Losing Weight Prevents Cancer?


SEATTLE, Wash. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — For years, we’ve heard about the importance of diet and exercise when it comes to improving and maintaining overall health. Now researchers in Seattle say diet and exercise can help to reduce the proteins in the blood that can increase your cancer risk.

Seventy-seven-year-old Luanne Isom Mills loves working out, but that wasn’t always the case. Mills not only got fit as a senior, she racked up an impressive three indoor rowing world records and 13 world championships. Mills said she got her start by participating in a study of diet and exercise and cancer prevention.

“It changed my self-perception and I think it did for a lot of people in the studies,” Mills told Ivanhoe.

The study at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on post-menopausal women found a surprising decrease in angiogenesis markers, proteins in the blood that can promote cancer.

Anne McTiernan, M.D., PhD, of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, detailed, “We saw a significant reduction. We were surprised at how much of a reduction and the significance of it in these markers. Between ten and 20 percent reduction.” (Read Full Interview)

Some of the women in the study worked out 45 minutes a day, five days a week. Others ate a low-fat diet to lose around ten percent of their weight over a one year period. Researchers say there are drugs to reduce those protein levels, but they were surprised diet and exercise had such a significant effect.

Dr. McTiernan said, “This was very interesting because no one had looked at this before. So this was really a novel research project and a novel finding.”

Dr. McTiernan said it would be especially important to have the diet and exercise study done with patients who currently have cancer to see if they also experience the same decrease in proteins.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Supervising Producer; Nicole Sanchez, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.



TOPIC:       Losing Weight Prevents Cancer?

REPORT:   MB #4219


BACKGROUND: Cancer affects millions of people around the United States and the world. Approximately 40 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime. In 2016, it is estimated that in the United States, 1.6 million new cancer cases will be diagnosed and almost 600 thousand people will pass away from the disease. It is not known why one person develops cancer while another doesn’t, but there are some risk factors that can increase the percentage of developing the disease. Some factors include exposure to chemicals and substances, age and heredity.
(Source: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics & https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk)

CANCER PREVENTION: Cancer is a disease that unfortunately can’t be completely avoided; nevertheless, there are some steps one can take to avoid getting the disease or to be able to catch it early. Vaccines shots, like HPV, can also help lower cancer risk. The best prevention for cancer, though, is a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol use, protecting your skin from the sun, eating a healthy diet rich and fruit and vegetables, keeping a healthy weight and being active may lower your chances from suffering from this disease.
(Source: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/prevention/)

FRED HUTCHINSON STUDY: A recently published study by the researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, looked at the impact of diet and exercise on menopausal women and cancer risk. In the study, 439 women between the ages of 50 and 75 were separated into four groups. Group one had to follow a weight-loss diet; group two had to exercise for 45 minutes a day, five days a week; group three had to follow the diet and exercise routine; and, group four didn’t diet or exercise. The study found that women who only exercised only lost 2.4 percent of their weight in the span of the research year. Women who ate healthy lost 8.5 percent of their weight and women who did both lost 10.8 percent of their weight after a year. These results were important since obesity is associated with developing some kinds of cancer, and healthy eating and exercise are correlated with cancer decrease. Along with the reduction of weight, the study also found reduction in angiogenesis-related proteins in the blood that can promote cancer. The decrease was only found in women who ate healthy and those who exercised and ate healthy at the same time. No difference was found in women who only exercised. The findings of the study demonstrated that there is a link between being overweight and having elevated levels of certain proteins associated with cancer. (Source: Dr. Anne McTiernan & http://www.fredhutch.org/en/news/center-news/2016/07/diet-tops-exercise-cutting-weight-cancer-risk.html)



Jennifer Connor



If this story or any other Ivanhoe story has impacted your life or prompted you or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com


Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD

Read the entire Q&A