Study: Almost Half a Million Cancers Worldwide Due to Obesity

Almost half a million cancer cases worldwide are due to the rising rates of overweight and obesity, making many of the most common cancers potentially avoidable, says a new study published in The Lancet Oncology.canstockphoto12101428

The study was funded in part by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) International, which AICR is a member. AICR and WCRF now estimate that approximately 122,000 cases of cancers in the US are due to overweight and obesity.

Researchers in The Lancet study calculated that  481,000 – 3.6% – of all new cancer cases in adults worldwide were attributable to high BMI in 2012, the latest global data available.

Obesity-related cancers are more likely to affect women than men, largely due to endometrial and post-menopausal breast cancers, according to the study. In men, excess weight was responsible for 1.9% or 136,000 new cancers in 2012, and in women it was 5.4% or 345,000 new cases. Continue reading


Thanksgiving Turkey – Porchetta style

The forecast for a chilly, November weekend got me excited to try out AICR’s new recipe for porchetta-style roasted turkey breast. I’ve never cooked a whole turkey, so starting with just the breast seemed more manageable than an entire bird. Since the turkey takes several hours to roast, I knew it would be the perfect way to warm my apartment and fill it with scents from two of my favorite herbs—rosemary and sage. These herbs are also packed full of cancer-protective flavonoids and phenolic acids.

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Porchetta is a traditional Italian roast pork dish that is stuffed with garlic, salt, rosemary, sage, fennel, and other herbs (such as coriander or red pepper flakes). The pork cut is generally high in fat (e.g. pork belly) with a crispy skin and very salty seasoning. I love that this recipe keeps all the flavorful spices found in traditional porchetta, but instead can be enjoyed with a lean turkey breast and less sodium. The skin still crisps up nicely and the broth keeps the turkey juicy.

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Tomatoes, Lycopene and Prostate Cancer Risk: Mixed but Promising

In the past several decades, there has been considerable interest in lycopene-rich foods, particularly tomatoes and tomato products, in lowering a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer. In the previous AICR report, the strength of evidence for a benefit was viewed as “probable” for lycopene-rich foods, but in the latest round, the recommendation was lowered to “limited, no conclusion.”elg-color-2

To understand this change, it is important to examine the nature of the evidence used to reach the new conclusion. Most of the evidence is based on studies that record what men are eating, or measure blood lycopene levels, and then follow the men for any diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Then dietary or blood factors are linked to risk of cancer diagnosis. Statistical methods are used to account for other factors. Because these studies are examining associations, which may not necessarily be causal, other considerations such as biologic plausibility are taken into account in formulating the conclusions.

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