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Cancer Risk: Dietary Factors

Two recent studies link certain foods with increased risk for various cancers.

Prostate cancer, meat and dairy products: All men will develop prostate cancer if they live long enough. However, more than 95 percent of men with prostate cancer eventually die from some other cause, not from the prostate cancer. Researchers have been unsuccessful in predicting which men will have a benign disease and which will have the rapidly-progressing, fatal type of prostate cancer. Researchers have also been unable to associate prostate cancer with any type of infection, so they often look for dietary factors. A review of 46 epidemiologic papers shows that diets high in saturated fat, well-done meats or calcium are associated with an increased risk for the type of prostate cancer that kills. Fish and zinc appear to have no effect whatever (Eur J Cancer Prev, 2014 Mar;23(2):96-109). Another report on a prospective study of 51,529 men in the Health Professionals Study found that eating red meat and dairy product is associated with twice the risk for suffering prostate cancer that kills (Cancer Causes Control, 2001 Aug;12(6):557-67).

Colon cancer and eggs: Risk for gastro-intestinal cancers may be increased by regular consumption of eggs, according to a study in the European Journal of Nutrition(February 6, 2014). The authors reviewed 44 studies covering 424,867 people and 18,852 cases of cancer of the stomach, intestines or colon. Those who ate eggs regularly had 1.15 times the total gastrointestinal cancer rate, and they suffered 1.29 the rate for colon cancers.

Checked 2/15/15

February 16th, 2014
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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