Posts Tagged ‘cancer prevention’

More zzzzzz’s May Protect Against the Big C-The Relationship Of Sleep and Prostate Cancer

January 22, 2014

You have all heard that it’s healthy to get 8 hours of sleep a day. Now you have another reason to make sure that you don’t cheat the sleep fairy. A good nights sleep well may help to protect men from deadly prostate cancer.
Scientists linked higher levels of the night-time hormone melatonin with a 75 per cent reduced risk of advanced disease.
Melatonin is produced in the dark at night. It plays a key role in regulating the body’s sleep-wake cycle and influences many other functions associated with the body’s 24-hour clock, or circadian rhythm.
Low levels of the hormone are typically associated with disrupted sleep. Men who reported taking medication for sleep problems, and difficulty falling and staying asleep, had significantly lower amounts of the melatonin marker.
Men whose melatonin marker levels were higher than the middle of the range were 75 per cent less likely to develop advanced prostate cancer than those with lower values.
Here are some suggestions for good sleep hygiene and getting a good nights sleep without resorting to medication:
Avoid napping during the day; it can disturb the normal pattern of sleep and wakefulness.
Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol too close to bedtime. While alcohol is well known to speed the onset of sleep, it disrupts sleep in the second half as the body begins to metabolize the alcohol, causing arousal.
Exercise can promote good sleep. Vigorous exercise should be taken in the morning or late afternoon. A relaxing exercise, like yoga, can be done before bed to help initiate a restful night’s sleep.
Food can be disruptive right before sleep; stay away from large meals close to bedtime. Also dietary changes can cause sleep problems, if someone is struggling with a sleep problem, it’s not a good time to start experimenting with spicy dishes. And, remember, chocolate has caffeine.
Ensure adequate exposure to natural light. This is particularly important for older people who may not venture outside as frequently as children and adults. Light exposure helps maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle.
Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine. Try to avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities before trying to go to sleep. Don’t dwell on, or bring your problems to bed.
Associate your bed with sleep. It’s not a good idea to use your bed to watch TV, listen to the radio, or read.
Make sure that the sleep environment is pleasant and relaxing. The bed should be comfortable, the room should not be too hot or cold, or too bright.

Bottom Line: We do know that advanced age, family history of prostate cancer, and African American men have a greater risk of prostate cancer. Add to this list, disrupted sleep, lack of sleep, or sleep deficit can also be added to risk factors associated with prostate cancer. Make sure you get a good nights sleep and you may reduce your risk of prostate cancer. As my wonderful Jewish mother might say, “It may not help, but it voidn’t hoit!”

7 Ways to Cancer-Proof Your Body

August 21, 2013

Recent research reveals 7 stealth strategies to keep the killer at bay. It’s time to raise your carcinogen shields—and your overall health—using these smart anti-C tips.

1. Drink pomegranate juice. 
Some say this luscious, lusty red fruit is Eve’s original apple, but what the pomegranate truly banishes is cancer risk. The fruit’s deep red juice contains polyphenols, isoflavones, and ellagic acid, elements researchers believe make up a potent anticancer combo. It’s been shown to delay the growth of prostate cancer in mice, and it stabilizes PSA levels in men who’ve been treated for prostate cancer.

pomegranate juice

pomegranate juice

2. Eat blueberries. 
 Got pterostilbene? Rutgers University researchers say this compound—found in blueberries—has colon cancer-fighting properties. When rats with colon cancer were fed a diet supplemented with pterostilbene, they had 57 percent fewer precancerous lesions after 8 weeks than rats not given the compound did. Eat blueberries and you’ll also benefit from a big dose of vitamin C (14 milligrams per cup).

3. Relax a little. 
 Purdue University researchers tracked 1,600 men over 12 years and found that half of those with increasing levels of worry died during the study period. Talk about flunking the exam. Only 20 percent of the optimists died before the 12-year study was completed. More anxiety-producing news: Thirty-four percent of the neurotic men died of some type of cancer.

4. Take Selenium. Selenium has long been thought of as a cancer fighter, but you can have too much of a good thing. A study of almost 1,000 men, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that when those with the lowest initial levels of selenium in their bodies received a daily supplement over a 4 1/2- year period, they cut their prostate-cancer risk by an impressive 92 percent.

