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Cancer - General

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General Cancer

Cancer Prevention Overview (PDQ)

"The summaries in the cancer prevention section of PDQ address the prevention of specific types of cancer. Prevention is defined as the reduction of cancer mortality via reduction in the incidence of cancer. This can be accomplished by avoiding a carcinogen or altering its metabolism; pursuing lifestyle or dietary practices that modify cancer-causing factors or genetic predispositions; and/or medical intervention (chemoprevention) to successfully reverse preneoplastic changes. Much of the promise for cancer prevention comes from observational epidemiologic studies that show associations between modifiable lifestyle factors or environmental exposures and specific cancers. The most consistent finding, over decades of research is the strong association between tobacco use and cancers of many sites. Hundreds of epidemiologic studies have confirmed this association. Further support comes from the fact that lung cancer death rates in the United States have mirrored smoking patterns with increases in smoking followed by dramatic increases in lung cancer death rates, and more recently decreases in smoking followed by decreases in lung cancer death rates in men. Infections may also be associated with cancer development. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is a necessary event for subsequent cervix cancer, and vaccine-conferred immunity results in a marked decrease in precancerous lesions. Additional examples of modifiable cancer risk factors include alcohol consumption (associated with increased risk of oral, esophageal, breast, and other cancers), physical inactivity (associated with increased risk of colon, breast, and possibly other cancers), and obesity (associated with colon, breast, endometrial, and possibly other cancers). Observational evidence shows associations between alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, and obesity and increased incidence of certain cancers."

Highlighted Articles

Vitamin D and Sunlight: Strategies for Cancer Prevention and Other Health Benefits. (Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2008) Lack of sun exposure and vitamin D deficiency have been linked to many serious chronic diseases, including autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease, and deadly cancers. It is estimated that there is a 30 to 50% reduction in risk for developing colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer by either increasing vitamin D intake to least 1000 IU/d vitamin D or increasing sun exposure to raise blood levels of 25(OH)D >30 ng/ml. Most tissues in the body have a vitamin D receptor. The active form of vitamin D, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, is made in many different tissues, including colon, prostate, and breast. It is believed that the local production of 1,25(OH)2D may be responsible for the anticancer benefit of vitamin D. Recent studies suggested that women who are vitamin D deficient have a 253% increased risk for developing colorectal cancer, and women who ingested 1500 mg/d calcium and 1100 IU/d vitamin D3 for 4 yr reduced risk for developing cancer by >60%.

Vitamin D and prevention of breast cancer: Pooled analysis. (J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2007) "CONCLUSIONS: Intake of 2000IU/day of Vitamin D(3), and, when possible, very moderate exposure to sunlight, could raise serum 25(OH)D to 52ng/ml, a level associated with reduction by 50% in incidence of breast cancer, according to observational studies."

Sun Exposure and Prostate Cancer Risk: Evidence for a Protective Effect of Early-Life Exposure (Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention 2007) "These findings suggest that, in addition to sun exposure in adulthood, sun exposure in early life protects against prostate cancer."

NCI - General Cancer Prevention Information (includes specific cancers)

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Cancer - General

General Information


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We Are Giving Ourselves Cancer


Connections of nicotine to cancer. (Nat Rev Cancer. 2014)

Low serum levels of vitamin D in metastatic cancer patients: a case-control study. (Med Oncol. 2014 )

Non Melanoma Skin Cancer and Subsequent Cancer Risk. (PLoS One. 2014 )

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