Cancer Blog

Here's our collection of cancer-related stories. We sift through a variety of stories and share the issues that we think matter to cancer patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and survivors. Learn about current events in the cancer community, human interest stories, and promising technology and treatment advances. Tell us what you think in the Comments section at the bottom of each post.

Note: The information contained in this service is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in the service is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment of any illness, condition or disease.



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Walnuts Reduce Breast Cancer Risk in Mice

by: cancercompass

Researchers have discovered walnuts reduce breast cancer risk in mice, reports Reuters.

Investigators from Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia, found that feeding mice a human equivalent of a handful of walnuts per day significantly reduced breast cancer risk in mice bred to develop the disease. Reuters reported on the study from a summary presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting in Denver.

Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytosterols are all walnut ingredients that have individually impeded cancer growth, according to researchers.

Researchers found the mice that ate walnuts had fewer and smaller breast tumors.  In addition, the walnut-eating mice that did develop breast cancer did so later than other mice studied.

Discuss walnuts and other foods with cancer patients, survivors and caregivers interested in the benefits of a healthy diet. Visit the Cancer Nutrition Message Board.




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Research Finds Vitamin D Deficiencies in Breast Cancer Patients

by: cancercompass

Researchers at Columbia University found vitamin D deficiency was a prevalent factor among women with breast cancer.

Investigators conducted the study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, because vitamin D deficiency is a known risk factor for increased breast cancer risk and decreased survival rates from the disease. Study authors noted the purpose of their research was to determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in premenopausal women at the beginning of adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer compared to vitamin D supplementation after one year.

Study participants included 103 premenopausal women in breast cancer stages I, II and III who received adjuvant chemotherapy and participated in a one-year zoledronate intervention trial. All patients were prescribed 400 IU of vitamin D3 and 1,000 mg of calcium carbonate daily. Bone mineral density measurements and blood tests were taken at the baseline of months 6 and 12.  Vitamin D deficiency was defined when blood tests revealed serum 25-OHD less than 20 ng/mL.

Researchers found 74% of women were vitamin D deficient; it was slightly less common in white women (66%) as compared with black (80%) and Hispanic (84%) women. After one year of vitamin D supplementation, less than 15% of white and Hispanic women, and no black women had sufficient levels of vitamin D.

Study authors concluded the current dietary recommendations for vitamin D are too low and that optimal dosing has yet to be determined.

Discover what breast cancer patients are saying about vitamin D on our Breast Cancer Discussion Board and the Supplements Discussion Board.




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CTCA Chef Featured for Healthy, Delicious Recipes

by: cancercompass

The executive chef at the Tulsa Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) was recently featured in an article in The Organic Food Examiner for his commitment to preparing foods for healing.

Chef Kenny Wagoner is a part of CTCA's integrated care model, which incorporates state-of-the-art medical treatments with scientifically-supported complementary therapies such as nutrition.  Wagoner discusses how his mother's struggle with cancer has motivated him to prepare healthy dishes cancer patients will enjoy.

You read more about Kenny Wagoner in the full article, or learn how to make his chicken with pineapple.

Discuss this recipe and others at the Cancer Compass Recipe Discussion Board.

CTCA is a Cancer Compass Sponsor.




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Study Finds Hot Tea May Increase Throat Cancer Risk

by: cancercompass

New findings recently published in The British Medical Journal suggest that drinking hot tea may increase a person's risk of throat cancer.

Researchers analyzed the tea drinking habits of northern Iranians in the Golestan province, where there is a high rate of oesophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Almost all study participants (98%) consumed over one liter of black tea per day. Of those participants, 39% drank their tea at temperatures less than 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit), 38.9% at 60-64 degrees Celsius (140-147.2 degrees Fahrenheit) and 22% at 65 degrees Celsius (149 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher.

Researchers concluded that participants who drank their teas at the hottest temperatures were at highest risk of throat cancer.  Also, participants who drank tea less than two minutes after being poured were more at risk than those who waited four or five minutes before drinking their tea.

According to an article by Reuters it's not exactly clear how hot tea might cause throat cancer, but researchers told Reuters repeated thermal injury could be a possibility.

U.S. News and World Report also stated that a diet lacking in fruits and vegetables, socioeconomic status and poor oral health habits were also contributing factors for throat cancer.

Learn what researchers are discovering about dietary changes for cancer prevention. Read other blog posts about green tea and mushrooms helping prevent breast cancer or a new study launched to learn about the relationship between caffeine and Leukemia.

Discuss these findings and your own personal experiences with preventing cancer through diet, nutrition and other methods by posting comments at the Cancer Compass Cancer Prevention Message Board.




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Study Finds Green Tea & Mushrooms Reduce Breast Cancer Risk in Chinese Women

by: cancercompass

New research published in the International Journal of Cancer is taking a closer look at what effects green tea and mushrooms have on reducing breast cancer risk.

