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Following Prevention Guidelines Linked to Lowered Risk for Cancer

Keeping active and eating healthy really does seem to reduce the odds of getting certain cancers and dying from them, according to a new review of past research.

The analysis of 12 large studies found significant reductions in breast, endometrial and colorectal cancers in particular among people who consistently followed cancer-prevention lifestyle guidelines compared to those who didn’t.

“What is most interesting to me is how much cancer can be reduced by our lifestyle behaviors,” said lead author Lindsay N. Kohler of the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health in Tucson.

We already knew that making healthy choices reduces cancer risk, but “most of us don’t follow all the guidelines like we should,” Kohler told Reuters Health by email.

Nearly 1.7 million new cancer diagnoses and 600,000 deaths from cancer are expected in the U.S. this year, the study team writes in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Recent studies have suggested that 20 percent of U.S. cancers may be caused by unhealthy lifestyle, including physical inactivity, poor diet, excess alcohol consumption and unhealthy body weight, the authors write. That shoots up to two thirds of cancers if tobacco use is added in.

To see if a healthy lifestyle helps to stave off cancer in general, the researchers looked at studies published in the last decade that followed large number of people over time. Some studies followed up to half a million men and women.

being-physically-active-decreases-risk-of-these-cancers

All the studies looked at whether and how consistently people adhered to lifestyle guidelines from the American Cancer Society or World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research. Both organizations emphasize making healthy diet choices, such as eating a mostly plant-based diet with little or no meat, moderate alcohol consumption, staying active and maintaining a healthy body weight.

Overall, participants in the 12 studies who followed these guidelines were 10 to 45 percent less likely to be diagnosed with any cancer and up to 61 percent less likely to die of cancer, compared to people who adhered least to the lifestyle guidelines.

The incidence of breast, endometrial and colorectal cancers were in some cases halved for those who followed guidelines, depending on the study.

“Breast, endometrial, and colorectal cancer are all considered obesity-related cancers by the American Cancer Society,” Kohler said. “The guidelines specifically include ‘maintaining a healthy weight’ as well as other recommendations for healthy eating and being physically active.”

There was no association between guideline adherence and ovarian or prostate cancer, researchers found. Links between guidelines and lung cancer incidence varied by study, which made it impossible to summarize cancer risk reductions or draw conclusions about causality, the study team writes.

The populations in these studies couldn’t be directly compared, so there is no pooled estimate of cancer incidences that could be avoided if everyone followed prevention guidelines, Kohler noted.

People may feel they don’t have the time to exercise or the money to eat well, she said.

“However, a few changes can make big impacts,” she said. “Following even some of these guidelines will lead to healthier overall lives and in turn reduce the risk for many major diseases.”

SOURCE:  (Reuters Health)     KATHRYN DOYLE    Wed Jun 29, 2016
bit.ly/297VTy7 Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, online June 23, 2016.
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Top Cancer Fighting Foods

‘Let Food Be Thy Medicine’!  Use Food to Aid in Your Cancer Fight!

Health Science & Tech   Apr 2, 2016

The moment you receive a cancer diagnosis, your doctor will probably go through a list of your treatment options and what he or she will do in your particular case.  Many people have similar conversations with family, friends, and co-workers about the future and what help you’ll need in your personal and professional life.

Now an important question.  What can you do to help yourself?

It may be tempting, even easy, to give up control of your life until you’re better.  That’s a mistake.  This is your disease now.  It’s your body, your choice and your responsibility.  Let the experts do their job (and ask lots of questions) but remember to keep actively working toward your own recovery.

Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery deplete your mind, body, and spirit.  Any person who has dealt with cancer personally or in regards to someone they love can attest to the turmoil the disease causes in so many areas.  It is easy to become lost in feelings of helplessness and worry.

Diet is a simple yet crucial aspect of your life that you can control.  It’s critical to pay close attention to the food you consume during treatment.

Enlist Food in the Cancer Fight

Internally you’re waging a war and you need to feed yourself foods that support your fight that might even boost the effectiveness of standard cancer therapies.

Many doctors turn up their collective noses at the use of superfoods during treatment and recovery.  They may attempt to mock your questions and some may threaten that healthy, whole foods are detrimental to cancer drug efficacy.

