Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Smoking causes bladder cancer

The 2004 report of the Surgeon General on the health consequences of smoking concluded that smoking causes bladder cancer (see details in report). Little surprise then today that another large prospective study following older US adults for approximately 10 years shows smoking is directly related to increased risk of bladder cancer. As women and men have patterns of cigarette smoking that are becoming more alike, the risk increase of bladder cancer among smokers also becomes more alike. 

Sadly, media coverage suggests more research is needed. What we need is better prevention of smoking and prevention of addiction to cigarettes, which leads to cancer in many different parts of the body, bladder being just one such location.  Making smoking cessation services and strategies available to all smokers to avoid these unnecessary cases of cancer is surely the top priority, not more research to understand mechanisms of how smoking causes bladder cancer.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Nuts for Nuts

Limiting red meat intake is one of the key messages in our cancer prevention education programs and we've talked about it before on CNiC. Red meat significantly increases risk of colon cancer and may also increase risk of lung, esophageal, stomach and pancreatic cancers.

But as with many of the things you can do to lower your cancer risk, eating less red meat isn't just about cancer. Eating red meat also increases your risk of heart disease and diabetes. The good news is that making a simple switch can change that risk. Our colleagues at Harvard report today on the NY Times Well Blog that replacing just one serving a day of red meat with nuts, low fat dairy or whole grains can lower diabetes risk.

What does this add to our knowledge? We've known that red and processed meats increase risk and the Harvard data adds to that, but few studies have been able to examine the effect of behavior change. The Harvard study modeled the change to see what happened to risk. This means, regardless of what you've been doing to now, you can change what you're doing and change your risk. So go nuts for nuts (or whole grains).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rest NOT Best

Following closely on the heels of the American College of Sports Medicine Exercise Guidelines for Cancer Survivors, MacMillan Cancer Support in the UK this week is launching a Move More campaign designed to get cancer survivors up and moving and debunk the notion that rest is best for cancer survivors during and after treatment. As part of that MacMillan reviewed the evidence supporting a role for exercise in survivors. Expanding on the ACSM focus on clinical trials, the MacMillan report includes observational data – notably that showing that exercise reduces risk of recurrence and death in breast, colorectal and prostate cancer survivors. The MacMillan website holds a wealth of information, directed at survivors, on how to go about safely being active.

The benefits of activity, what we mean by activity, how to safely be active and how to get started are all covered in great detail.

Dr. Robert Thomas, a medical oncologist, sums it all up nicely in this video.

For other ways to stay healthy after a cancer diagnosis, check our our Cancer Survivors' 8 Ways. For more on how exercise can help prevent cancer, click over to the video from our 8 ways campaign.