Sport-Caught Fish Linked to Breast Cancer
People who catch and consume lake fish may significantly increase their risk of developing breast cancer, according to a new study from the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center. Researchers used telephone interviews with 1,481 women, ages 20 to 69, who were newly diagnosed with the disease, comparing them to a control group of 1,301 women. The most alarming increases were found in premenopausal women under 40: those who ate sport-caught fish had nearly double the risk of developing breast cancer; those who ate Great Lakes sport-caught fish had a 74 percent greater risk. Halogenated hydrocarbons (PCBs, DDT, and PBDFs), which concentrate in fish, are thought to be the cause.
McElroy JA, Kanarek MS, Trentham-Dietz A, et al. Potential exposure to PCBs, DDT, and PBDEs from sport-caught fish consumption in relation to breast cancer risk in Wisconsin. Environ Health Perspec. 2004;112; A112.
Moderate Exercise Prevents Cancer, Ups Survival
At the 95th annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, researchers reported that getting modest amounts of exercise, even half-hour daily walks, substantially improved survival rates for women who had breast cancer. The study followed more than 2,000 women for 16 years, finding that women who walked between three and eight hours per week cut their risk of dying by as much as half.
A separate study found that exercise helped women lower their risk for developing endometrial cancer by one third. It included 832 women in China, where endometrial cancer has doubled since the 1970s. Women who reported exercise participation in both adolescence and adulthood were 30 to 40 percent less likely to develop endometrial cancer than women who reported no exercise in either life period.
Cancer Promoters in Meat
New data strengthen past findings that carcinogens that form when meat is cooked are responsible for raising rectal cancer risk. University of Utah researchers studied 952 men and women with cancer and 1,205 healthy participants from 1997 to 2002, looking at medical history, dietary habits, and blood and DNA characteristics. Consumption of white meat cooked at high temperatures (fried, broiled, baked, or barbecued) and well-done red meat was associated with increased risk of rectal cancer among men, suggesting that carcinogenic compounds, such as heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that form during cooking are to blame for part of the correlation between meat intake and cancer risk.
Murtaugh MA, Ma K, Sweeney C, Caan BJ, Slattery ML. Meat consumption patterns and preparation, genetic variants of metabolic enzymes, and their association with rectal cancer in men and women. J Nutr. 2004;134:776-784.
Risk Tied to Animal Protein
A new study links animal protein to a form of cancer. Researchers at Yale University School of Medicine studied 60 cancer patients and 717 healthy controls living in Connecticut from 1995 to 2001. Those consuming the most animal protein had higher rates of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Increased risk was observed with higher intakes of eggs and dairy products, while dietary fiber, vegetables, and fruits appeared to protect against the disease.
Zheng T, Holford TR, Leaderer B, et al. Diet and nutrient intakes and risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in Connecticut women. Am J Epidemiol. 2004;159:454-466.
Vegetable Fiber Protects against Prostate Cancer
Men who eat more vegetables have lower rates of prostate cancer, according to research from the International Journal of Cancer. Between 1991 and 2002, researchers in Italy distributed diet and lifestyle questionnaires to 1,294 men with prostate cancer and 1,451 men without the disease, ages 46 to 74. Unlike previous studies, the new survey broke down fiber intake according to type and source. Men who consumed the most vegetable fiber were 18 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who ate the least.
Pelucchi C, Talamini R, Galeone C, et al. Fibre intake and prostate cancer risk. Int J Cancer. 2004;109:278-280.