Cancer-fighting foods contain a wealth of powerful antioxidants.  They fight free radicals in your system, slowing and even stopping molecules that cause cellular damage.  Since cancer is the result of damaged or mutated cells, it makes sense that you don’t need more!

Oncologists imply that antioxidants interfere with the drugs administered during chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments by neutralizing them.  However, patients undergoing these treatments are commonly prescribed amifostine and dexrazoxane – both incredibly powerful antioxidants.

This represents the primary division between the “traditionalists” who wish to stick with business as usual from those seeking to “compliment” cancer treatments by boosting your body’s ability to help itself.

In studies begun in the 1970s, patients consumed antioxidant-rich foods during their cancer treatments while researchers logged the results.  The outcome proved – as it has time and time again – that antioxidants do not interfere with drug therapy effectiveness.  In fact, in many cases, these cancer-fighting foods enhance the power of the drugs for better results for the patient!

Follow up studies found that the patients who maintained these healthier eating regimens after treatment had higher survival rates.  Though the American Cancer Society corroborated these findings, they continue to downplay the importance of food in aiding the fight.

Obviously, choosing a healthy diet is a good idea for everyone.  It is especially critical for cancer patients.  If chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery are part of your treatment protocol, your body will be fighting the disease as well as the results of the treatment.

Your body needs all the help it can get!  Patients will feel proactive in their own case, try new foods and recipes, and give their bodies a little something extra during their treatment.  One of the biggest issues after cancer therapy is that your immune system is ravaged.  It can take years to rebuild it and for some, it may never return to pre-cancer strength.

Food is such a simple addition.  It does help protect you from many of the side effects and might protect some of your cells from destruction by chemo or radiation.  Here at The Truth About Cancer, we talk a lot about using food to ease symptoms, protect your healthy cells, and even give your body antibodies to prevent cancer in the first place.

letthyfood

Five Cancer-Fighting Foods

Fatty Fish

Fish oils contain long chain omega-3 fatty acids.  These healthy fats are a potent anti-inflammatory and protect the body from negative hormones produced during treatment that inflame and irritate.  Oily fish like mackerel, wild salmon, tuna, sardines, and herring also contain vitamins A and D – known to be forceful fighters in the battle against cancer.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts like walnuts, Brazil nuts and almonds contain selenium, a strong anti-cancer compound.  Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are packed with zinc and vitamin E.  The vitamin E provides your immune system with a huge boost and zinc aids in the absorption of vitamin C.

Red and Yellow Peppers

Red and yellow peppers are packed with vitamin C.  This influential antioxidant strengthens your immune system and neutralizes toxins.  Peppers contain even more vitamin C than is commonly found in oranges.  They also contain carotenoids that convert to vitamin A.  Other sources of these are carrots, sweet potatoes, and dried apricots.

Mushrooms

Chinese medicine has used medicinal mushrooms for hundreds of years as blood purifiers, immune system balancers, and to aid in the performance of internal organs.  Shiitake, Miatake, Portobello and even button mushrooms all contain natural medicines.  They’ve been shown to reduce some of the worst side effects of treatment such as hair loss and nausea.  They boost immunity, increase survival rates, and studies reported that they shrank certain cancerous tumors by as much as 70%.

Purple Foods

No one talks about purple foods and we should!  Purple eggplant, dark purple grapes, beets, blueberries, plums, and cherries all contain massive amounts of anthocyanins.  Anthocyanins have been proven in countless studies to kill cancer cells.  Other benefits include supporting internal organs and boosting immunity.  Recent studies show anthocyanins compounds are easily absorbed by the body and immediately begin defending the body against diseases that result from poor diet and negative lifestyle habits.

More Thoughts to Remember

  • Drink a cup or two of fresh brewed green tea per day (hot or iced)
  • Use good oils and fats such as butter, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, and extra-virgin olive oil
  • Limit refined sugar, grains, and flour
  • Buy organic where you can
  • Increase your consumption of probiotic foods
  • Search for more fantastic information about the cancer-fighting foods that might already be in your kitchen!

A healthy diet might seem hard to accomplish but you’ll be shocked how quickly you feel the effects on your entire body.  Enlist friends or family for suggestions on recipes or menus.  If you have a friend who loves to cook, ask for help with meals that can be made ahead of time and stock your freezer for days when you have no energy.

