Why We Eat Far More Calories than We Think



A new study shows that we greatly underestimate how many calories we consume.


 

WHY WE EAT FAR MORE CALORIES THAN WE THINK

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, it is critically important to avoid diets and foods, and other lifestyle choices, known to increase the risk of cancer.  As I also discuss in my book, the human body was not designed for the supra-normal calorie content of the typical “western diet.”  The enormous number of calories packed into the highly processed foods that most people favor, when combined with our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, has led to an epidemic of obesity and obesity-related diseases, including cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, gallstones, liver disease, and accelerated arthritis, among other preventable serious illnesses.  Another point that I make in my book, and in discussions with my patients, is that almost all of us greatly underestimate the number of calories that we are consuming while, at the same time, we tend to overestimate the number of calories that we are burning through physical activity.

A newly published public health study, which appears in the current issue of the British Medical Journal, provides compelling data regarding our predisposition towards underestimating just how many calories we consume on a daily basis.

In this study, 1,877 adults, 1,178 adolescents, and 330 school-age children were asked to estimate the approximate number of calories that they were consuming while eating at fast food restaurants.  Specifically, these surveys were performed at McDonalds, Burger King, Subway, Wendy’s, KFC, and Dunkin’ Donuts.

The actual calories count, on average, for each meal was 836 calories for adults, 756 calories for adolescents, and 733 calories for children.  When asked to estimate the numbers of the calories they had just consumed, the adults underestimated their caloric intake by an average of 175 calories, the adolescents by 259 calories, and the school-age children by 175 calories.  Perhaps more important was the observation that the degree of underestimation of calorie content of fast-food meals actually increased with increasing actual meal calorie counts.  That is to say, the more excessive calories that people consumed at these fast-food restaurants, the more they underestimated their actual caloric intake.  Another interesting finding of this public health study was that adults and teens who ate at Subway underestimated the calorie counts of their meals to a greater degree (20 and 25 percent, respectively) than people who ate at McDonald’s, suggesting an inaccurate perception that Subway meals contained fewer calories (and were, therefore, healthier) than McDonalds meals.

As I discuss in my book, excess body weight has been linked to 7 to 10% of all cancer cases, as well as many other life-threatening obesity-related illnesses.  Therefore, instead of underestimating the calorie content of our diets and overestimating how physically active we are, we would be much better off by sharply reducing the calories we consume and increasing our physical activity levels.  Take an important first step towards living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle now by reading A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!


Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.

 

Join Dr. Wascher on Facebook

 

Additional Links for Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

Profile of Dr. Wascher by Oncology Times

Bio of Dr. Wascher at Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Dr. Wascher Discusses Predictions of Decreased Cancer Risk on azfamily.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Environmental Risk Factors for Breast Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Answers Questions About Cancer on talkabouthealth.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Cancer Prevention Strategies on LIVESTRONG

Dr. Wascher Discusses Cancer Prevention on Newsmax

Dr. Wascher Answers Questions About Cancer Risk & Cancer Prevention on The Doctors Radio Show

Dr. Wascher Discusses Lymphedema After Breast Surgery on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Hormone Replacement Therapy & Breast Cancer Risk on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Chronic Pain After Mastectomy for Breast Cancer on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Cancer on cancersupportivecare.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Role of Exercise in Cancer Prevention on Open Salon

Dr. Wascher Discusses Aspirin as a Potential Preventive Agent for Pancreatic Cancer on eHealth Forum

Dr. Wascher Discusses Obesity & Cancer Risk on eHealth Forum

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Role of Radiation Therapy in the Treatment of Breast Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Treatment of Stomach Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Management of Metastatic Cancer of the Liver on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses Obesity & Cancer Risk on hopenavigators.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Hormone Replacement Therapy & Breast Cancer Risk on interactmd.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Thyroid Cancer on health2fit.com

 

Links to Other Breaking Health News

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Woman with Transplanted Uterus Becomes Pregnant

