Research news and views on preventing and surviving cancer
Author: Christine Sardo Molmenti
Christine L. Sardo Molmenti, PhD, MPH is Assistant Professor and Cancer Epidemiologist in the Department of Occupational Medicine, Epidemiology and Prevention at the Northwell Health. Her research is focused on the primary and secondary prevention of colorectal cancer through screening/early detection and lifestyle.
When you read that you can lose weight by drinking red wine, that’s a statement that you should interpret cautiously.
The headlines on red wine and weight loss stemmed from a recent animal study investigating the effects of a purified form of the phytochemical resveratrol on preventing obesity and related complications. The authors determined that resveratrol converts a type of fat called white adipose tissue into brown fat, which is a more metabolically active (and energy-burning) type of fat that can lead to weight loss.
So why the leap to red wine in recent headlines? Resveratrol is primarily concentrated in grapes and a limited number of other foods such as peanuts and some berries. And red wine makes a catchy headline.
Half of cancers – one of every two cases – can be prevented and so often it’s about applying what we already know. That was the simple but powerful message at the first Cancer Prevention Summit held by the New York State Department I attended last week. The overarching message of the Summit was simple: 50% of cancers can be prevented and in New York State, where approximately 35,000 people die from cancer each year, primary cancer prevention is an urgent public health priority.
Experts spoke about vaccinating against HPV and preventing tobacco use, two major causes of cancers. What fewer people may know is there are concrete things that we can do to reduce our risk. Maintaining a healthy weight, engaging in regular physical activity, and eating well can prevent approximately one of three of the most common cancers.
Summit highlights included:
Shift the discussion to the notion that “cancer is preventable.” Begin to focus effort and awareness on risk reduction through modifiable lifestyle habits. This includes eating a predominantly plant-based diet, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, using sunscreen, participating in cancer screening, and avoiding tobacco use and heavy alcohol. Read more… “Cancer Prevention Begins at Your Kitchen Table: Transforming the Cancer Agenda”
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American Institute for Cancer Research
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