One of the most common questions we get here at AICR is about sugar. And it can be confusing. The overall body of evidence suggests that sugar’s link to cancer risk is an indirect one: diets high in sugar can lead to obesity, and excess body fat is a cause of ten different cancers.
But now comes a study performed in mice that is getting a lot of media attention. It suggests a more direct link between sugar consumption and breast cancer development. Published in Cancer Research, the study is interesting, says AICR Vice President of Research Susan Higginbotham, PhD, RD, “but it’s important to recognize, that this is a single study and it is testing diets in mice, not in people.”
“Our reports, which have reviewed thousands of studies on diet and cancer, have found no evidence that sugar or added sugar directly causes cancer in humans. “We recommend limiting energy-dense foods and avoiding sugary drinks, but current evidence suggests it is not necessary to avoid sugar altogether.”
Bad diet, inactivity, smoking and drinking alcohol – all are among the causes of up to 90 percent of cancers, according to a new analysis that stresses how many cases of cancer are under our control.
This paper, published in Nature, is in stark opposition to the paper out earlier this year. Published in Science, that paper found that the majority of cancer cases were caused by “bad luck,” our cells going awry without much people could do to control them. At that time, we pointed out some key flaws with their analysis.
This study used the same premise and a lot of the same data as the Science article to reach a different conclusion: lifestyle makes a difference when it comes to cancer risk.
Here at AICR, where we focus on how diet, physical activity and body fat link to cancer, a wide and consistent body of evidence shows that these factors make a difference. One third of the most common cancers can be prevented with diet, staying lean, and being active.
How can bariatric surgery and a mom’s smartphone link to reduced cancer risk?
These studies were among the winners of the AICR research poster competition, announced yesterday at the annual Obesity Week conference. Obesity is associated with increased risk of a number of cancers, including ovarian, endometrial, and colorectal. The winners, awarded support by AICR, included three early investigators and two student prizes.
In no particular order, here are highlights of this year’s winners for outstanding posters. Congratulations to all. Note: these poster findings are not yet published and have not yet gone through the peer-reviewed process.
Ǻsa Anveden, MD PhD — University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Bariatric surgery is one obesity-treatment option and previous research suggests decreased risk of cancer following surgery. This surgery may reduce the risk of cancer in obese women, suggests the finding of this study.