Cutting Umbilical Cord Too Soon May Cause Anemia in Newborns

Recent Advances in Prosthetic Limbs to Help Boston Marathon Bombing Victims

Spiny New Bandage May Speed Healing of Skin Wounds

Study Confirms that Men Really Do Have Trouble Reading the Thoughts of Women

Deadly new Bird Flu Strain Cases Continue to Rise

Abdominal Fat Increases Kidney Disease Risk

Increasing Dietary Potassium & Decreasing Salt Intake Reduces Stroke Risk

A New Explanation for the Link Between Red Meat & Cardiovascular Disease

Deadly New Bird Flu Identified in China

Infection Risk: Keeping an Eye on Your Dentist

Couple Loses 500 Pounds in Two Years

Coffee May Reduce Crash Risk for Long-Distance Drivers

Tiny Implant Tells Your Smart Phone When You Are Having A Heart Attack

Transplanted Kidney Causes Death Due to Rabies

Eating While Distracted Increases Calorie Intake

Resistant Bacteria are on the Rise

High Levels of Stress Linked to an Increase in Heart Disease Risk

Small Snacks Cut Hunger as Well as Big Snacks

Poor Sleep May Increase the Risk of Heart Failure

Ancient Mummies Found to Have Heart Disease by CT Scan

Physically Fit Kids Do Better on Math & Reading Tests

How Melanoma Skin Cancer Evades the Immune System

Possible Link Between BPA and Asthma

Baby Boomers Appear Less Healthy Than Their Parents

The Biology of Love in the Brain

Millennials May be the Most Stressed-Out Generation

Even Modest Alcohol Intake Raises Cancer Risk

Why Do Boys Receive Lower Grades than Girls?

Negative Emotions and Feelings Can Damage Your Health

Canker Sore Drug Cures Obesity (At Least in Mice…)

How Technology is Changing the Practice of Medicine

New Salt Intake Guidelines for Children

High Levels of Distress in Childhood May Increase Risk of Heart Disease in Adulthood

Quitting Tobacco by Age 40 Restores a Normal Lifespan in Smokers

Cancer Death Rates Continue to Fall

Self-Help Books Improve Depression

Marines Try Mindfulness and Meditation to Reduce PTSD

Dying Nurse Volunteers Herself to Teach Nursing Students about the Dying

Regular Walks Cut Stroke Risk

Falling Asleep While Driving More Common than Previously Thought

Celebrity Health Fads Debunked

Obesity Among Young Children May Be Declining

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Satisfaction with Life May Actually Increase with Age

Brain Changes in the Elderly May Increase Susceptibility to Being Scammed



Dr. Wascher’s Home Page



According to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


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, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

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.  Over the past 12 months, more than 3.1 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious readers.  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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High Fat Diet Decreases Metabolism and Increases Anger and Hostility



A new study finds that saturated fat decreases metabolism and physical activity, and increases anger and hostility.


 

HIGH FAT DIET DECREASES METABOLISM AND INCREASES ANGER AND HOSTILITY

As I have written about extensively in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, a diet low in saturated fat and meat products, such as the Mediterranean diet, has been linked to a decreased risk of cancer (and cardiovascular disease) when compared to the traditional Western diet, which is rich in saturated fat and meat. Now, a new study has linked a Mediterranean-type diet, low in saturated fat, to other potential health benefits, including greater levels of physical activity, a higher metabolic rate, and, somewhat surprisingly, less angry and hostile moods. This study appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

In this prospective randomized clinical study, 32 young adults were separated into two groups. The first group used cooking oils high in saturated fat, while the second group used cooking oils low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated fat. After three weeks, both groups were “crossed over,” and had their cooking oils switched for an additional three weeks. (This clinical study’s “crossover” design is a powerful means of eliminating potential biases that can lead to false conclusions.) Another important aspect of this study was that all food consumed by the study’s volunteer research subjects was provided (and controlled) by the researchers. Moreover, the food provided to both groups of study volunteers was the same, and only the cooking oil differed between the two study groups.

All research volunteers were continuously assessed with regards to physical activity levels and resting metabolic rates (“resting energy expenditure”). Due to the observed differences in physical activity levels between the two groups of volunteers, the researchers also subjected study volunteers to a validated mood assessment questionnaire, to see if differences in mood might account for the significantly different levels of physical activity between the two groups of research volunteers.

The results of this intriguing prospective randomized clinical study were quite interesting. Firstly, continuous measurements of physical activity showed that the monounsaturated oil (Mediterranean-like diet) group was 12 percent more active, physically, than the saturated fat group (Western-type diet). Secondly, the resting metabolic rate of the monounsaturated oil group was almost 5 percent higher than that of the saturated fat cooking oil group, suggesting that the young adults who were consuming primarily monounsaturated fat were burning more calories at rest than the group that was using saturated fat. Finally, the monounsaturated fat group scored significantly lower on the anger-hostility scale of the mood assessment questionnaire than the volunteers who were using cooking oil containing saturated fat.

