Thursday, November 30, 2023

Certain foods really can reduce your risk of cancer, American Cancer Society indicates

Many cancers potentially can be prevented by changing your diet, according to the American Cancer Society. 

A story by Nikki Campo in editions of The New York Times early this week indicates that "scientists have a good idea of what foods you should avoid to reduce your risk of cancer, such as red and processed meats, 'fast' or processed foods, alcohol, and sugary drinks."

Johanna Lampe
However, the piece says, "knowing what to at isn't always straightforward," according to Johanna Lampe, a cancer prevention researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle.

One problem, Lampe says, is that many nutrition studies rely on people to accurately remember what they consumed up to a year ago. Another is that it's tricky to understand how single foods may influence your health when they're part of a larger diet.

The Times story also quotes Nigel Brockton, vice president of research at the American Institute for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C., as saying that although no single food can prevent cancer on its own, following a healthy diet does seem to reduce the risk.

Campo's article lists foods "that experts say are worth adding to your plate." They include broccoli "and its cruciferous cousins" — such as brussels spouts, cauliflower, and cabbage; tomatoes and tomato-based products; black and kidney beans as well as other types of legumes such as chickpeas, dry peas, and lentils; nuts, especially walnuts; strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates, and black raspberries; and garlic.

More information on disease prevention ideas can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Columnist suggests three strategies that could possibly reduce your risk of contracting cancer

By employing three strategies, you may reduce your cancer risk. 

That, at least, is the opinion of Dr. Jerry Saliman, whose Senior Life column in an earlier-this-month edition of j. the Jewish News of Northern California, focused on those strategies — being on the lookout, catching symptoms early, and paying attention to risky behavioral factors.

Dr. Jerry Saliman
Regarding the first strategy, Saliman writes that unfortunately only four types of cancer screening have received a high-level record recommendation from a U.S. task force: colon, lung, breast, and cervix.

As to the second line of reasoning, the columnist, a Bay Area physician who retired from Kaiser South San Francisco after a 30-year career and now is a volunteer internist at Samaritan House Medical Clinic in San Mateo, suggests that "by catching cancer early, the survival rates may be four times higher compared with later-stage detection."

Saliman adds, about the last strategy, that the American Cancer Society's prevention studies have been crucial in detailing risk factors — including, in the 1950s, being the first to identify smoking as a major reason for cancer. The ACS has since, via its ongoing research, "found that older age and smoking have the highest relative risk for developing any cancer for both men and women."

Additional risks for men, his column says, "are family history of cancer, red meat consumption, alcohol intake, and physical inactivity."

More information on risks can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.