No matter how tempting or easy, do everything you can to stick with your new healthier, cancer-fighting food nutrition plan.

There is a Better Way

No one wants cancer and if you get it once, you never want to go through the emotional, financial, and physical trauma again.  All over the world, incredible advances are being made in the fight against cancer.  It’s strange that they don’t make big news in the United States while the rest of the world is fascinated by them.

For instance, did you know…

1-in-5 cancer deaths is due to obesity?

A compound found in eggplant cures most types of skin cancer without side effects?

There are two primary food additives that are responsible for brain damage and multiple types of cancer?  (MSG and aspartame)

Cancer is big business and we need to opt out of being part of its bottom line.  Experts estimate that more than half of the cancers diagnosed in the world are preventable.

Be in the half that beats the odds.

References:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17283738
http://www.canceractive.com/cancer-active-page-link.aspx
http://www.cancer.org/treatment/survivorshipduringandaftertreatment/nutritionforpeoplewithcancer/nutritionforthepersonwithcancer/index
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082903/


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Two Ways You And Your Family Can Help Minimize Your Cancer Risk

By: Care2 Healthy Living Guest Blogger David Benjamin    April 16, 2016

Disease affects all of our lives on some level or another. Our families are affected by it, our friends and co-workers too. Most people only see disease as either a distant potential future event, or something that affects their friends and family. Unfortunately, disease can become a part of our life overnight if we don’t take the right actions to live a healthy lifestyle each day.

Did you know that 41% of Americans are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime? That’s right. In total, 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women are diagnosed with cancer in America, and those numbers don’t even include heart disease, strokes, diabetes, obesity and other life-threatening diseases.

My grandfather died of colon cancer within less than a month of diagnosis, at the time I was only 11 years old and saw his rapid decline. That same year my mom was also diagnosed with colon cancer, thankfully she survived and found the right people and solutions that helped her heal and bring her health back. Three of my four grandparents have died of cancer. These experiences have impacted me greatly and have pushed me to read through the research on environmental factors that cause cancer.

Thankfully with the latest science we can do much more than we could even a decade ago to prevent cancer and reduce our risk of developing it, and we’re starting to get a good idea of which chemicals and products are carcinogenic.

The U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services published a 240 page report on reducing environmental cancer risk that can be read here. “With nearly 80,000 chemicals on the market in the United States, many of which are used by millions of Americans in their daily lives and are un- or understudied and largely unregulated, exposure to potential environmental carcinogens is widespread,” the report explains.

These chemicals are prevalent in our environment, but what can you do? Stop supporting companies that produce these chemicals, for one. If a product contains carcinogens do you really want that in your home and around your children?

While some instances of cancer are unavoidable, there are things we can do to actively protect ourselves and our families:

Pesticides

1. Eat organic as often as possible.

Food that is organic is grown without synthetic pesticides and utilizes classic farming techniques to build healthy soil. The suffix ‘-cide’ literally means death. Synthetic pesticides, fungicides, herbicides and other forms of ‘cides’ are death for the crops that you eat as well as the soil surrounding it. This affects your health in a few ways. First, organic food doesn’t contain as high of a level of pesticides so you’re not ingesting these chemicals. What you eat determines your inner state of health. If you’re eating food grown in pesticides your body has to adapt and fight harder to stay healthier.

In animal studies it has been found that multiple forms of pesticides are carcinogenic, so why are we still eating so much food that contains them? Eating organic is the number one way to reduce your body’s overall pesticide load. Glyphosate, a pesticide used on many genetically engineered (GMO) foods was labeled “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Glyphosate was brought to the market by Monsanto under the product name ”Roundup.”

2. Avoid sprays designed to exterminate.

Ant sprays, roach sprays, mosquito sprays, flea and tick sprays should all be used with caution.  Sprays that are meant to kill bugs are also potentially going to weaken human health, because they are chemical concoctions formulated to incur death on a smaller species.

According to the New York Times, indoor studies relating to bug sprays (with 16 studies backing this) have proven that these chemicals lead to a 47% increased risk for childhood leukemia and a 43% increase in the risk of childhood lymphoma. Additionally outdoor pesticides used as weed killers were associated with a 26% increased risk for brain tumors.

What can you do? Use natural bug sprays or mixtures made from essential oils instead.