To summarize, this innovative prospective clinical research study found that a Mediterranean-like diet, low in saturated fat, was associated with increased levels of physical activity, a higher resting metabolism rate, and less anger and hostility, when compared to a Western-like diet that was rich in saturated fat. These findings add further evidence to the data that I extensively discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, showing that a Mediterranean diet low in saturated fat and meat products, and high in unsaturated oils, whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetable, fish, and poultry, is an important strategy for good health.

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.

Join Dr. Wascher on Facebook

Additional Links for Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

Profile of Dr. Wascher by Oncology Times

Bio of Dr. Wascher at Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Dr. Wascher Discusses Predictions of Decreased Cancer Risk on azfamily.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Environmental Risk Factors for Breast Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Answers Questions About Cancer on talkabouthealth.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Cancer Prevention Strategies on LIVESTRONG

Dr. Wascher Discusses Cancer Prevention on Newsmax

Dr. Wascher Answers Questions About Cancer Risk & Cancer Prevention on The Doctors Radio Show

Dr. Wascher Discusses Lymphedema After Breast Surgery on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Hormone Replacement Therapy & Breast Cancer Risk on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Chronic Pain After Mastectomy for Breast Cancer on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Cancer on cancersupportivecare.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Role of Exercise in Cancer Prevention on Open Salon

Dr. Wascher Discusses Aspirin as a Potential Preventive Agent for Pancreatic Cancer on eHealth Forum

Dr. Wascher Discusses Obesity & Cancer Risk on eHealth Forum

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Role of Radiation Therapy in the Treatment of Breast Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Treatment of Stomach Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Management of Metastatic Cancer of the Liver on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses Obesity & Cancer Risk on hopenavigators.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Hormone Replacement Therapy & Breast Cancer Risk on interactmd.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Thyroid Cancer on health2fit.com

Links to Other Breaking Health News

Deadly New Bird Flu Identified in China

Infection Risk: Keeping an Eye on Your Dentist

Couple Loses 500 Pounds in Two Years

Coffee May Reduce Crash Risk for Long-Distance Drivers

Tiny Implant Tells Your Smart Phone When You Are Having A Heart Attack

Transplanted Kidney Causes Death Due to Rabies

Eating While Distracted Increases Calorie Intake

Resistant Bacteria are on the Rise

High Levels of Stress Linked to an Increase in Heart Disease Risk

Small Snacks Cut Hunger as Well as Big Snacks

Poor Sleep May Increase the Risk of Heart Failure

Deep Brain Stimulation May Help Patients with Anorexia Nervosa

Ancient Mummies Found to Have Heart Disease by CT Scan

Physically Fit Kids Do Better on Math & Reading Tests

How Melanoma Skin Cancer Evades the Immune System

Possible Link Between BPA and Asthma

Toddler May Have Been Cured of HIV (AIDS) Virus

Baby Boomers Appear Less Healthy Than Their Parents

The Biology of Love in the Brain

Millennials May be the Most Stressed-Out Generation

Even Modest Alcohol Intake Raises Cancer Risk

Why Do Boys Receive Lower Grades than Girls?

Negative Emotions and Feelings Can Damage Your Health

Canker Sore Drug Cures Obesity (At Least in Mice…)

How Technology is Changing the Practice of Medicine

New Salt Intake Guidelines for Children

High Levels of Distress in Childhood May Increase Risk of Heart Disease in Adulthood

Quitting Tobacco by Age 40 Restores a Normal Lifespan in Smokers

Cancer Death Rates Continue to Fall

Self-Help Books Improve Depression

Marines Try Mindfulness and Meditation to Reduce PTSD

Dying Nurse Volunteers Herself to Teach Nursing Students about the Dying

Regular Walks Cut Stroke Risk

Falling Asleep While Driving More Common than Previously Thought

Growing Immune Cells to Fight Cancer

Celebrity Health Fads Debunked

Thousands of Surgery Mistakes Are Still Happening Each Year

Kids with Food Allergies May Become Targets of Bullies

Obesity Among Young Children May Be Declining

Tamoxifen for 10 Years (Instead of 5 Years) Significantly Improves Breast Cancer Survival Rate

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Satisfaction with Life May Actually Increase with Age

Brain Changes in the Elderly May Increase Susceptibility to Being Scammed

“Talking” Therapy May Help Depression When Antidepressant Medications Fail

New Egg-Free Flu Vaccine

Predicting Childhood Obesity at Birth

Inexpensive Power Foods

 


 


Dr. Wascher’s latest video:

Dark as Night, Part 1

Dark as Night, Part 1

Dark as Night, Part 1

At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


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, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

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.  Over the past 12 months, more than 2.8 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious readers.  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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Regular Exercise Significantly Cuts Colon Cancer Risk





 

A new study confirms that regular exercise significantly decreases colon cancer risk.


