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We highlight topical research news, recent  announcements and products which add to our understanding of lifestyle and cancer so we can make informed decision on how to reduce the risk, improve well-being during and after treatments and reduce the risk of relapse. The email letter is sent out once a month. Your email will never be given to a third party and you can opt out at any time. You can use this form to sign up for the first time or re-sign up (required after 25th may 2018) - thank you.



Examples of previous features:

Coffee May Prevent Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer.

According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, moderate coffee drinking, could be useful in warding off non-melanoma cancer. Researchers found that mice given coffee or applied it to the skin  were able to ward off UV-induced skin cancer longer than other mice. The Caffeine in coffee  when consumed or applied to the skin works by inhibiting an enzyme called ATR (higher levels of which increase aging and skin cancer risk). Despite their results, the researchers say that people shouldn't start consuming vast amounts of tea or coffee just so that they can lie out in the sun. But they say their finding could be used to create a caffeine-based sun cream. As an added bonus, caffeine absorbs UV light - stopping it from damaging and wrinkling the skin. Researchers called for the study to be extended to humans.


Coffee Drinkers May Have Reduced Risk For Developing Prostate Cancer.

Coffee drinking in humans could also have powerful health benefits including a reduced risk of  prostate cancer according to a study published by Harvard School of Public Health. The study involved 47,911 men within the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and found those who drank a lot of coffee, six or more cups a day, reduced their risk of prostate cancer. The men who consumed the most coffee, which was defined as six or more cups every day, were nearly 20 percent less likely to develop any form of prostate cancer. The study was published in the  May 17 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The study team found that men who consumed "six or more" cups a day also had a 60 percent lower risk of developing deadly metastatic prostate cancer, and one to three cups cut the risk of lethal prostate cancer by 30 percent." The findings suggest the non-caffeine elements in coffee may provide the benefit. Coffee contains compounds that can reduce inflammation and regulate insulin; is a major source of antioxidants that might have anti-cancer effects and it may impact sex-hormone levels as well and previous research linked it to a lower risk of Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes, liver cancer, cirrhosis and gallstone disease. more about antioxidants



Dogs Able To Sniff Out Lung Cancer.

Four dogs were trained on test tubes containing breath samples of 220 patients, both those with lung cancer and those without it and were able to correctly find 71 out of 100 patients who had lung cancer. The study, published in the European Respiratory journal reports that cancer cells may produce chemical compounds that circulate throughout the body and can be breathed out and more work is needed to identify what exactly the dogs are smelling. Researchers from Emory University's Winship Cancer Institute are trying to  developing technology that aims to replicate the ability of dogs to smell trace amount of chemicals produced by cancerous tumors.

This researchers echoes the work from Japan reported in our spring newsletter which showed that that dogs could detect the presence of colon cancer in human breath and stool samples with nearly 90% spring newsletter



Processed Meat Intake and higher Colorectal Cancer Risk.

There is further convincing evidence that eating too much red meat and processed meat raises colorectal cancer risk and that consuming plenty of fiber in the form of plant-based foods reduces that risk. The Continuous Update Project (CUP), produced by the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer, gathers research about "various forms of cancer, updating its database every few years." For this report, scientists "conducted a review of published studies and ended up adding 263 new papers about colorectal cancer to the 749 that had been analyzed for the last report, issued in 2007." The report notes that "red meat, processed meat, excess body fat, and fat carried around the waist increase risk of colorectal cancer. Read tips on reducing fat intake


Talc-Based Powder Use May Increase Ovarian Cancer Risk By 30%.

The regular use of talc-based powder significantly increases the risk of invasive ovarian, according to findings presented at the American Association for Cancer Research. The researchers analysed data from a case-control study involving more than 2,000 women with ovarian cancer and a similar number of women without the cancer.  Talc applications were estimated from "patient-reported frequency and duration of use." After taking into account the other risk factors for ovarian cancer including age, parity, oral contraceptive use, tubal ligation, body weight  smoking or alcohol use, and ethnic/racial or familial breast or ovarian cancer history, the study team performed analyses for cases of  cancer talc use was associated with an increased prevalence of all common types of ovarian cancer (nonmuscinous-invasive, nonserous-invasive, and serous-invasive); the magnitude of the difference between users and nonusers ranged between 20% and 40%, most often about 30%.


Large published Analysis Finds No Evidence Linking Selenium With Cancer Prevention

It is known from large environmental and some observational studies that long term selenium deficiency can lead to an increase risk of cancer. This is most likely due to an under performing antioxidant enzyme (glutathione) which requires selenium. Some nutritional supplement companies therefore market the mineral selenium as a cancer preventive, and there have been suggesting high selenium intake could reduce cancer risk. However, a comprehensive analysis of 55 studies found no evidence to supported supplementation with selenium and a link with different cancer types. This was published in the Cochrane Library so is regarded as a highly relevant piece of scientific work. 
The problem with taking over the counter mineral supplements is that the baseline levels are not known so if  you have a normal or higher level to start with, taking extra mineral can push the blood levels too high which actually increases the risk of cancer. This study further confirms that  supplements can be both good and bad and the most reliable way to to ensure you have the most benefit from them is to
measure your baseline micro-nutrient levels first.


