Obesity, Diabetes and Breast Cancer Recurrence Risk

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


OBESITY, DIABETES AND BREAST CANCER RECURRENCE RISK

 

Obesity and diabetes have both been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer (including breast cancer), as discussed in detail in my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  (The single greatest risk factor for adult-onset diabetes is obesity.)

Not only have obesity and diabetes been strongly linked to an increased risk of developing cancer, but these two chronic illnesses, which have become epidemic in our modern culture, also appear to increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence, and death due to recurrent breast cancer.  Two newly published clinical research studies, which appear in the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, reveal just how strongly obesity and diabetes impact the incidence of breast cancer recurrence, and death due to breast cancer, among women who have previously been diagnosed with this common form of cancer.

In the first study, the impact of obesity on breast cancer recurrence, and the risk of death due to breast cancer, was assessed among 18,967 women with a previous diagnosis of breast cancer in Denmark.   Using body mass index (BMI) scores, which indicate whether a person is obese or not, the findings of this study were quite concerning.  (A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 indicates a healthy weight, while a BMI of 25 to 29.9 indicates that a person is overweight, and a BMI of 30 or more indicates obesity.)

In this very large public health study with long-term follow-up, female breast cancer survivors with a BMI of 30 or more (when compared to women with a BMI below 25) were, stage-for-stage, 46 percent more likely to be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer within 10 years of their original diagnosis, and 38 percent more likely to die of metastatic breast cancer within 30 years of their original breast cancer diagnosis.

In the second study, 604 women with a prior diagnosis of breast cancer were evaluated with a blood test that measures insulin secretion levels (serum C-peptide).  Fasting C-peptide levels were measured in these breast cancer survivors 3 years after their initial cancer diagnosis, and this group of research volunteers was then followed for about a decade.  In this study, a 1nanogram per milliliter (ng/mL) increase in serum C-peptide levels, even among women without diabetes, was associated with a 31 percent increase in the risk of death from any cause over the duration of this study.  This same miniscule 1 ng/mL increase in C-peptide blood levels was also associated with a 35 percent increase in the risk of death specifically due to breast cancer.  (The increased risk of death associated with rising C-peptide levels among women with diabetes was even higher.)  Thus, this study is one of the first ever to show that rising levels of insulin secretion in women either with or without diabetes is associated with a significantly higher risk of death due to recurrent breast cancer.

Taken together, the findings of these two very important clinical studies add to the findings of previous studies that have linked both obesity and diabetes with an increased likelihood of breast cancer recurrence and death due to recurrent breast cancer.  These, and other, clinical studies also continue to show that the chemotherapy and hormonal therapy that is routinely given following the diagnosis of breast cancer appears to be less effective in obese women and in diabetic women, when compared to women without either of these chronic illnesses.  The findings of these studies also mirror cancer risk and cancer prevention studies that have linked breast cancer risk with both obesity and diabetes.

If you have a history of breast cancer, and you are significantly overweight, then it is essential that you discuss a prudent weight loss program with your doctor, including a healthy diet and a regimen of regular aerobic exercise (as discussed in my new book).  Likewise, if you have diabetes, both weight loss interventions and tight control of your diabetes are essential for reducing your risk of breast cancer recurrence, and your overall risk of premature death from cancer and other serious illnesses associated with diabetes.

 

For a complete discussion of the role of obesity, diabetes, diet, and exercise in cancer prevention, and other important evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, now!  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

 

GIVE  THE  GIFT  OF  HEALTH  THIS  HOLIDAY  SEASON!  For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores! 

 

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.comTop 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books!  On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

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I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people had logged onto Weekly Health Update in 2010!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.




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Obesity and Cancer Risk

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


OBESITY AND CANCER RISK

We have become the heaviest people in the history of our species, with two-thirds of Americans officially classified as overweight, and one of every three of us tipping the scales into the “obese” range.  For too many of us, day after day, we load our bodies with more fat- and calorie-packed foods than our bodies can utilize.  Surrounded by effort-saving devices that have drastically reduced the amount of food-derived energy that our bodies can reasonably metabolize, a majority of Americans are becoming progressively heavier and heavier.  Moreover, obesity now affects a shocking percentage of children and adolescents in our society, and it is no longer uncommon to see children and teenagers with obesity-related diseases, previously seen only in adults, like diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure, gallstones, and cardiovascular disease.

In addition to chronic illnesses that have long been associated with obesity, it has become increasingly clear that the risk of multiple different types of cancer is also increased by obesity.  Now, a newly published public health study, which appears in a forthcoming issue of The Lancet Oncology, underscores the disturbing extent to which excess weight increases our risks of several different common types of cancer.

