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Diabetes Linked to Increased Cancer Risk
Diabetes linked to increased cancer riskPeople with diabetes have up to twice the risk of developing liver, pancreatic, and endometrial cancers of people who do not have diabetes, according to a study published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Cancers of the colon, rectum, bladder, and breast are also more common among people with diabetes. The reason for the increased risk is unknown, but it may be similar risk factors for both diseases, such as obesity and older age. The link may also be from diabetic complications like high blood sugar, high blood insulin, inflammation, or altered hormone regulation, all of which can increase cancer risk. This report from the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society suggests that a high intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and a low intake of processed and red meats are associated with lower cancer risk.

Giovannucci E, Harlan DM, Archer MC, et al. Diabetes and cancer: a consensus report. CA Cancer J Clin. Published ahead of print June 16, 2010. doi: 10.3322/caac.20078.

Dietary Lignans Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Postmenopausal women whose diets include plenty of lignans, natural compounds found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and flax and sesame seeds, may have a lower risk of breast cancer, according to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers found that postmenopausal women who consumed plenty of lignans reduced their risk of breast cancer by 14 percent. Lignans are similar in some ways to the isoflavones found in soy products, but are found in a variety of foods other than soy products. Researchers reviewed 21 prior studies to observe the connection between diet and breast cancer risk. The benefit from lignans may be due to their ability to block estrogen’s activity in the body or to other anticancer effects.

Buck K, Zaineddin AK, Vrieling A, Linseisen J, Chang-Claude J. Meta-analyses of lignans and enterolignans in relation to breast cancer risk. Am J Clin Nutr. Published ahead of print May 12, 2010. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.28573.

BaconMeat Intake Linked to Bladder Cancer
Consumption of red and processed meats increases the risk of bladder cancer, according to a new study. Researchers looked at more than 300,000 men and women and found that those who consumed the most red meat had a 22 percent increased risk of bladder cancer, compared with those who ate the least. Consumption of nitrites and nitrates, compounds used for preserving, coloring, and flavoring processed meats, was associated with a 28 to 29 percent increased risk at highest intake levels. PhIP, a chemical commonly found in grilled chicken and other meats heated to a certain temperature, was associated with a 19 percent increased risk of bladder cancer. Participants were part of the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study and were included in a seven-year follow-up.

PhIP has been linked to numerous cancers in humans, including breast, colon, and prostate. Nitrites and nitrates have long been recognized as potent carcinogens. 

Ferrucci LM, Sinha R, Ward MH, et al. Meat and components of meat and the risk of bladder cancer in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Cancer. Published ahead of print August 2, 2010. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25463.

The Cancer ProjectThe Cancer Project is a nonprofit PCRM subsidiary that advances cancer
prevention and survival through nutrition education and research.


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