5. Vitamin D every day. 
Scientists have viewed vitamin D as a potent cancer fighter for decades, but there’s never been a gold-standard trial—until now. A Creighton University study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who supplemented their diets with 1,000 international units of vitamin D every day had a 60 percent to 77 percent lower incidence of cancer over a 4-year period than did women taking a placebo. Vitamin D is necessary for the best functioning of the immune system—it causes early death of cancer cells.

6. Clear your air. 
Secondhand smoke may be even worse for you than we thought. A recent American Journal of Public Health study reveals that nonsmokers working in smoky places had three times the amount of NNK, a carcinogen, in their urine than nonsmoking workers in smoke-free joints had. And their levels of NNK rose 6 percent for every hour worked. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and the greater the exposure, the higher the risk.

7. Invest a little sweat equity. 
Study after study has pointed to the cancer-beating power of exercise. Now research from Norway has found that even a tiny dose of exercise has big benefits. A study of 29,110 men published last year in the International Journal of Cancer shows that men who exercised just once a week had a 30 percent lower risk of metastatic prostate cancer than did men who didn’t work out at all. Increasing the frequency, duration, and intensity of the exercise correlated with a further, gradual reduction in risk.

Diet and Cancer

December 7, 2012

The scientists and doctors are telling us repeatedly that weight loss and exercise will give you a leg up on protecting you against many kinds of cancer. It is estimated that 1\3 of all cancers can be prevented by maintaining a healthy weight, eating a plant-based diet, and being physically active.

If you don’t smoke, controlling your weight is the most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of cancer. More than 100,000 cases of cancer a year could be prevented if people maintained a healthy weight.

But now only does ideal weight make a difference but also the food that you eat. People who eat vegetables, beans, fruits nuts, and whole grains, olive oil and fish have fewer cases of cancer and heart disease.

For example cooked tomatoes, such as in tomato sauce, contain large quantities of lycopenes, which may help prevent prostate cancer.

Diets high in fiber from whole grains helps protect against cancer.

And now some good news. Coffee appears to lower the risk of uterine cancer and colon cancer. Men and women who drink four or more cups of coffee a day have a lower risk of colon cancer.

Bottom Line: Look at the dietary big picture. Think color. Your plate should have a rainbow of colors: green lettuce, red tomatoes, pink salmon, ruby-red cranberries, bright orange sweet potatoes, and blueberries for desert.

Prevent Cancer Recurrence-Eat Right and Exercise a Lot

July 25, 2012

A recent study from Ccancer Journal for Clinicians (April 26, 2012) indicated that prostate cancer patients and those with other forms of cancer should maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and each a healthy diet in order to decrease the risk of recurrence.  Strong evidence shows that both healthy diet and exercise can prevent cancers from recurring.  So if you have cancer and our recovering from cancer surgery, radiation or chemotherapy you need to be plenty of fruits and vegetables, decrease your consumption of red meat, limit your carbohydrate intake, and exercise at least 20 minutes a day 4 days a week.


Nutritional supplements and cancer prevention-what’s the hype and what’s the science?

May 29, 2012

Millions of American men and women are taking nutritional supplements with the attention of preventing cancer and other serious health conditions.  Does this work and is it worth the risk?

The US food and drug administration categorized as nutritional supplements under the general a brown of foods rather than drugs.  The supplements had not undergone clinical trials and a rigorous approval process and cannot be removed from the market and less they are proven to be dangerous or have false labile information.  It is of interest that FDA Manufacturing guidelines do not have to prove supplements safe or affective.

The risks

A little is good but a lot can’t be harmful.  Most American study had on and off vitamins in their normal diet.  By taking extra vitamins can cause an overdose.  In 2008 a more than 69,000 cases of toxicity 228 vitamin overdose were reported.

Another risk of using supplements is that some supplements can interact with medications in a way that will harm the patient.  If you are taking prescription medications you should inform your physician about any nutritional supplements you may be using.

Nutrients in foods

It is true: An apple at they may really keep the doctor away.  Fruits and vegetables contain important nutrients and fiber, which helps protect against colon cancer.  By eating fresh fruits and vegetables you can reduce both the risk and recurrence of breast cancer.  The American institute for cancer research estimated that one third of the cancers that occur every year in the United States could be prevented by lifestyle changes, including bleeding or whole foods.

The reason whole foods are more beneficial than and vitamin supplements is probably that whole foods contain any nutrients that worked in combination to protect against cancers.  For example, fresh salmon is superior to salmon oil supplements because although both provide fatty acids, Fresh salmon provides nutrients not found in oil, such as vitamin D and B,amino acids, calcium and selenium.

Foods known to help prevent cancer include: berries, grapes, tomatoes, mushrooms, green tea, salmon, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, linseed, and flaxseed.

Bottom line: For most people a diet that includes healthful foods can eliminate the needs for supplements.

Lifestyle Changes For Preventing Cancer

April 7, 2012

Dr. David Agus, an oncologist at the University of Southern California, wrote a book, The End of Illness, which offers lifestyle changes that may help prevent cancer. This article will review ten of his suggestions.

1. Keep a predictable schedule. Try to eat, sleep and exercise about the same time every day including weekends. Regularity of sleep is more important than total hours slept.

2. Move frequently and avoid prolonged sitting. Sitting for long periods of time is linked to a higher risk of early death and many diseases. You should try to aim for one hour of moderate exercise a day. If you have a sedentary job you can lift small weights, 2.5 pounds, at your desk or while talking on the phone using a headset. You will learn the definition of multitasking when talking and exercising at the same time.

3. Stop using vitamins and supplements. Unless you have a documented vitamin deficiency or are pregnant, you can ditch the dozens of vitamins and supplements that so many Americans use every day. Many well controlled studies have pointed out that vitamins have no benefit and even may be harmful. For example, vitamin E raises the risk of prostate cancer by 17 percent in healthy men. (Study from Journal of American Medical Association in 2011)

4. Get an annual flu shot. Getting the flu is a stress on the immune system. Getting a flu shot helps dampen the harsh immune response if you get the flu.

5. Discuss use of daily aspirin with your doctor. Low dose aspirin or one baby aspirin a day reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and even some cancers.

6. Wear comfortable shoes. High heel shoes contribute to poor posture and back pain. Also comfortable shoes will help you move and walk more and longer distances.

7. Conduct a medications inventory. At least once a year go over your medication list with your doctor and find out which ones may cause side effects or drug-drug interactions and which ones are no longer necessary. As a whole we are an over-medicated society and you can often decrease your medications with a discussion with your doctor.

8. Check out healthy lifestyle incentives. Your employer may reduce your health insurance premiums if you commit to a smoking cessation program. Some employers are paying some or all of the cost of a gym membership.

9. Look to your doctor as a partner. Ask your doctor what he\she is doing to stay current on the latest medical advances. Ask how many hours of continuing medical education they receive each year (minimum is 20 hours). Feel comfortable talking to your doctor about any topic. If you can’t, find a new doctor.

10. Keep your own medical records. Keep a copy of your lab tests, x-ray reports, and any hospital discharge summaries. Your physician will make this available to you at no cost. Now if you go to another doctor or are in another city and need medical care, you have that information available which will help provide continuity of medical care. Savvy patients are storing this data online which means less paper and instant access on a 24\7\365 basis.

Bottom Line: Very little can be done to change your genetic predisposition to cancer or to change the toxins in the air or water. But there’s a lot you can do with practicing healthy lifestyles, exercising regularly, and being proactive about your medical care by developing a partnership with your doctor.

Cancer Prevention For Women-Listen To Your Body

February 23, 2012

Your body may be the best detective for discovering cancer This blog will provide tenant signs and symptoms that may help you discover cancer in the early stages when treatment is most likely to be successful.

Breast changes
If you feel a lump in your breast, you shouldn’t ignore it even if your mammogram is normal. If your nipple develops scaling and flaking, that could indicate a disease of the nipple, which is associated with underlying cancer in nearly 95% of cases. Also any milky or bloody discharge should also be checked out.

Irregular menstrual bleeding
Any postmenopausal bleeding is a warning sign. Spotting outside of your normal menstrual cycle or heavier periods should be investigated.

Rectal bleeding
Colon cancer is the third most common cancer in women. One of the hallmarks is rectal bleeding. Your doctor will likely order a colonscopy.

Vaginal discharge
A foul or smelly vaginal discharge could be a sign of cervical cancer. And examination is necessary to determine if the discharge is due to an infection or something more serious.

Ovarian cancer is the #1 killer of all reproductive organ cancers. The 4 most frequent signs of ovarian cancer are bloating, feeling that you’re getting full earlier than you typically would when eating, changing bowel or bladder habits such as urinating more frequently, and low back or pelvic pain. You can expect a pelvic exam, transvaginal sonogram, and perhaps a CA-125 blood test to check for cancerous cells.

Unexplained weight gain or loss
Weight gain can occur with accumulation of fluid in the abdomen from ovarian cancer. Unexplained weight loss of 10 pounds or more may be the first sign of cancer. Weight loss in women can also be due to an overactive thyroid gland.

Persistence cough
Any cough that lasts 2 or 3 weeks and is not due to an allergy or upper respiratory infection or a cough that has blood in the sputum needs to be checked. Also, smoking is the number one cancer killer in women.

Change in lymph nodes
If you feel lymph nodes in your neck or under your arm, you should be seen by your doctor. Swollen, firm lymph nodes are often the result of an infection. However, lymphoma or lung, breast, head or neck cancer that has spread can also show up as an enlarged lymph node.

Extreme tiredness that does not get better with rest should warrant an appointment with your doctor. Leukemia, colon, or stomach cancer-which can cause blood loss-can result in fatigue.

Skin Changes
Any sores irritated skin the vaginal area, or a non-healing vulvar lesion can be a sign of vulvar cancer.
Bottom Line: If you notice something different about your body, get it checked out. Most likely it’s not cancer, but if it is, cancer is treatable and often curable.

Prostate Cancer – A Possible Diet For Prevention and Decreasing Risk of Recurrence

August 15, 2011

Many times I am asked if there is a way to prevent prostate cancer or if there is a diet for prostate cancer patients. Although there is no scientific basis for a cancer prevention diet, there does appear to be a relationship between certain diets and prostate cancer. Years ago it was observed that the Japanese men had less prostate cancer than American men. The Japanese who migrated to Hawaii and started consuming more meat and processed foods had more prostate cancer than their counterparts in Japan and the Japanese who moved to the United States soon developed prostate cancer at the same rate as American men. This suggested a relationship between diet and prostate cancer.

So what should men do who have prostate cancer or are at risk for prostate cancer? First, get involved in a daily exercise program. Even walking for 20-30 minutes a day is helpful. Next, decrease the number of calories you consume. Excess calories, especially an excess of carbohydrates, are bad for cancer growth.

There is a relationship between Vitamin D and prostate cancer. Therefore it is important to get sunshine daily. The sun converts dehydrocholesterol to the active hormone, vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol that is vital for metabolism and for fighting cancer.

It is also noteworthy that a diet that is good for the heart is also good for the prostate gland. Therefore, a diet, which is low in red meat and avoiding foods that are high in cholesterol, will be health for your heart and your prostate gland.

The two diets known to be associated with longevity and reduced risks for prostate cancer are the traditional Japanese diet and a Southern Mediterranean diet. The Japanese diet is high in green tea, soy, vegetables, and fish, as well as low in calories and fat. The Mediterranean diet is high is fresh fruits and vegetables, garlic, tomatoes, red wine, olive oil, and fish. Both are low in red meat.
Reduce animal fat in your diet. Studies show that excess fat, primarily red meat and high-fat dairy, stimulates prostate cancer to grow. Avoid trans fatty acids, which are known to promote cancer growth. These are high in margarines, and fried and baked foods.

Increase your fresh fish intake, which is high in the very beneficial alpha omega-3 fatty acids. Ideally eat cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and trout, at least two to three times a week. The fish should be poached, baked, or grilled. It is recommended to avoid the usual food preparation so common in the fare of New Orleans cosine, which is blackened or charred. Avoid fried fish.
It is very important to significantly increase your fresh fruit, herb, and vegetable consumption daily. Powerful anticancer nutrients or anti-oxidants are being discovered regularly in colorful fruits and vegetables, fresh herbs, leafy green vegetables, nuts, berries, and seeds.

In addition to red meat, avoid high-calcium diets, which have been shown to stimulate prostate cancer growth. Avoid high-dose zinc supplements and avoid excess preserved, pickled, or salted foods. Avoid flax seed oil. Flaxseed can stimulate prostate cancer to grow.

It is suggested to take a multivitamin with B complex, 2-5 micorgrams daily, and folic acid, 250-1000 micrograms\day.
Increase your natural vitamin C consumption — this includes citrus, berries, spinach, cantaloupe, sweet peppers, and mango. Drink green tea several times each week. Eat red grapes; drink red grape juice, or red wine regularly. Eat leafy dark-green vegetables frequently. Cruciferous vegetables are cancer protective. These include cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Tomatoes and especially tomato products are very high in lycopene, a powerful anticancer substance. This includes pizza sauce, tomato paste, and ketchup. For reasons not possibly understood, the lycopenes are highest in cooked tomatoes and not in the raw tomato.
Use olive oil, which is very healthy and rich in vitamin E and antioxidants. Avocado oil is also good. Avoid oils high in polyunsaturated fats such as corn, canola, or soybean. Take vitamin E, 50 to 100 IU of gamma and d-alpha, only with the approval of your doctor. Some recent studies have raised concerns over serious risks with vitamin E intake. Natural sources include nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado oil, wheat germ, peas, and nonfat milk.

Selenium is a very powerful antioxidant and the backbone molecule of your body’s immune system. Most studies support a daily selenium supplement of 200 micrograms a day. The benefits appear to be only for those who have low selenium levels, which is difficult and expensive to measure. Since it only costs about 7 cents a day and is not toxic at these levels, it is reasonable for all men to take selenium. Natural sources include Brazil nuts, fresh fish, grains, mushrooms, wheat germ, bran, whole-wheat bread, oats, and brown rice.

Bottom Line: Although there is no scientific evidence that diet can protect or prevent prostate cancer, there is a diet with supplements that may be beneficial. As my wonderful Jewish mother would say, “It may not help, but it voidn’t hoit!”

“Take Two and Call Me in the Morning” – Aspirin’s Role In Cancer Prevention

March 30, 2011

One of mankind’s oldest remedies, aspirin, which has references dating it’s use to at least the 4th century BC, has received another endorsement: cancer prevention.

A recent study published in the highly respected British journal, The Lancet, indicates that low dose aspirin may play a role in the prevention of a variety of cancers. These include cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon, pancreas, intestine, lung, and prostate.

Now this new study shows that daily aspirin regimens of 5 years or more substantially reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Researches found that this regimen reduced mortality from various cancers by 10 to 60%, depending upon the type of cancer.

These findings occurred in a study of over 25,000 persons, which was initially undertaken to assess the protective effects of aspirin on heart and vascular disease. Researchers were quick to point out that the public should consult with their physician before embarking on an aspirin regimen, but do concede that the small risk of gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding is likely outweighed by the benefits in terms of cardiovascular disease prevention and now possible cancer prevention.

The study followed patients for up to 20 years. Those followed for this length of time showed a reduction in cancer related death of 10% for prostate cancer, 30% for lung cancer, 40% for colorectal cancer and 60% for esophageal cancer.

Again, doctors have cautioned patients not to be overly optimistic about this report, as some feel the claims made by this study are quite dramatic and require further analysis and investigation. Patients with a history of ulcers or other GI disorders such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s Disease, gastric or duodenal ulcers, as well bleeding disorders are strongly advised to seek medical guidance regarding any planned use of aspirin regimens.

Diet and prostate cancer-what do you need to know?

March 30, 2011

If you have prostate cancer or if you want to prevent prostate cancer, you will want to read this article about what is known about diet and supplements and the relationship to prostate cancer.

Everyone with prostate cancer who goes on the Internet receives information about green tea preventing prostate cancer, that pomegranate juice can be consumed to lower the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and advice on consuming broccoli and cauliflower.  So what is a man to do?

Numerous studies have been conducted that have looked at vitamin E, selenium, vitamin C and combinations of these 3 supplements. There has been no conclusive study that any of these supplements or vitamins reduce the risk of prostate cancer or prevented the recurrence of prostate cancer.

However there are compelling data supporting the therapeutic potential of a high vegetable diet for prostate cancer. Red meat and fat tend to be associated with increased risk of prostate cancer while broccoli, cauliflower and radishes and tomato products tend to be associated with decreasing the risk of prostate cancer.

So here are my recommendations: 1) avoid supplements for cancer prevention, 2) maintain a diet rich in vegetables and whole grains, 3) limit red meat and refined or processed carbohydrates, and 4) be physically active at least 30 minutes a day.  So go to your grocery store and visit the vegetable counter and pass up the bakery area!  Your prostate gland will thank you!