Australian and Chinese researchers found Chinese women who ate mushrooms, both dried and fresh, lowered their risk of breast cancer. These women further reduced their risk when green tea was added to their daily diet.

Reuters Health reported that despite a noticeable increase in breast cancer among the most affluent parts of China, overall the country experiences four-to five-times lower risk for this disease than most developed countries.

Findings suggest that traditional Chinese diets that include large amounts of mushrooms and green tea probably account for the overall reduced breast cancer occurrences.

There are many potential causes and risks factors for developing breast cancer, though some women have the disease without these factors playing a role. Learn more about breast cancer risk factors.




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Study Finds Soy Foods Reduce Colorectal Cancer Risk

by: cancercompass

Soy food can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in women, according to a study published in this month's edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Researchers from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine investigated the relationship between soy food intake and colorectal cancer in 68,412 women aged 40 - 80 who were currently cancer and diabetes free.

Exams establishing a baseline for research were conducted between 1997 and 2000. Researchers then conducted their first follow up with the women between 2000 and 2002 through a food-frequency questionnaire. Researchers discovered 321 women were diagnosed with colorectal cancer during the mean follow up, 6.4 years later.

Study authors noted that consuming foods containing soy may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer in postmenopausal women.  Specifically the study reports "each 5-g/d increment in intake of soy foods as assessed by dry weight (equivalent to approximately 1 oz (28.35 g) tofu/d) was associated with an 8% reduction in risk."

The intake of soy protein and isoflavones also suggested the same results.




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Study Suggests Soy Prevents Some Breast Cancers

by: cancercompass

Japanese researchers have found foods high in soy protein reduce the risk of estrogen receptor cancers, according to results published recently in the International Journal of Cancer.

Researchers at the Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute in Nagoya say soy consumption reduced the risk of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative tumors.

During the case-control study, researchers observed 678 cancer cases and 3,390 controls matched by age and menopausal status with no history of cancer. According to the study a "significantly reduced risk" of breast cancer was found among women with the highest soy intake who were ER-positive, HER2-negative or both.

Overall, the study's findings concluded soybean products have potential benefit in preventing some breast cancers.




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Study: Coffee Doesn't Increase Breast Cancer Risk

by: cancercompass

Women who like their morning cup of coffee can enjoy it a little more knowing their cancer risk won't increase.

Caffeine doesn't increase an overall breast cancer risk, according to a study published this week by Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Tokyo Women's Medical University.

Making healthy lifestyle choices to decrease cancer risk has often been the best preventive medicine. The study addressed specific concerns that large amounts of coffee would increase breast cancer risk.

While overall coffee didn't increase risk, researchers plan further study on caffeine's effect on estrogen and progesterone receptor-negative cancers and benign breast disease in women consuming large amounts of coffee.

The current study monitored nearly 40,000 women, ages 45 and older, for 10 years, during which time 1,188 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.

Results showed women consuming caffeinated beverages and foods didn't have an overall higher breast cancer risk. Among the women who consumed the most caffeine, those with non-benign breast disease posed a slightly higher breast cancer risk.




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Walnuts Slow Cancer Growth in Mice

by: cancercompass

Snack-sized quantities of walnuts can slow cancer growth. That's according to a recent study from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.

The study included two groups of mice; one group was fed the equivalent of two human servings of walnuts, while the other group ate a more typical American diet.

Researcher W. Elaine Hardman, Ph.D., of Marshall's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, says the object of the study was to determine if eating walnuts has an impact on the rate of breast cancer growth.

According to the study, tumors in the walnut-fed group took twice as long to double in size. Hardman says walnuts contain three components which have proven to slow cancer growth in other studies: omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and phytosterols.

Hardman, who has spent 15 years studying the role of diet in cancer, says research shows that Americans need to get more fat calories from omega-3 fatty acids than from saturated fats.

The study has been published in the current issue of the journal Nutrition and Cancer.




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Green Tea Most Common Alternative Cancer Medicine

by: cancercompass

Women who use complementary or alternative medicines, in an effort to prevent cancer, consume green tea more than any other alternatives. That's according to a study conducted in Australia and presented at a recent cancer conference in Chicago.

Australian cancer specialists studied nearly 900 women with a family history of breast cancer. While use of complementary medicines was high among the women - about 50% - researchers say it is comparable to the national average.

Green tea was found to be the most widely used non-conventional therapy among women in the study who said they specifically use complementary medicines believing they will help to prevent cancer.

In addition to green tea, a low fat diet, massage therapy, omega-3 fatty acids and other vitamins and supplements were also commonly used among the women studied.

However, the researchers say the majority of the women studied use complementary medicines as part of a healthy lifestyle, not to help prevent cancer.  

The study may be one of the largest investigations into alternative therapy use for disease prevention.


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