In this huge public health study, more than 400,000 patient volunteers from Asia, Australia, and New Zealand were followed for an average of 4 years.  When obese study volunteers (BMI of 30 or higher) were compared with volunteers of normal weight (BMI less than 25), the obese volunteers were found to have a 21 percent higher risk of death due to cancer.  The risk of dying of certain specific types of cancer were even higher among the obese volunteers, including a 50 percent increased risk of death due to colon cancer, a 68 percent increased risk of death due to rectal cancer, a 63 percent increased risk of death due to breast cancer (in postmenopausal women), a 162 percent increase in the risk of dying of ovarian cancer, a 321 percent increase in the risk of death due to cancer of the cervix, a 45 percent increase in the risk of death due to prostate cancer, and a 66 percent increase in the risk of dying from leukemia.

The findings of this enormous public health study are worrisome, to say the least, and reflect the very serious impact that obesity has on our risk of developing cancer, and the risk of dying from cancer.

Obesity is a growing public health problem in the United States and, increasingly, around the world; and the list of chronic, major illnesses associated with obesity continues to expand (along with our collective waistlines).  If you are overweight or obese, then please consult with your physician for advice on how best to lose your excess weight.  Meanwhile, sharply reduce your intake of high-calorie and high-fat foods, and begin a responsible and consistent exercise program, under your physician’s supervision. 

 

For a more detailed discussion of the scientific links between obesity and cancer, look for the publication of my new landmark book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” in August of this year. 



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Tdv7XW0qg



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 new and returning readers who visit our premier global health information website every month.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.



 

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Nuts, Diet & Obesity

March 14, 2010 by Robert Wascher  
Filed under Uncategorized

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



  “A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers” 


 

NUTS, DIET & OBESITY

 

In last week’s column, I reviewed recent research suggesting a role for walnuts in reducing elevated cholesterol levels.  Based upon some of the comments that I received from readers regarding this “walnut column,” I will present some additional favorable new health research findings on nuts in this week’s column.

Hard-shelled nuts tend to be rich in inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids (luckily, the majority of the fat content in hard-shelled nuts is in the form of heart-healthy unsaturated fats), and in plant sterols.  As I discussed last week, these compounds help to lower the level of LDL (the “bad cholesterol”) in the blood.

The Mediterranean Diet, which is rich in fish, whole grains, nuts, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables (and low in red meat and highly processed foods), has repeatedly been shown to decrease the risk of the top two causes of premature death throughout the world (cardiovascular disease and cancer).  However, some health experts have expressed concerned about the relatively high fat content of nuts, and the possibility that daily nut consumption might lead to an increased risk of obesity.  Fortunately, a newly published prospective public health study suggests that the moderate intake of nuts, in combination with the Mediterranean Diet, is actually associated with a decreased risk of obesity.

The current issue of the journal Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases includes the findings of the Mediterranean “PREDIMED” prospective public health study, which enrolled 847 older men and women, with an average age of 67 years.  The diets and activity levels of these patient volunteers were carefully evaluated in this study, and all of these elderly volunteers underwent clinical examinations to determine their waist circumference, and their body mass index, or BMI (a measure of body fat content that is adjusted for both height and weight).

After correcting for other dietary and lifestyle factors associated with obesity in these patient volunteers, the data from this study revealed that increased nut intake was associated with both a decreased BMI and decreased waist circumference.  For every serving of 30 grams of nuts consumed, waist circumference decreased by 2.1 centimeters (approximately 1 inch), and BMI was reduced by 0.78 (kilograms per meter-squared) in these patient volunteers.  Increased vegetable intake was also associated with a decreased waist circumference, as well.  (Not surprisingly, meat intake was significantly associated with an increase in both BMI and waist circumference.)  Moreover, these findings were observed in both male and female study participants.

Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, pecans, macadamia nuts, and peanuts (which are, technically, not nuts, but which have a nutritional profile similar to hard-shelled nuts) are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids and other heart-healthy nutrients.  Because these nuts do contain a significant number of “healthy fat” calories, however, nuts should be consumed in moderation, as with all fat-containing foods.  Currently, most experts recommend that 30 to 45 grams (1 to 1.6 ounces) of nuts be added to our daily diet to maximize the health benefits of these delicious nutritional treats!

 

To learn more about nuts and the Mediterranean Diet as part of a comprehensive, evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, look for the publication of my new book, in the spring of this year:

A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race



In view of the extreme devastation and human misery brought about in Haiti and Chile by the recent earthquakes, Weekly Health Update asks our tens of thousands of caring readers to give generously to established charities that are currently working in those countries to assist the injured, the ill, and the homeless.  There are many such legitimate charities, including the following two:

http://www.redcross.org/

http://www.imcworldwide.org/haiti


Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Tdv7XW0qg



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would like to take this opportunity to thank the nearly 120,000 new and returning readers who visited our premier global health information website last month.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can. 

 

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