Friday Quiz: Test Your Cancer Prevention Knowledge

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Have you been reading our blog lately? We’ve posted some exciting research reports and interviews with researchers from our conference as well as information about the weekly Health-e-Recipe. Take the quiz and then link to the related blog postings from the answers below.

1.  What are SOFAS?

a.            Furniture you sit on to watch TV; couches
b.            Stretch Out For Activity Sessions
c.            Solid Fats and Added Sugar

2.  What amount of broccoli sprouts contains the level of sulforaphane used in lab studies that led to epigenetic changes resulting in reduced telomerase in cells?

a.            5 cups
b.            1 cup
c.            2 Tablespoons

3.            True or False.  If you haven’t been active or eaten a healthy diet by the time you’re 70, it’s too late to do anything to lower your cancer risk.

4.            True or False.  The bacteria that live in our gut may play a role in cancer prevention.

5.            True or False:  Some day there may be dietary guidelines for preventing DNA damage.

6.            AICR’s Health-e-Recipe this week contains what healthy food(s)?

a.            Almonds
b.            Figs
c.            Both

7.  True or False:  Sedentary behavior may increase cancer risk.

Keep reading for answers and click on answer to read the original post:

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Couch Potatoes and Cancer Risk

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At the AICR Research Conference last week, there was a lot of talk on the evidence linking physical activity to improving the health of cancer survivors. For several cancers, including breast and colon, a growing number of studies suggest that physical activity can help reduce risk of recurrence and improve many aspects of survivor’s physiological and psychological health.

But if being physically active can decrease cancer risk, can sitting around a lot – a.k.a. sedentary behavior – increase risk? It’s quite possible, suggests a new review article. The article was published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, and you can read the abstract here.

Sedentary behavior research is an emerging field of study. In research, the term sedentary behavior refers to prolonged sitting or lying down, such as playing computer games or watching TV for hours at a time.  If a woman exercises vigorously for 60 minutes every day then watches TV all night every night, she is exhibiting sedentary behavior.

The review found that 10 of 18 studies linked increased sedentary behavior to cancer risk. Sedentary behavior was linked with increased colorectal, endometrial, ovarian, and prostate cancer risk; cancer mortality in women; and weight gain in colorectal cancer survivors.

AICR’s expert report and its updates found that sedentary living increased the risk of excess body fat, which is one cause of seven types of cancer. Right now, more research is needed to understand the links and mechanisms of not moving and cancer risk, but one thing is known: moving more is a good thing. Physical activity helps prevent several cancers and a host of other poor health outcomes.

For tips on being active, look on adding activity to your day.

If you have a tip of your own, please share.

Cautious Optimism for Survivorship Findings at AICR Afternoon Session

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Moving more every day in any way is an important component to cancer survival.

At the Diet, Physical Activity and Survivorship session of AICR’s annual meeting, leading researchers pointed to the latest developments in lifestyle changes that might affect risk and death from major cancers. Catherine M. Alfano of the National Cancer Institute stressed the desire of cancer survivors, now numbering more than 12 million in the US, to “take control and actively participate” in beating cancer.

In breast cancer, physical activity has been studied most and found to have an impact on preventing recurrence and improving quality of life, as well as reducing negative side-effects of treatment.

Human trials looking at the impact of physical activity, diet and obesity on other kinds of cancers are sorely needed — as borne out by evidence presented by Jeffrey Meyerhardt, Ph.D, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, who noted that studies linking physical activity with preventing colon cancer have shown clear results, but design of studies on survivors have varied.

Finding evidence on recurrence and mortality is more complex, Dr. Meyerhardt said, such as in looking into the various stages of colon cancer diagnosis, so these studies must be large and long-term, accumulating data over decades.

Prostate cancer and physical activity also has not been adequately studied, although presenter Edward Giovanucci, MD, of Harvard University said that being active before diagnosis is best, and that vigorous activity seemed to help survivors in the later stages of prostate cancer. He noted that brisk walking (3 miles an hour or more) for at least 7 hours per week did seem to have a positive effect in a small study of prostate cancer survivors. As for obesity, studies so far do not show an effect on survival from prostate cancer, but they may affect screening and treatment effectiveness, which may in turn affect survival of this cancer. A low-fat diet also seems to help survival rates.

The presenters emphasized the many health benefits of a physically active and prudent-diet lifestyle besides the likely cancer prevention and survival benefits, including lower risk for diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health problems — in other words it’s smart to make healthy changes while we are still healthy so that even after a cancer diagnosis, we are more likely to survive.