Exercise reduces side effects of radiotherapy

The worlds first study linking an association between radiotherapy side effects and exercise levels was completed in June this year. The study sponsored by Macmillan Cancer support evaluated 440 men who had survived prostate cancer and had been successfully treated by radiotherapy  between 2000-2010 at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge University. The data was  analysied at The Primrose Lifestyle Research Unit and  the bio-statistical department at Cranfield University. It clearly showed that men who were active as measured by the  Practitioner Physical Activity Questionnaire (GPPAQ) were twice as likely to maintain erectile function. 
Full data is being presented at the NCRI conference this Autumn. In the mean time, it is strongly advisable to encourage men to exercise after prostate cancer -  read practical tips to improve exercise levels


Walking fast but not strolling after prostate cancer reduces the risk of relapse.

According to a study published in Cancer Research, men who have been treated for prostate cancer who power walk for at least three hours a week can halve how much their cancer will grow and spread over the next couple of years.  Strolling, however, does not have the same effect, the study authors cautioned. The researchers followed "1,455 men who had been diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer. The results showed that survivors who walk briskly "at a pace of at least three miles per hour for three hours or more per week were 57% less likely to develop the biochemical markers of cancer recurrence or to need a second round of treatment for their disease.  

This study supports the finding of another study published by Kenfield in the Journal of Clinical Oncology which showed that men who exercised vigorously for more than 3 hours a week had a lower relapse rate and those more than 5 hours a better prostate cancer specific survival -  read practical tips to improve exercise levels



Vitamin A&E with mineral supplement increase the risk of skin cancer

It has long been known that vitamin and mineral deficiencies can reduce immunity and ability to deal with environmental carcinogens. This leads to an increased risk of cancer. These studies suggest that if an individual in the west takes a vitamin and mineral supplement it could reduce the risk of cancer. A study from France, however, compared supplementation with Vitamin A, C & E with selenium and zinc against placebo. After 7.5 years the incidence of skin cancers including melanoma were actually higher in the supplementation group. 
Fortunately a study published in the EJC (2010, 46, 3316-3322) showed that stopping the supplements reduced the risk in the normal levels within 5 years. The fundamental design problem of this and other similar trials is that they did not measure baseline levels of these vitamins and mineral before the start. So although some people may benefit others, with a normal level to start with would end you taking them in excess. This study again further confirms the importance of measuring your micro-nutrient levels before considering supplements - see micronutrient testing


Acupuncture May Relieve Hot Flashes Associated With Prostate Cancer Treatment.

A recent small study suggests that the ancient Chinese discipline of acupuncture might help reduce the hot flushes that frequently affect prostate cancer patients while they're on hormone therapy. This finding supports a recent trial involving menopausal women comparing the incidence of hot flushes against the anti-depressant venlaflexane. 
This latest study involved only 14 men so the finding has to be taken with caution.  In fact the oncology centres where the trial was conducted (New York Methodist Hospital and Weill Cornell Medical College of Cornell University) understate the finding saying they are non-conclusive but add  "our study shows that physicians and patients have an additional treatment for something that affects many men undergoing prostate cancer treatment and actually has long-term benefits, as opposed to more side effects. ..Read tips on coping with hot flushes


Pomegranate Extract May Slow Prostate Cancer Progression.

Taking a pomegranate pill a day may help slow the progression of prostate cancer according to preliminary research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Cancer Symposium Meeting. The study involved 92 men with cancer that had not spread beyond the prostate. All men had rising prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels before they started taking the pomegranate extract At baseline, the men's PSA levels were doubling on average every 12 months. The researchers found that for the men in the group taking pomegranate capsules for at least six months, their PSA doubling time extended to 19 months. The researchers attributed the anticancer effect to antioxidants in pomegranates. There were some side effects in  men who took three of the one-gram pomegranate extract capsules daily. Fourteen percent suffered mild to moderate diarrhea compared to those who only took one pill. The design of this study was very similar to  one involving 113 men published from Bedford and Addenbrooke's Hospitals 3 years ago which showed that 40% had a prolongation of doubling time following lifestyle and dietary maneuvers. 


Requests for blood vitamin and nutrient analyses sky rocket in the USA

Health trend articles are reporting that testing for essential micro-nutrient, once uncommon, has skyrocketed since medical studies linked deficiencies and excesses to a variety of diseases, including cancer. Our last newsletter reported one of the many articles related to cancer especially benefits after melanoma. The trends in the USA reveal that Vitamin D requests are particularly sort after. The  increased in requests started between 2006 and 2008, but have increased by 74 percent by 2010. Manufacturers of vitamin D diagnostic tests have seen similar increases in demand. Despite the evidence, showing the harm associated with Vitamin D deficiency GP's and hospital doctors in the UK have not been allocated funds for these test. Fortunately, cancernet now offer an online service