A good rule of thumb is to look at a label and look for any warning labels on the product. This is also a good indicator that using these products and inhaling the fumes is not beneficial for health. Solutions that are made from plant chemicals or compounds are often more eco-friendly to the environment as well.

Unfortunately, many products on the market today have not been tested for their cancer-causing potential. This is why making eco-healthy choices and healthy-friendly choices is the best route to take.

Using more of nature’s intelligence and fewer synthetic chemicals in your diet and lifestyle routine is ultimately the best choice for the health of your body, your family, and for dramatically reducing your risk of becoming another statistic on the wrong side of our “war against cancer.”

David Benjamin is the founder of HealthyWildAndFree.com, He writes about health, wellness, green living and sustainability. He also works with the Truth About Cancer documentary series to share and educate the public on understanding cancer, it’s causes and risks further and how to prevent it by making smarter, more earth friendly decisions.


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Processed Meats Including Bacon Are Cancer Hazards, WHO Says

— and red meat probably is too

 BY ANGELA CHARLTON, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS    OCTOBER 26, 2015

PARIS — It’s official: Bacon, ham, hot dogs and other processed meats can lead to colon, stomach and other cancers — and red meat is probably cancer-causing, too.

While doctors in rich countries have long warned against eating too much meat, the World Health Organization’s cancer agency gave the most definitive response yet on Monday about its relation to cancer — and put processed meats in the same danger category as smoking or asbestos.

The findings don’t say that a slice of salami is as dangerous as a cigarette, but they could weigh on public health policy and recommendations by medical groups amid a growing debate about how much meat is good for us. The meat industry protests the classification, arguing that cancer isn’t caused by a specific food but also involves lifestyle and environmental factors.

A group of 22 scientists from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France evaluated more than 800 studies from several continents about meat and cancer. The studies looked at more than a dozen types of cancer in populations with diverse diets over the past 20 years.

Based on that evaluation, the IARC classified processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans,” noting links in particular to colon cancer. It said red meat contains some important nutrients, but still labeled it “probably carcinogenic,” with links to colon, prostate and pancreatic cancers.

Ian Johnson, a nutrition researcher with the Institute of Food Research who is unconnected to the IARC findings, cautioned that the classification doesn’t reflect “the actual size of the risk,” but said meat consumption is one of many factors contributing to high rates of bowel cancer in the U.S., western Europe and Australia.

“The mechanism is poorly understood, and the effect is much smaller than, for example, that of cigarette smoking on the risk of lung cancer,” he said.

The cancer agency noted research by the Global Burden of Disease Project suggesting that 34,000 cancer deaths per year worldwide are linked to diets heavy in processed meat — compared with one million deaths a year linked to smoking, 600,000 a year to alcohol consumption and 200,000 a year to air pollution.

Red and processed meats

The agency said it did not have enough data to define how much processed meat is too dangerous, but said the risk grows with the amount consumed. Analysis of 10 of the studies suggested that a 50-gram portion of processed meat daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer over a lifetime by about 18 per cent.

In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance

Doctors have warned that a diet loaded with red meat is linked to cancers, including those of the colon and pancreas. The American Cancer Society has long urged people to reduce consumption of red meat and processed meat.

“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” Dr. Kurt Straif of the IARC said in a statement. “In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance.”

The North American Meat Institute argued in a statement that “cancer is a complex disease not caused by single foods” and stressed the importance of lifestyle and environmental factors.

The researchers defined processed meat as anything transformed to improve its flavour or to preserve it, including sausages, canned meat, beef jerky and anything smoked. They defined red meat as “all types of mammalian muscle meat, such as beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse and goat.”

The report said grilling, pan-frying or other high-temperature methods of cooking red meat produce the highest amounts of chemicals suspected to cause cancer.

Original source article:
Processed meats, including bacon (sorry!), are cancer hazards, WHO says — and red meat probably is too

similar reports:
nypost.com
 

 


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Top Cancer Doc Gives 5 Lifestyle Strategies That Help You Avoid Cancer

These small tweaks could make a monumental difference to your health

BY MARKHAM HEID      Friday, September 18, 2015

People who have suffered and beaten cancer are willing to do anything they can to prevent the disease from returning. And that’s probably a mindset everyone should adopt, whether they’ve had cancer or not.

