The Collison Newsletter December 2011


                 DIET  and  CANCER  PREVENTION*


The following tables give the incidence rates of selected cancers (rates per 100,000 population) in Australia ( Year Book Australia, 2005)


Selected Cancers1985199019952000
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma16.019.519.421.5
ALL  Cancers481.2517.3587.3535.7


Selected Cancers1985199019952000
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma11.412.615.115.6
ALL Cancers336.9355.7393.3390.4

Cancer is a significant health problem in Australia, and indeed throughout the world. More people now die from cancer than from any other disease.


Prevention of cancer must be one of the most important public health challenges.


Two of my newsletters have focussed on this challenge:

  • Prevention of Cancer. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer (March 2008).
  • Preventing Cancer - Global Report Recommendations (January 2011). 

Diet featured strongly in the recommendations detailed in these newsletters, as an integral part of the strategies to prevent cancer.

Diet and Cancer Prevention 

The following is a summary of an article published in the European Journal of Cancer, volume 46, issue 14, pages 2555-2562, September 2010.


EPIC is a multi-centre prospective study carried out in 23 centres in 10 European countries: Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, including 519,978 participants (366,521 women and 153,457 men), most aged 35-70 years.


The title of the publication is: “Diet and cancer prevention: Contributions from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study”. The main findings observed to-date on dietary factors associated with the most frequent cancer sites are presented.


The following significant associations were noted:

  • Gastric cancer: “Gastric cancer risk was inversely associated with high plasma vitamin C, some carotenoids, retinol and alpha-tocopherol, high intake of cereal fibre, and high adhesion to Mediterranean diet, while red and processed meat were associated with increased risk.”
  • Colorectal cancer:  “High intake of dietary fibre, fish, calcium and plasma vitamin D were associated with a decreased risk of colorectal cancer, while red and processed meat intake, alcohol intake, body mass index (BMI) and abdominal obesity were associated with an increased risk.”
  • Lung Cancer:   High intake of fruit and vegetables in current smokers were associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer.”
  • Breast Cancer:   An increased risk of breast cancer was associated with high saturated fat intake and alcohol intake. In postmenopausal women, BMI was positively and exercise negatively associated with breast cancer risk.”
  • Prostate Cancer:   High intake of dairy protein and calcium from dairy products and high serum concentration of IGF-1 were associated with increased risk of prostate cancer.” 

The article concluded: “These results contribute to scientific evidence for appropriate public health strategies and prevention activities aimed at reducing the global cancer burden.”


In my March 2008 newsletter Prevention of Cancer - Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer, the eight recommendations of the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research are set out. They are a summary of their 537 page report on the prevention of cancer. The first recommendation is to be thin, ie to have a normal Body Mass Index (less than 25). Five of the remaining seven recommendations are to do with diet, clearly setting out what to eat and what NOT to eat to protect against cancer.


The above EPIC article is further endorsement of the recommendations for the prevention of cancer as set out in my March newsletter, which should be read in association with this present newsletter.


*Copyright 2011: The Huntly Centre.

Disclaimer: All material in the website is provided for informational or educational purposes only. Consult a health professional regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations expressed herein, with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.



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