Precancerous and cancerous lesions can be biopsied and removed during the test. Colonoscopy typically requires some form of sedation and a thorough cleansing of the colon. Continue reading