 

REGULAR EXERCISE SIGNIFICANTLY CUTS COLON CANCER RISK

As I discuss in my book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, as many as 60 percent of new cancer cases are directly linked to modifiable lifestyle and dietary factors, including many of the worst cancer killers.  Cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, including colon and rectal cancer, have been particularly linked to lifestyle and dietary factors, as I extensively discuss in my book.

A newly published study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute is an exhaustive meta-analysis study of 21 previously published clinical trials that, in turn, evaluated the link between physical activity levels and colon cancer risk.  As an aside, meta-analysis is commonly used to combine the data from multiple similar clinical research studies, and then analyze that data in such a way that the “statistical power” of the combined meta-analysis study is usually greater than the individual studies that are being evaluated.

When the data from these 21 previously published clinical studies was combined and analyzed, the authors of this new meta-analysis study found that people who regularly engaged in high levels of physical activity were 27 percent less likely to develop cancer in the upper part of the colon when compared to people who were not physically active.  Similarly, highly active people were found to have a 26 percent decrease in the risk of developing cancer in the lower colon when compared to sedentary people.

The link between high levels of physical activity and decreased colorectal cancer risk noted in this meta-analysis is consistent with the research data that I discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race (as well as other lifestyle and dietary risk factors that are associated with colorectal cancer risk).  A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race is now available in both printed and digital formats from all major bookstores.  Get your copy now, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle!


Dr. Wascher’s latest video:

Dark as Night, Part 1


Dark as Night, Part 1

Dark as Night, Part 1



At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, 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, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

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.  (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  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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Poverty and Low Educational Levels Increase Colorectal Cancer Risk






 

A new study finds that diet and lifestyle choices among the poor account for a high percentage of colorectal cancer cases in that population.


 

 

POVERTY AND LOW EDUCATIONAL LEVELS INCREASE COLORECTAL CANCER RISK

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, the risk of developing GI tract cancers, including colorectal cancer, is heavily influenced by diet and other modifiable lifestyle factors.

Colorectal cancer tends to be more common in people at the lower end of the socioeconomic ladder, and a number of explanations for this observation have been proposed, although the actual reasons for this finding have not been clear.  Now, a newly published update of the enormous National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study sheds important light on the disparity in colorectal cancer incidence observed between people at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum and those at the higher rungs.  This ongoing prospective public health study is one of the largest such studies in the world, having enrolled more than 506,000 patient volunteers thus far.  This study update appears in the current issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

During the course of this huge ongoing public health study, thus far, 7,676 patient volunteers have developed colorectal cancer.

All of the patient volunteers in this gigantic clinical research study were assessed for the following dietary and lifestyle factors known to increase colorectal cancer risk: lack of physical activity (sedentary lifestyle), unhealthy fat- and meat-rich diets, smoking, and obesity.  When these lifestyle-associated risk factors for colorectal cancer were assessed in patient volunteers at various socioeconomic levels, a clear pattern emerged.  Among patient volunteers with less formal education and in lower income brackets, there was a significantly higher likelihood of engaging in dietary and lifestyle habits known to increase colorectal cancer risk.  Indeed, a striking 44 percent of the colorectal cancer cases that developed during the course of this research study appeared to be associated with high-risk diets and lifestyles among patient volunteers who reported lower levels of formal education.  Similarly, 36 percent of the colon cancer cases that developed during the course of this study were associated with high-risk diet and lifestyle factors among patient volunteers reporting lower income levels.

In view of the huge number of patient volunteers participating within this study, the findings presented above are highly likely to accurately reflect a true cause-and-effect relationship, rather than potentially coincidental “associations.”  While it has long been known that folks at the lower end of the socioeconomic spectrum tend to engage in riskier dietary and lifestyle behaviors than the general population, the eye-opening findings of this study indicate that the “excess” colorectal cancer risk among people with lower education and income levels is strikingly linked to modifiable dietary and lifestyle factors known to increase colorectal cancer risk (as well as other cancer and serious non-cancer illnesses, I might add).  As is the case with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and other diet and lifestyle associated chronic illnesses, colorectal cancer disproportionately affects the poor in our society.  Thus, the disturbing findings of this public health study indicate that more must be done to educate those at greatest risk for colorectal cancer (and other serious cancer and non-cancer diet and lifestyle associated illnesses) regarding healthier diet and lifestyle choices.


