Fiber’s Benefits Moving Up
Dietary fiber not only protects against colon cancer, but it also protects against cancer developing in the small intestine, which makes up 75 percent of the digestive tract.
A study in the journal Gastroenterology analyzed food consumption data from almost 500,000 adults. Follow up over an average of seven years showed those who consumed the most fiber, specifically from whole grains, had a 49 percent lower risk of developing small bowel cancer, compared with those who consumed the least fiber.
Current recommendations from the American Heart Association and the American Dietetic Association for dietary fiber intake range from 20 to 35 grams daily. U.S. adults are currently consuming only about half of this amount.
Schatzkin A, Park Y, Leitzmann MF, et al. Prospective study of dietary fiber, whole grain foods, and small intestinal cancer. Gastroenterology. 2008;135:1163-1167.
Nicotine Causes Breast Cancer to Spread
Nicotine, a component of tobacco, may encourage breast cancer cells to migrate to other parts of the body, according to a recent study published in Cancer Research.
Researchers studied both cancerous and noncancerous human breast cells and found that nicotine causes cancerous breast cells to grow more vigorously and makes them more capable of invading other areas of the body. Researchers also found that nicotine makes precancerous breast cells more likely to become cancerous.
Guo J, Ibaragi S, Zhu T, et al. Nicotine promotes mammary tumor migration via a signaling cascade involving protein kinase C and CDC42. Cancer Res. 2008;68(20):8473-8481.
Obesity and Insulin Influence Prostate Cancer Outcome
Prostate cancer patients who are obese and have high levels of insulin in their bloodstreams are more likely to succumb to the disease, according to a recent finding in The Lancet Oncology.
In a study of more than 2,500 men who were followed for 24 years in the Physicians’ Health Study, overweight men were more than two-and-a-half times more likely to die of prostate cancer than men of regular weight. Those who also had high insulin levels had quadruple the risk of dying from the disease.
Ma J, Li H, Giovannucci E, et al. Prediagnostic body-mass index, plasma C-peptide concentration, and prostate cancer-specific mortality in men with prostate cancer: a long-term survival analysis. Lancet Oncol. 2008; 9(11):1039-1047.
The Cancer Project is a nonprofit PCRM subsidiary that advances cancer prevention and survival through nutrition education and research.