The good news: “Almost all the measures you could take to stay cancer-free after treatment hold true for those who have not had cancer,” says Dwight McKee, M.D., who is board certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, nutrition, and integrative and holistic medicine.

Start with Dr. McKee’s simple lifestyle strategies that follow. Don’t just read them; commit to doing them for the long haul. As a physician who has made fighting cancer his life’s work, Dr. McKee says these tips are powerful, and not only advises them to his patients, but anyone else who will listen.

After all, why not attack cancer before it attacks you?

1. Address Stress

Chronic stress suppresses your immune function and stokes inflammation, which is like fuel for cancer, says Dr. McKee. Whether you get into yoga, hiking, or meditation, “the key is to find a stress-management technique that’s enjoyable,” he says. “If it’s not enjoyable, it’s not sustainable.”

2. Beware of Mold

“Mycotoxins and aflatoxins found in mold are among the most carcinogenic substances known,” Dr. McKee says. If you’ve had a pipe break in your home, or your basement or bathroom is damp and smells like mildew, hire a mold-removal expert to check out your space and 86 the threat, he says.

exercise music

3. Break a Sweat

Hitting the gym can cause immune system changes that may help you fend off cancer, according to a study from the University of Nebraska.

Researchers analyzed the profiles of 16 cancer survivors before and after a 12-week exercise program, comparing their ratio of worn-out immune cells to immune cells that can fight off cancer.

Before the exercise program, the survivors’ blood profiles were dominated by the worn-out cells, but after 12 weeks of training, those levels dropped by 15 percent.

4. Lend a Helping Hand

Clinical research shows volunteering, mentoring, and other acts of altruism pump up your immune function. “It’s necessary for good health to engage in something on a regular basis that’s rewarding,” says Dr. McKee, “and one of the most rewarding activities is helping people.”

5. Take This Supplement

This comes up so much that you’re probably tired of hearing about it, but vitamin D is important for multiple aspects of your health—and that includes reducing your risk for cancer, Dr. McKee says. The problem: You’re probably not getting enough of it.

The easy fix is spending more time outside. Just 10 minutes of midday, summer sun has been known to deliver as much as 10,000 IU of vitamin D. But as we get closer to winter, the sun won’t be strong enough to trigger that much production, so you’ll have to work D-dense foods like fatty fishes into your diet, and add a supplement.

While the Institute of Medicine recommends a conservative 600 IU, The Endocrine Society—and most doctors—deem up to 2,000 IU daily to be safe. Look for a supplement brand with the trusted U.S. Pharmaceutical Ingredient Verification label.

Additional reporting by Rachael Schultz


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Western Diet May Reduce Survival Odds for Prostate Cancer

BY LISA RAPAPORT

(Reuters Health) – Men with prostate cancer who eat a so-called Western diet heavy in red meat, cheese and sugary treats may be more likely to die of their disease than those who consume mostly plants, whole grains and fish, a U.S. study suggests.

Researchers assessed the eating habits of men whose tumors that hadn’t spread beyond the prostate and found that a Western diet was associated with more than a two-fold increased risk of death from prostate cancer.

An observational study like this can’t prove that a Western diet causes prostate cancer.  Still, said senior study author Dr. Jorge Chavarro in an email, “The strong link we found between greater adherence to the Western diet pattern and prostate-cancer specific death among these men – all of whom were free of metastasis at diagnosis – was very surprising.”

One in seven men will develop prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society. It is typically diagnosed in men after age 65, and most of them don’t die from the disease.

To explore the link between diet and survival odds for prostate cancer, Chavarro, a nutrition researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues studied 926 physicians with prostate cancer who had filled out questionnaires about their eating habits between 1999 and 2002.

Then, in yearly follow-up questionnaires, the physicians reported their cancer status. Half the group stayed in the study for at least 10 years.

Researchers defined the Western diet as high in processed and red meats, eggs, potatoes, high-fat dairy products, butter, refined grains, snacks, sweets and desserts.

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They contrasted this unhealthy way of eating with what they described as a prudent diet, heavy in legumes, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, garlic, soy products, fish and oil and vinegar dressing. Men in this category were less likely to smoke, drink alcohol and consume animal fat.

