Custom Search

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Healthy Diet May Cut Colorectal Cancer Risk

Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy foods, and fish may reduce your risk of colorectal cancer, according to a new study.

Although previous studies have produced conflicting findings about the effectiveness of such a diet, the new research found a benefit.

"We found that eating a largely plant-based diet with higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, and low-fat dairy in women and fish in men was associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer," says Paige Miller, PhD, a researcher at Pennsylvania State University.

Eating in this healthful way reduced the risk of colon cancer by 65% in women and by 62% in men, she says. "Why fish was a part of the protective dietary pattern only in men and low-fat diary only in women is not known at this time," Miller tells WebMD.

The study is published in the Journal of Nutrition.

About 147,000 new cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed in 2009 in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society.
Diet and Colorectal Cancer: The Study

Miller and her team evaluated the diets of 431 men and women with colorectal cancer and the diets of 726 healthy men and women who didn't have colon cancer.

They categorized the participants into a fruits-and-vegetables diet pattern and a meat-potatoes-refined grains pattern. In men, a third pattern -- a diet rich in alcohol and sweetened beverages -- was found.

They also looked at how well participants followed the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the MyPyramid recommendations, which suggest a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

In addition to finding the reduced risk of colorectal cancer for people eating the diet heavy in fruits and vegetables -- 62% reduced risk for men and 65% for women -- Miller found that the more closely men and women adhered to the Dietary Guidelines, the lower the cancer risk.

Men and women with higher adherence to the guidelines had a lower risk of colorectal cancer, reducing it by 44% (men) and 56% (women).

Miller's advice? "Rather than focusing on a single food, nutrient, or other dietary component, focus on eating an overall plant-based diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oil," she says.

The diet pattern associated with higher cancer risk in her study included greater intakes of red and processed meat, poultry, fried and white potatoes, high-fat dairy, sweets, salty snacks, butter, mayonnaise, gravy, pizza, and refined grains.
Diet and Colorectal Cancer: Second Opinion

"This is more data that a low-fat, low-meat, high-fiber diet is protective," says Donald David, MD, chief of the division of gastroenterology at the City of Hope Cancer Center, Duarte, Calif., who reviewed the study for WebMD. "More work needs to be done to find out which particular foods are protective."

"I think the take-home message for now is, adopting a diet [that is] good for us anyway is going to protect us from colon cancer to some extent."

Experts speculate that a diet emphasizing fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains moves waste through the colon more quickly, giving harmful substances less time to damage cells there.

David calls the overall up to 65% reduction in colon cancer risk found in the new study "fairly significant protection."

Diet, he says, is just one factor that affects risk for colon cancer, of course. A history of bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis increases the risk of colorectal cancer, as does family history of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

Smoking, being very overweight, and excess alcohol use have also been linked to a higher colorectal cancer risk.

More informations:

New Drug for Advanced Prostate Cancer

A new treatment for advanced prostate cancer that hasn't responded to other treatments has been approved by the FDA.

Called Jevtana (cabazitaxel), the chemotherapy drug is used in combination with the steroid prednisone and has been found to lengthen survival by nearly 2 and 1/2 months in men who have run out of treatment options.

The drug, made by Sanofi-aventis, got priority review under an FDA program which offers an expedited six-month review for drugs that could offer major advances in treatment or provide an effective treatment when no other adequate one exists.

The approval is for use in advanced, hormone-refractory prostate cancer which has worsened despite treatment with a regimen including the drug docetaxel.

An estimated 192,280 new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed in 2009 in the U.S., according to American Cancer Society, with an estimated 27,300 deaths.

The Jevtana approval is based on a study involving 755 patients who had previously received the docetaxel regimen. Researchers compared the overall survival in those on Jevtana plus prednisone with those who got another chemo drug, mitoxantrone, with prednisone.

Those on the Jevtana regimen had a median overall survival of 15.1 months (half lived longer, half less) or about a year and three months, compared to 12.7 months, about a year, on the comparison regimen.

The new treatment is not without side effects. Among them are a decline in white blood cells, anemia, low platelet counts, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, infections, and kidney failure.

Even so, the differences in survival were significant, according to the researchers.

"This is truly a significant announcement for the prostate cancer community, addressing an unmet medical need," says Oliver Sartor, MD, the principal investigator for the study in North America and a professor at Tulane Medical School in New Orleans, in a statement. Sartor is a consultant and investigator for Sanofi-aventis and some other pharmaceutical companies.

More informations:

Gene Mutation Offers Clues to Tamoxifen-Blood Clot Link

Researchers have identified a gene mutation that increases the risk of blood clots in women taking the anti-cancer drug tamoxifen after surgery for early-stage breast cancer.

Tamoxifen is widely used for patients with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer, but previous studies have shown that it increases the risk of blood clots, according to background information in a news release about the new study.

The study included 412 women, median age 64, who received tamoxifen as "adjuvant" treatment for stage I, II or IIIA breast cancer. In cancer therapy, an adjuvant treatment is one used after surgery to improve the outcome of patients at high risk of recurrence. The women were treated between January 1999 and April 2005, and blood clots developed in 141 of the women.

Patients who developed a blood clot while taking tamoxifen were nearly five times more likely to have a genetic mutation called factor V Leiden than those who didn't develop a blood clot, according to the report published online June 16 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

"These data may prove useful to women who must decide between tamoxifen and an effective . . . alternate adjuvant therapy for breast cancer" that essentially doesn't cause the blood to clot, wrote Dr. Judy E. Garber, of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and colleagues, in the news release from the journal's publisher.

Alternatives, she said, might include aromatase inhibitors for postmenopausal women and gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogs or oophorectomy -- the surgical removal of an ovary or ovaries -- for premenopausal women.

More informations: