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New Report: Thousands of Pancreatic Cancers in the U.S. Can Be Prevented

www.aicr.org » Cancer Research Update

AICR logo

“There is still clear and convincing evidence that diets high in a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans lower risk for several cancers, including those of the colorectum, esophagus, stomach and more,” said AICR’s Alice Bender, MS, RD.

Pancreas In Situ Xray Image

 

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly forms of cancer. Usually diagnosed in advanced stages, it claims the lives of nine out of ten patients within five years’ time. Now a report released today from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) finds clear and convincing evidence that many cases of pancreatic cancer can be prevented.

“The latest report from the AICR/WCRF Continuous Update Project, one of the largest cancer prevention research projects in the world, shows that being overweight and obese increases the risk of developing pancreatic cancer,” said Continuous Update Project (CUP) Panel Member Elisa Bandera, MD, PhD, of the Cancer Institute of New Jersey.

AICR/WCRF estimates that being lean can prevent 19 percent of pancreatic cancer cases that occur in the United States every year – or roughly one out of every five. That’s equivalent to 23 cases a day, and approximately 8,300 cases every year, that never have to happen, in the U.S. alone. (See the Cancer Preventability Chart)

In comparison, tobacco use, the number one risk factor for pancreatic cancer, is responsible for 1 out of every 4 cases of the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.

For the latest report on pancreatic cancer, the CUP evaluated an additional 79 recent papers relating to pancreatic cancer, diet and lifestyle. This was added to the 129 research papers already included for the AICR/WCRF 2007 second expert report.

“With the recent news that pancreatic cancer rates are on the rise, this report should be seen as a wake-up call,” Bandera said. “It’s still another example of the severe toll the obesity epidemic is taking on our health.”

Fat and Pancreatic Cancer: What’s the Link?

In addition to pancreatic cancer, carrying excess body fat has been shown to increase risk for cancers of the breast (postmenopausal), colon, esophagus, kidney, endometrium and gall bladder, along with other chronic diseases such as 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach that produces digestive juices as well as insulin and other hormones. Research continues to document several reasons why carrying excess fat increases risk for pancreatic cancer.

Fat tissue produces cytokines (proteins) that cause inflammation, which link to changes that promote cancer in healthy cells. Being overweight and obese also increases blood levels of insulin and related hormones that can encourage the growth of cancer.

The Latest: Folate Link Downgraded

Research on cancer prevention is always evolving, which is why AICR/WCRF created the CUP, a living database of the global cancer research that is investigating links between lifestyle and cancer risk. As research is added to the database, the CUP panel periodically re-evaluates the strength of various links to ensure that AICR’s advice always reflects the state-of-the-science.
The AICR/WCRF CUP Pancreatic Cancer 2012 report also finds that it is no longer clear that foods containing folate protect against pancreatic cancer. This represents a downgrading of the judgment from the AICR/WCRF second expert report, which concluded in 2007 that there was evidence for a probable link between foods containing folate and lower risk for pancreatic cancer.

Foods containing folate include dark leafy greens, beans and peanuts.

But experts at AICR point out that this downgrade does not change the organization’s take-home message that plant-based diets are cancer-protective. “There is still clear and convincing evidence that diets high in a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans lower risk for several cancers, including those of the colorectum, esophagus, stomach and more,” said AICR’s Alice Bender, MS, RD.

The new report also confirms the findings that coffee does not link to pancreatic cancer risk.

The Bottom Line

Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to prevent this deadly disease. Avoiding tobacco use is another. If you smoke, stop now. If you don’t, never start.

Pancreas Matrix 2012

http://www.aicr.org/cancer-research-update/2012_10_04/cru-report-thousands.html

If You Think We’re Fat Now, Wait Till 2030

By Maggie Fox, NBC News

Image Source / Getty Images file

In the 13 heaviest states, 60 percent of residents will be obese in less than two decades if current trends continue, finds a new report.

 

Think Americans are fat now? After all, a third of us are overweight and another 35 percent are obese. But a report out Tuesday projects 44 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030.

In the 13 worst states, 60 percent of the residents will be obese in less than two decades if current trends continue, the report from the Trust for America’s Health projects. That’s not chubby or a little plump – that’s clinically obese, bringing a higher risk of heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, several forms of cancer and arthritis.

“The initial reaction is to say, ‘Oh it couldn’t be that bad’,” says Jeff Levi, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health. “But we have maps from 1991 and you see almost all the states below 10 percent.” By 2011 every single state was above 20 percent obesity, as measured by body mass index (BMI), the accepted medical way to calculate obesity. Those with a BMI or 30 or above are considered obese.

In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 12 states have an adult obesity rate over 30 percent. Mississippi had the highest rate of obesity at 34.9 percent. On the low end, 20.7 percent of Colorado residents are obese. CDC projections for obesity resemble those in Tuesday’s report – it projects 42 percent of adults will be obese by 2030.

The problem isn’t just cosmetic. “The number of new cases of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, hypertension and arthritis could increase 10 times between 2010 and 2020 — and then double again by 2030,” the report projects.  “Obesity-related health care costs could increase by more than 10 percent in 43 states and by more than 20 percent in nine states.”

That’s bad news when states are already strapped to pay for public health programs such as Medicaid and the federal government is struggling to fund Medicare.

 

Over the next 20 years, more than 6 million patients will be able to blame obesity for their diabetes, 5 million will be diagnosed with heart disease and 400,000 will get cancer caused by obesity.

And some of them are frighteningly young.

“Now I am seeing 25-year-olds weighing 350 pounds who present with chest pain or shortness of breath,” says Dr. Sheldon Litwin, a cardiologist at Georgia Health Sciences University. “Everything from the heart disease process to its diagnosis and treatment are affected by obesity. We see it every day. This really is the number-one issue facing us,” added Litwin, who worked on one of a series of obesity studies published in this week’s issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The trend is not inevitable, according to the report, entitled “F as in Fat.” Some programs are beginning to make a dent in the rising rates.  “We certainly see, in some communities, the beginning of some changes,” says Levi. “We know what some of the answers are.”

Convicted killer: I’m too obese to be executed

For instance, making it easier for people to exercise day in and day out, and making it easier to get healthy food. “A large-scale study of New York City adults found that increasing the density of healthy food outlets, such as supermarkets, fruit and vegetable markets, and natural food stores is associated with lower BMIs and lower prevalence of obesity,” the report reads.

What about initiatives like New York’s controversial ban on the largest sodas? “Every community is going to experiment with different approaches. It is going to be very interesting to see what happens in New York and whether this makes a difference,” Levi said.

New York’s health commissioner, Dr. Thomas Farley, defends the move in the medical journal’s obesity issue. “How should government address the health problems caused by this successful marketing of food? To do nothing is to invite even higher rates of obesity, diabetes, and related mortality,” he wrote.

Trust for America’s Health

Many studies have also shown that people who live in big, walkable cities such as New York and Washington D.C. are thinner than their rural and suburban counterparts, and it’s almost certainly because they walk more and use public transportation instead of sitting in cars.

If everyone lost just a little weight, the savings would be enormous, the study predicts.

“If we could lower obesity trends by reducing body mass indices (BMIs) by only 5 percent in each state, we could spare millions of Americans from serious health problems and save billions of dollars in health spending —between 6.5 percent and 7.8 percent in costs in almost every state,” the report says.

Education can’t hurt, either. The more educated people are, the less likely they are to be obese. Higher-earners are also thinner. “More than 33 percent of adults who earn less than $15,000 per year were obese, compared with 24.6 percent of those who earned at least $50,000 per year,” the report notes. And several studies have shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables are thinner, as well as healthier. “Seven of the 10 states with the highest rates of obesity were also in the bottom 10 for fruit and vegetable consumption,” the report says.

Levi believes it’s worthwhile targeting kids the hardest. New nutritional guidelines for schools will help, he said, as will initiatives to restore recess and physical education classes. Beverage makers have agreed to replace sugary sodas in vending machines with water and other low-calorie drinks. “It is as simple as an hour a day less of screen time and one less sugar beverage,” Levi says.  “Just 120 calories can make a big difference as to whether a kid crosses over from being normal weight into overweight and obesity.”

Another study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that kids who exercised 20 minutes a day lowered an important measure of diabetes risk by 18 percent. Exercising 40 minutes a day cut the risk by 22 percent. The researchers also noted it’s important to make exercise fun for kids

“Regulation sports tend to have kids standing around a lot waiting for the ball. We had enough balls so everyone was moving all the time,” said Dr. Catherine Davis of Georgia Health Sciences University. “It had to be fun or they would not keep coming.”

For some people, drastic measures remain an option. One study in the Journal shows that gastric bypass surgery is a viable option. And two doctors present opposing views over whether the Food and Drug Administration holds obesity drugs to an unreasonably high standard. On Tuesday, one of the newest obesity drugs hits the market – Qsymia, made by Vivus.

Are you obese? The National Institutes of Health has a BMI calculator here.http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/

If you’re 5 feet 6 inches tall, you become overweight at 160 pounds (a BMI of 25.1) and obese at 192 pounds, when your BMI grows to 30.1.

http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/09/18/13922737-if-you-think-were-fat-now-wait-till-2030

What Are My Chances of Getting Heart Disease?

What Are My Chances of Getting Heart Disease Infographic

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MyHeartandStrokeNews/What-Are-My-Chances-of-Getting-Heart-Disease-Infographic_UCM_443749_SubHomePage.jsp

Weight Loss and a Low-Fat Diet May Limit Hot Flashes

MyHealthNewsDaily Staff

Losing weight by eating a low-fat dietmay reduce menopausal women’s symptoms of hot flashes and night sweats, according to a new study.

The researchers studied 17,473 women and found that those who lost either 10 pounds or 10 percent of their body weight were 89 percent less likely to have hot flashes or night sweats one year after the weight loss, compared with women who didn’t lose any weight. Women who lost more than 22 pounds experienced an elimination of their symptoms altogether, the studyfound.

The women ate a diet of low-fat, high-fiber, whole-grain foods, and were not taking hormone therapy.

“Since most women tend to gain weight with age, weight loss or weight gain prevention may offer a viable strategy to help eliminate hot flashes and night sweats associated with menopause,” said study author Bette Caan, a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research.

Because fat insulates the body, increased body fat may worsen hot flashes and night sweats, which are caused by a complex interaction between hormones, brain chemicals and sweat glands during menopause. The less fat a person has, the more easily the body can dissipate heat, Caan said.

The researchers noted that two-thirds of people in the U.S. are overweight, and according to Axelrod, could benefit from weight loss. It’s been shown that women who are overweight experience more severe hot flashes, Axelrod added.

It was not only the amount of weight loss that made a difference among the women in the study — the low-fat diet itself seemed to have an effect.

Among the women in the study who did not eat the low-fat diet, those who still lost 10 pounds or 10 percent of their body weight were 23 percent less likely, and 56 percent less likely, respectively, to have hot flashes or night sweats after a year, compared with those who didn’t lose weight.

The results of the study are impressive due to the large sample size, according to Dr. Deborah Axelrod, director of Clinical Breast Programs and Service at New York University Langone Medical Center, who was not involved in the study. But Axelrod also noted that of the women involved, only 26 percent reported having any menopausal symptoms at all, only 1 percent reported severe symptoms.

Previous research has linked higher body weight and weight gain to worse menopausal symptoms; this is the first study to suggest that eating a healthy diet and losing weight can reverse these symptoms.

While there are other treatments for menopause symptoms, such as hormone replacement therapy or other medications, a low-fat diet may be a non-drug option for women, according to Axelrod.

The researchers used data gathered during the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification trial, in which researchers tracked U.S. women between 1993 to1998 to study the effect of a low-fat diet on a variety of health concerns, including heart disease to cancer risk.

Weight loss was not a goal of the diet, which focused on reducing fat and increasing whole grain, fruit and vegetable consumption, but participants on the diet lost an average of 4.5 pounds yearly, the researchers found.

The study is published today (July 11) in the journal Menopause.

Pass it on: Eating a low-fat diet with plenty of fruits, veggies and whole grains could lower menopausal women’s hot flashes and night sweats.

Follow MyHealthNewsDaily on Twitter @MyHealth_MHND. Find us on Facebook and Google+.

Editorial Note: This article has been updated to include Axelrod’s comments.

http://www.myhealthnewsdaily.com/2823-fat-diet-menopause.html

Health Plan Costs For Obese And Smokers Could Rise After Supreme Court Ruling

Scotus Obesity

“A little-discussed ramification of Thursday’s landmark Supreme Court health care decision is that it could make things harder for the nation’s heaviest workers.

The decision upholding the Affordable Care Act has cleared the way for a planned increase in the penalties that employers can impose on workers who don’t participate in company wellness programs and, in some cases, who don’t meet certain health targets such as an appropriate body mass index. In other words, the obese may wind up paying penalties for being overweight. Smokers, too, may get hit.”

Read more at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/29/health-plans-obese-smokers-supreme-court_n_1636139.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Just Dropping a Few Pounds Can Reduce Risk of Getting Breast Cancer

Want to lose weight for summer but can’t find the motivation to start making healthier choices?  How about reducing your Breast Cancer Risk?

CLEVELAND – Need a reason to drop a few pounds? A new study finds that even a moderate decrease in weight could help reduce breast cancer risks.

Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle compiled date from sedentary post-menopausal women who were overweight or obese.

They found even a five percent, weight loss can reduce the levels of circulating estrogens. Those hormones are linked with an increased breast cancer risk.

Researchers said a healthy diet is also key and that it’s never too late to make lifestyle changes.

The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Read more: http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/health/just-dropping-a-few-pounds-can-drop-your-risk-of-getting-breast-cancer#ixzz1vinrTjtm

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