Preventing Endometrial Cancer: Talking with Elisa Bandera

The new AICR/World Cancer Research Fund report on preventing endometrial cancer was published today – the report found obesity, coffee, and activity links to risk. The report analyzed the global research on diet, activity, and weight to the risk of endometrial cancer. Here, Elisa Bandera, MD, PhD, the panel lead of this CUP report and an epidemiologist at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, talks about the report’s findings and what it means.Bandera_Elisa_small

Q: This is the first systematic update of the research on lifestyle and endometrial cancer risk since 2007. Overall, what’s new here?

A: For the update, we now have more prospective data for dietary factors and interesting associations emerged with coffee consumption and glycemic load. Coffee consumption was associated with reduced risk while glycemic load increased risk. There is also growing evidence that longer sitting time increases endometrial cancer risk.

Q: But the research for sitting time – sedentary livingwas not strong enough to make a conclusion.

A: There were only three studies at this time but they all suggested increased risk. We could not be certain based on the limited data that the association was independent of BMI. However, sitting time has been emerging as an important risk factor for other cancers, independent of physical activity. In other words, it is not sufficient to go to the gym three times a week. We have to remember to get up out of our chairs and move and avoid extended period of sittings in front of the television or the computer.

Q: How much more research is there now on endometrial cancer prevention compared to the last report?

A: There are more studies, but particularly more prospective studies evaluating dietary factors, which were lacking in the first report.  Still, only few prospective studies have evaluated some of the dietary exposures and endometrial cancer risk compared to the number of studies that have evaluated them in relation to breast or colorectal cancers.

Q: Why is having prospective data so important?

A: The previous report’s conclusions were based on mainly findings from case-control studies, which are generally considered weaker than cohort or prospective studies. Continue reading


More Moving, Less Sitting May Protect Cancer Survivors from Premature Death

Evidence is clear that physical activity lowers the risk of getting colorectal Sneakers_dreamstime_14295723cancer. But for those who are diagnosed with this cancer, a new study suggests that survivors who spend more time walking and less time sitting – both before and after diagnosis – may have a longer life.

The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology this week.

Study researchers used data from participants who were part of a large cancer prevention study that started in 1992. Fifteen years later, almost 2,300 of the participants were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. When they entered the study and after the cancer diagnosis, participants filled out questionnaires about how active they were and how much time they spent sitting per week. Continue reading


Study: Every Step You Take Makes You Healthier

We’ve all heard the advice to find ways to be more active during the day: Take the stairs instead of the elevator; park in a spot far away from the store entrance to walk a little farther; or get off the bus one stop early and walk to your destination.Higher Level

While it is relatively easy to make these changes, do you ever wonder if they really make a meaningful difference for your health? I know I do. I always take the stairs, but it just doesn’t feel as important as putting on my sneakers and heading out the door for a planned brisk walk or run. Turns out it is.

A new study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion reminded me that literally every step I take during the day really does make me healthier.

The study’s results showed that people who met the physical activity guidelines (at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week) had similar health outcomes regardless of whether they achieved it using a structured exercise approach (10 minutes or more of exercise at a time) or an active lifestyle approach (less than 10 minutes of exercise at a time). The authors looked at several positive health outcomes associated with activity, such as total cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference. Continue reading