Over the course of the study, 333 men died, including 56 who died from prostate cancer.

In addition to an elevated risk of death from prostate cancer, men who closely followed the Western diet had a 67 percent higher risk of death from all causes during the study than men who generally avoided these unhealthy foods.

One shortcoming of the study is the lack of data on what men ate prior to their prostate cancer diagnosis, the authors acknowledge in the journal Cancer Prevention Research. They also couldn’t account for exercise habits in the study.

Without details on how the men ate earlier in life, it’s hard to say whether one of the diets studied might prevent prostate cancer, lead study author Meng Yang, a researcher at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said by email.

“That said, men with prostate cancer have one of the best prognosis of all cancer patients, which makes it possible to implement change in diet even years after diagnosis,” said Yang.

The study findings add to a growing body of evidence on the benefits of a healthy, plant-based diet, Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at New York University’s Center for Musculoskeletal Care, said by email.

“It makes sense that a healthier, prudent diet that is more plant-based reduces all-cause mortality in patients post-prostate cancer diagnosis,” said Heller, who wasn’t involved in the study. “This kind of dietary approach has been shown to be heart healthy and reduce the risk for diabetes, dementia and other cancers.”

SOURCE: bit.ly/1RG4vtr Cancer Prevention Research, online May 20, 2015.


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Supplement Linked to Reduction in Skin Cancer Risk

Preliminary Australian study saw association between nicotinamide and lower rates

WebMD News from HealthDay   By Dennis Thompson    HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, May 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) – A cheap and easily available vitamin supplement appears to reduce a person’s risk of skin cancer, new research contends.

A form of vitamin B3 called nicotinamide is linked to a reduction of non-melanoma skin cancers by 23 percent when taken twice daily, according to Australian researchers.

“It’s safe, it’s almost obscenely inexpensive, and it’s already widely commercially available,” said senior author Dr. Diona Damian, a professor of dermatology at the University of Sydney.

Nicotinamide costs less than $10 for a month’s supply and is available at pharmacies and health food stores, she said.

However, more study is needed before researchers can say whether everyone would benefit from the supplement. “It’s not something we’d recommend at this stage for the general population,” Damian said.

The study is slated for presentation May 30 at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Findings presented at meetings are generally considered preliminary until they’ve been published in a peer-reviewed journal. Funding for this study was provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, with about 5 million cases treated every year at a cost of about $4.8 billion, Damian said.

Common skin cancers tend to grow slowly and can be cured if found and treated early, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). These types of skin cancer include basal and squamous cell carcinoma. A more dangerous type of skin cancer called melanoma accounts for just 73,000 cases a year, according to the ACS.

Sunshine

Ultraviolet rays from the sun cause most skin cancers by damaging the DNA of skin cells, Damian said.

UV radiation also hampers the body’s ability to fight off cancer, depleting the energy that skin cells need to repair damaged DNA and profoundly suppressing the skin’s immune system, she said.

Earlier studies indicated that nicotinamide can provide skin cells with an energy boost, enhancing DNA repair and strengthening the skin’s immune system, Damian said.

However, those benefits quickly disappeared during the study’s follow-up period. “When people stopped taking their tablets after 12 months, the benefit was no longer seen,” Damian said. “In other words, you need to continue taking the tablets in order for them to be effective.”

Nicotinamide did not appear to cause any more adverse events than the placebo, researchers said.

Damian said that nicotinamide is very different from a more commonly known form of B3 called niacin. People who take high doses of niacin can suffer from headaches, flushed skin and low blood pressure. “These side effects are not and were not seen with nicotinamide,” she said.

Further studies are planned to determine if nicotinamide can help reduce skin cancers in people with suppressed immune systems, such as organ transplant recipients who have to take lifelong immune suppressive medications, researchers said. People with suppressed immune systems have skin cancer rates up to 50 times higher than those with normal immune systems, the researchers noted.

ASCO President Dr. Peter Yu said that the new study may provide doctors with a tool to head a major form of cancer off at the pass.

“We all know that we clamor for preventing rather than treating diseases, and this is a major advance for us,” said Yu, director of cancer research at Palo Alto Medical Foundation. “With just a daily vitamin pill, along with sun protection and regular skin cancer screenings, people at high risk for these types of skin cancers have a good preventive plan to follow.”

source: HealthDay