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Two Items on Cancer and Obesity

Posted by bmagnus On June - 4 - 2010

This morning we have one for the guys and one for the ladies. Ladies first!

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women, diagnosed in 122.9 women per 100,000 annually. Obesity is a risk factor in cancer in general, and that includes recurrence of cancer. So researchers set out to determine how overweight breast cancer survivors can best lose weight. They were surprised by the results.

Women who followed a 1500 calorie per day diet rich in olive oil were compared to those who followed a traditional, 1500 calorie per day low fat diet. Those on the olive oil diet lost more weight, weren’t as hungry, weren’t as likely to snack between meals, and found the diet more enjoyable and affordable. When allowed to choose which diet to continue after having tried both, a majority went with the olive oil diet — another surprise to researchers who expected an even split. At the end, 80% of those on the olive oil diet and 31% on the traditional diet lost at least 5% of their body weight. While many will argue that more research needs to be done to see if these results translate well into the general population, it is well known that olive oil is good for you.

There’s also news for the guys. Research has already shown that obesity increases risk of prostate cancer mortality, and diabetes is a risk factor for high grade prostate cancer (in turn, obesity is the primary risk factor for type 2 diabetes). But the latest research shows that a prostate cancer patient’s size is directly related to the size of the tumor: the higher the patient’s BMI, the bigger his tumor will turn out to be. It is, sadly, just that simple. As a result, researcher think that “having a larger percentage of tumor volume may be contributing to the aggressive nature of the disease in men with a higher BMI.”

The bottom line is clear: to reduce your odds of cancer, and reduce the severity and risk of recurrence should you get cancer, keep your weight under control. And it appears that the easiest way to do that is a reduced calorie diet that absolutely includes healthy fats.

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