A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race is now available in both printed and digital formats from all major bookstores.  Get your copy now, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle now!


At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, 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, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

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.  (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  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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Even Modest Levels of Physical Activity Decrease Breast Cancer Risk






 

New research suggests that only 10 to 19 hours of low-level physical activity per week may cut breast cancer risk by 30%.


 

EVEN MODEST LEVELS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DECREASE BREAST CANCER RISK

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, obesity and decreased levels of physical activity have both been linked to an increased risk of several types of cancer.  Among all major types of cancer, the links between excessive body weight and sedentary lifestyle are arguably the strongest for breast cancer, the second greatest cancer killer of women.

I have written extensively about physical activity, obesity, diet and other modifiable lifestyle risk factors as they pertain to cancer risk.  Now, a newly published clinical research study in the journal Cancer adds further important information regarding breast cancer risk related to physical activity levels and obesity.

The Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project assessed 1,504 women with breast cancer and 1,555 women without breast cancer.  Specific factors that were evaluated in this study included levels of physical activity, weight gain, and body size.  The women involved in this public health study ranged from 20 to 98 years of age.

The findings of this study offer women very important information regarding the amount and frequency of physical activity necessary to significantly reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.  Based upon the findings of this important study, moderate physical activity, when performed 10 to 19 hours per week, was associated with a 30 percent reduction in the risk of developing breast cancer among adult women.  It is important to note that even relatively modest levels of physical activity still appeared to provide this same level of breast cancer risk reduction benefit, including walking, jogging, riding a bicycle, and other relatively non-strenuous sports-related activities.  Taking the stairs instead of using elevators, and even actively working in one’s garden, also appeared to significantly reduce breast cancer risk.

There is an important caveat to this good news, however.  Gaining significant weight after menopause appeared to abolish the cancer risk reduction benefit of moderate physical activity, even among women who reported high levels of physical activity.  (Obesity is a well known risk factor for breast cancer, particularly when excess weight is gained after the onset of menopause.  Obesity is also known to increase the risk of cancer recurrence in women previously diagnosed with breast cancer.)

While the findings of this important study linking breast cancer risk with obesity and low levels of physical activity are not new, this study does provide women with new, specific physical activity recommendations with which to lower their risk of developing breast cancer.  Moreover, women do not have to become professional athletes in order to cut their breast cancer risk by nearly one-third, based upon the findings of this clinical study.  Instead, just 10 to 19 hours of relatively modest physical activity per week may be enough to significantly decrease one’s risk of developing breast cancer!


At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.



For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, 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, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author



 

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.  (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  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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Exercise & Prostate Cancer Risk

November 29, 2009 by Robert Wascher  
Filed under Cancer, diet, health, prostate cancer

Welcome to Weekly Health Update

 


 

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

 

EXERCISE & PROSTATE CANCER RISK

There is an increasing body of research evidence to suggest that many cases of cancer can be prevented through lifestyle and diet modifications.  Indeed, even conservative estimates suggest that more than 60 percent of new cancer cases could be prevented simply by abstaining from unhealthy lifestyle and dietary habits.  (More enthusiastic cancer prevention experts have suggested that 80 percent of cancer cases, or more, might be preventable with rigorous lifestyle and diet changes.)   Given that, in the best case, modern cancer treatment results in the long-term survival of only about 60 percent of all cancer patients, and that the survival rate for many of the most lethal cancers still remains far more dismal, an ounce of cancer prevention is certainly worth much more than a pound of cancer cure.  (This simple yet profound realization is the central theme of my new book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” which will be published in the spring of 2010.) 
 
As a practicing comprehensive Surgical Oncologist, I routinely treat patients with highly lethal cancers, many of which are, sadly, incurable by the time they are diagnosed.  While not every case of cancer can be prevented through lifestyle and diet modification, many of the terrible, and ultimately fatal, cancer cases that I routinely see might have been prevented with reasonably moderate alterations in the way that people choose to live their daily lives.
 
