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By Joseph Gonzales, R.D., and Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.

Lifestyle Changes Vital for Preventing CancerLifestyle Changes Vital for Preventing Cancer

Lifestyle changes, including eating a healthy diet, exercising, and limiting alcohol, could prevent about 340,000 cancer cases a year in the United States, according to a report released by the American Institute for Cancer Research for World Cancer Day. Worldwide, cancer is a leading cause of death, accounting for 7.6 million deaths and 12.7 million new diagnoses a year. Lifestyle changes could decrease cancer risk by 38 percent for breast cancer, 45 percent for colon cancer, and 47 percent for stomach cancer.

AICR/WCRF preventability estimates: Update to estimates produced for the 2009 Policy Report. 2011. American Institute for Cancer Research/World Cancer Research Fund. Available at: Accessed Feb. 7, 2011.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

A new study will make people think twice about taking fish-oil capsules—or eating fish, for that matter. The American Journal of Epidemiology reports that men with higher levels of DHA, one of the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, were at increased risk of developing prostate cancer.

Researchers from Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center studied 3,461 participants in the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial and found that men with the most DHA in their bloodstreams were two-and-a-half times more likely to have an aggressive form of prostate cancer. Researchers found similar results in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study, where men who had the highest omega-3 levels had the highest risk for prostate cancer.

Brasky TM, Till C, White E, et al. Serum phospholipid fatty acids and prostate cancer risk: results from the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial. Am J Epidemiol. Published ahead of print April 24, 2011. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwr027.

Fiber for a longer lifeFiber for a Longer Life

Higher fiber intake is associated with a significantly lower risk of dying within a given period of time, according to a new study. Researchers looked at diet records from 219,213 people participating in the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study. Those who ate the most fiber had lower risks of death from cardiovascular disease and infectious and respiratory diseases, compared with participants who ate the least. Men who ate the most fiber also had a lower risk of cancer death, compared with men who consumed the least.

Fiber is only found in foods from plants, such as beans, grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Park Y, Subar AF, Hollenbeck A, Schatzkin A. Dietary fiber intake and mortality in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. Arch Intern Med. 2011;171:1061-1068.


Good Medicine Magazine Autumn 2011

Good Medicine
Autumn 2011
Vol. XX, No. 3

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