New AICR/WCRF Report: Obesity Increases Ovarian Cancer Risk

obesity-and-cancer

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A new report we’ve released today suggests that staying a healthy weight may offer women a relatively modest — but significant — protection against ovarian cancer, one of the most deadly cancers for women.

The findings of AICR/WCRF’s latest Continuous Update Project report, Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Ovarian Cancer, means that ovarian cancer now joins the list of cancers linked to obesity. Research now shows that excess body fat links to increased risk of  eight cancers, including postmenopausal breast, colorectal and pancreatic.

For the report, scientists analyzed all relevant studies that investigated ovarian cancer’s link to diet, physical activity and weight. There were 25 studies related to weight, including four million women.

The report concluded that every five increments of BMI increased women’s risk 6 percent. That risk started on the high end of overweight, towards the obesity category, which starts at a BMI of 30. That means for two women both 5 feet 5 inches tall with all other factors equal, the woman weighing 200 pounds would be at 6 percent higher risk of developing ovarian cancer than her counterpart at 170 pounds. Continue reading


New Nutrition Label, New Tool for Cancer Prevention

In the next couple of years, it may be easier to know whether your packaged food choice is a cancer fighter or an empty calorie bust.

Proposed Nutrition Facts Label

Proposed Nutrition Facts Label

The FDA unveiled their proposed Nutrition Facts Label and the emphasis is clearly on calories, added sugar and serving sizes. That’s important, because eating too many calories means weight gain, and consuming sugary drinks is strongly linked with weight gain, overweight and obesity.

And, 117,000 cases of cancer every year are caused by obesity in the U.S., so anything that shines a light on how much we are actually eating is a step in the right direction.

To be clear, many of the best cancer-fighting foods don’t have labels on them. Think tomatoes, carrots, apples, squash, blueberries, leafy greens and any fruit or vegetable in the produce section. But in many grocery aisles, you may need some help with choosing foods like soups, yogurt and cereals.

Here are 3 ways the new label will help you choose cancer fighters:

1.            Big, Bold Calories: It’s the first thing that you see –no confusion about how many calories you’re getting. You will need to know how to put calories in context, though. But if you know you’re aiming for about 1600 calories per day, for example, a snack that packs more than 200 calories may help you put that food back on the shelf.

Eat so that you can get to and stay a healthy weight – it is the most important thing you can do to lower cancer risk (after not smoking). Continue reading


Cancer Prevention: Not Sexy or Hot

One of the most common responses when I tell people the most important things they can do to prevent cancer, based on the scientific evidence, is that the things seem so simple or obvious.Healthy lifestyle concept, Diet and fitness

Maintain a healthy weight. Be physically active. Use sunscreen and sun protective clothing when you can’t choose to be in the shade. Practice safe sex to avoid sexually transmitted infections. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose to spend time in places free of secondhand smoke. Quit smoking if you smoke.

They do sound like health tips. They aren’t sexy or “hot” or “new” like it would be to talk about plastics, pesticides, lotions and the like. But here’s the thing… while we still have plenty of work to do to explore the role those factors might play in cancer, we KNOW that the things above matter. We know that if we implemented those things and a few others, we could prevent at least HALF of all cancers. Continue reading