Prostate cancer is the most common non-skin cancer that occurs in men, and the second most common cause of cancer death in men.  In 2009, an estimated 192,000 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed, and approximately 27,000 men will die of this disease.  Prostate cancer currently afflicts 1 out of every 6 American men during their lifetimes, and accounts for 25 percent of all cancer diagnoses in men (similar, I might add, to the percentage of breast cancer cases among all cancer cases diagnosed in women).  Most prostate cancers are stimulated to grow and spread by testosterone and other androgens produced by the testes, and by other tissues in the body. 
 
The relationship between prostate cancer risk and exercise has not been entirely clear, thus far, as various clinical studies have produced contradictory findings.  Some of these studies have suggested that high levels of daily physical activity may reduce the risk of prostate cancer, while other studies have not confirmed a link between prostate cancer risk and physical activity levels.
 
A new prospective public health study, just published in the British Journal of Cancer, adds further important evidence that increased levels of physical activity may indeed reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.  In this newly published study, nearly 46,000 men between the ages of 45 and 70 years were prospectively followed between 1998 and 2007.  All of these male volunteers completed extensive questionnaires regarding their daily levels of physical activities at 30 years of age and at 50 years of age, as well as at the time or their entry into this clinical study.  These questionnaires specifically included questions regarding walking or bicycling; current waist, hip and height measurements; education level; cigarette smoking; alcohol consumption; diabetes; family history of prostate cancer; and other lifestyle factors.  Six predefined activity levels for occupational activity (from “mostly sitting down” to “heavy manual labor”), and additional predefined categories for time spent on different activities, were specifically included in the questionnaire, such as walking or bicycling (“hardly ever” to “more than 90 min per day”), home or household work (“less than 1 hour per day” to “more than 8 hours per day”), inactive leisure time (“from 2 hours per day or less” to “5 hours per day or more”), and active leisure-time exercising (“from less than 1 hour per week” to “more than 5 hours per week”).  The patient volunteers were also queried regarding the average number of hours per day they spent sleeping. 
 
Importantly, the researchers conducting this study took the extra step of conducting 7-day physical activity evaluations to verify that the study’s participants actually engaged in the levels of physically activity that they claimed on the questionnaires.  (This additional validation step confirmed the accuracy of the questionnaire information supplied by the study’s volunteers.)  The incidence of prostate cancer, and the death rate associated with prostate cancer, among these 45,887 middle-aged and elderly men were then analyzed at the conclusion of this very large prospective epidemiological study. 
 
When the men who engaged in physical activity at the highest levels were compared with those at the lowest levels, some very important differences in prostate cancer risk emerged.  Overall, very high levels of physical activity were associated with a 16 percent reduction in the risk of developing prostate cancer.  Additionally, among the men who spent at least half of their work days being physically active, the risk of prostate cancer was 20 percent lower when compared to men who spent most of their work day sitting down.  Specifically, and very importantly, there appeared to be a linear and progressive decrease in prostate cancer risk with each additional 30 minutes of walking or bicycling per day over the course of the adult lifetimes of these men (this linear relationship was noted within a range of 30 to 120 minutes of walking or bicycling per day).  Additionally, the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer appeared to be further lessened by regular daily physical activity. 
 
The results of this study mirror those of other high-quality cancer prevention studies for other types of cancer (including, most notably, breast cancer).  While clinical research studies such as this one are prone to various forms of bias, and in particular, biases that arise from patients “self-reporting” their personal health and lifestyle information on study questionnaires, the authors of this study appear to have taken very significant and effective steps to reduce the risk of including such biases in the data that they collected from these nearly 46,000 men.  Therefore, although a small degree of residual error cannot be completely excluded from the results of this impressive epidemiological study, its findings that progressively higher levels of daily physical activity (and, it must be stressed, throughout one’s lifetime) are associated with a decreasing level of prostate cancer risk are very likely to be valid even in the presence of small errors in the study’s data (if they exist).
 
Cardiovascular disease remains the most common cause of premature death in most societies.  Cancer is the number two cause of premature death when including people of all ages, and the number one cause of premature death below the age of 80 in the United States.  Regular exercise, including relatively moderate activities such as brisk walking or bicycling, have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, as well as, increasingly, the risk of developing or dying from multiple different types of cancer.  Based upon the results of this well designed and well executed prospective clinical research study, it would appear that prostate cancer can be added to the list of life-threatening illnesses for which the risk can be decreased through regular and frequent physical activity (and both at work and at home).

 


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

 

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