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.
For those who have had possible precancerous growths removed from their colon/rectum — common among adults — taking vitamin D and/or calcium supplements does not reduce the risk of developing further growths, finds a randomized study reported in the New England Journal Of Medicine. The multi-year trial adds to the evidence that supplements do not protect against colorectal cancers.
While there are many reasons to take supplements, AICR recommends not to rely on supplements for cancer protection.
The 2,259 people in this study all had colorectal abnormal growths, called adenomas or polyps. Some of these growths on the lining of the colon or rectum could eventually lead to colorectal cancer, which is why they are commonly removed.
Within four months of having the polyps removed, the participants (who were 45 to 75 years old) were placed into a group where he/she took a daily dietary supplement of vitamin D, calcium, both or neither. The study was blinded so neither the researchers nor participants knew what they were taking. And when they joined the study, everyone had normal levels of calcium or vitamin D. Continue reading
Although not smoking is by far the best way to reduce your risk of lung cancer, about 1 in 5 women who get lung cancer are nonsmokers according to the National Cancer Institute.
Little is currently known about the role of nutrition in preventing lung cancer in female nonsmokers, but research recently published in the International Journal of Cancer suggests that getting enough vitamin E from foods may lower risk for nonsmoking women, especially those exposed to secondhand smoke. However, vitamin E supplements may increase lung cancer risk in these groups.
This study’s authors used data from 65,000 Chinese women who had never smoked and followed them for an average of 12 years to see if they developed lung cancer. They found that women who consumed enough vitamin E from foods to meet Chinese guidelines at the start of the study had a lower risk of developing lung cancer compared to women who did not consume enough vitamin E. Continue reading