The Cancer Project Update
Cancer Researchers, Health Professionals Gather for Second Annual Symposium
The second annual Cancer and Nutrition Symposium brought together top researchers from across the country to share the latest news in cancer research. Hundreds of oncologists, nurses, health professionals, dietitians, and Cancer Project Food for Life cooking instructors received breakthrough information about how foods can fight cancer.
The symposium, held July 28 in Bethesda, Md., featured presentations from Cancer Project president Neal Barnard, M.D., June Chan, Sc.D., T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., Lawrence Kushi, Sc.D., and John McDougall, M.D.
Dr. Chan is an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics and urology at the University of California, San Francisco. At the symposium, Dr. Chan described her research findings investigating the protective effects of fruits and vegetables on pancreatic cancer risk. Although pancreatic cancer is among the most deadly forms of the disease, Dr. Chan showed that the risk is cut dramatically by increasing consumption of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, while meats, eggs, and dairy products increase risk.
Dr. Campbell, Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University and the co-author of The China Study, delved into the role of diet in breast cancer causation and management. Dr. Campbell showed how animal products, including dairy products, increase breast cancer risk.
Dr. Kushi is the associate director for etiology and prevention research at Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Kushi explored the insights gained from epidemiologic studies and how they have led to dietary recommendations for cancer prevention.
Dr. McDougall is a nationally recognized nutrition expert who is also a board-certified internist, author of 10 books, and host of the television show McDougall, M.D. Dr. McDougall challenged the notion of “early” detection, pointing out that cancer is typically many years in development before it is found by typical screening methods. He also raised important questions about the efficacy of commonly used cancer treatments, and encouraged a new emphasis on diet and lifestyle interventions.
Dr. Barnard showed the effect of increased body weight on breast cancer risk. Even within the weight range commonly accepted as normal, higher body weight is associated with poorer survival. He also put new findings from the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living Study in perspective, showing that women previously diagnosed with breast cancer who consumed at least five fruit and vegetable servings each day had nearly a 50 percent reduction in mortality risk, compared with those consuming fewer servings of these healthful foods.
The Cancer Project also held its annual instructor summit for its 65 Food for Life cooking instructors from around the country, giving them a chance to continue learning about the latest scientific research and improve their cooking techniques. To find a Food for Life Nutrition and Cooking class near you or to see expert lectures from the 2006 Symposium, visit www.CancerProject.org.
DVDs of the symposium presentations will be available at CancerProject.org.