2011: Issue 2

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2011 > Cancer Treatments > Health Briefs

Health Briefs

Health Briefs
Credit: Bumrungrad International hospital

Study shows diabetes patients have higher rates of cancer

There’s more bad news about the dangers of diabetes; cancer has been added to the growing list of serious health threats caused by diabetes. A recent study reported that diabetes patients had a nearly ten percent higher risk for many types of cancer, and the risk of dying from cancer was even higher. Findings from the study were presented at a recent meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in the US.

Researchers examined medical data from nearly 500,000 adult men and women, including both diabetics and non-diabetics. The data revealed that women with diabetes had an eight percent greater risk of developing cancer than non-diabetic women, while men with diabetes were nine percent more likely to develop cancer compared to non-diabetic men. The risk of dying of cancer increased 11 percent for diabetic women and 17 percent for diabetic men.

The largest increases were for cancers of the liver, rectum and colon. Liver cancer risk was twice as high for diabetics; rectal cancer risk increased 28 percent; and colon cancer risk was 15 percent higher in diabetic patients.

While the specific cause of the higher cancer risk among diabetics remains unclear, the study offers further support for regular cancer screenings among higher-risk groups including patients with diabetes. And the findings are another reminder of the value of making healthy lifestyle changes to prevent diabetes, and to keep the disease better controlled for those already diagnosed with it.

Research supports link between inflammation and cancer 

A recent study offers further evidence that inflammation may be a contributing factor in as many as one in four cases of cancer.

The study, conducted by researchers at Ohio State University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center in the US and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, reported that inflammation caused molecular changes which increased the rate of spontaneous genetic mutations that have been shown to cause cancer. The molecular changes observed have been associated with certain types of leukemia as well as breast, lung and gastric-related cancers.

The study reinforces the long-held belief that inflammation plays a role in the development of at least some cancers, and it’s hoped that the findings can be used in developing and refining cancer treatments.

100% fruit juice shows fresh fruit health benefits

A recently published report showed that drinking juice made from 100 percent fruit appears to offer similar protective health benefits as eating whole fruit. Prior research studies have shown that whole fruits can lower a person’s risk for a number of serious health threats, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diseases that harm memory and cognitive function.

Researchers at the University of California, Davis in the US reported their findings after reviewing 60 medical studies conducted during the past ten years. Their analysis showed that 100 percent fruit juices contain components similar to those in whole fruit.

Among the juices included in the review, apple, citrus, cranberry, grape, and pomegranate juices all produced beneficial effects. Pomegranate juice was shown to reduce prostate cancer risk levels; cranberry juice reduced the incidence of urinary tract infections; orange and grapefruit juices appear to lower the risk of several respiratory and digestive disorders; and grape and apple juices had the greatest impact on cognitive ailments related to aging.

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