This slide show takes a look at various foods and diets and examines their connection to the risk of developing different types of cancer, including breast, colorectal, prostate cancers, RCC, and melanoma.
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Consumption of a diet rich in meats may increase the risk for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) through mechanisms related to particular cooking compounds, a study has shown. Patients with RCC in the study had consumed more red and white meat and more cancer-causing chemicals produced when meat is cooked at high temperatures or over an open flame compared with healthy controls. The study compared dietary intake and genetic risk factors of 659 RCC cases and 699 healthy control patients to investigate a possible link between intake of meat-cooking mutagens and risk for RCC. Images Â© Sebastian Kaulitzki (left), Brent Hofacker (right) / Shutterstock.com
Higher salt intake was associated with a roughly twofold increase in the risk of gastric cancer, according to a study comparing salt consumption between 422 patients with gastric cancer and 649 controls. Salt intake (odds ratio [OR], 2.01), consumption of food items with high contribution to salt intake (OR, 2.54), and salt intake evaluated by visual analogical scale (OR, 1.83) were all linked with an increased risk for gastric cancer when comparing those with the highest vs lowest salt intake. Images Â© Sebastian Kaulitzki (left), Yuriy Golub (right) / Shutterstock.com
Increased consumption of citrus, especially grapefruit, was linked with an increased risk for malignant melanoma among 63,810 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 41,622 men from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. Using dietary information from 24 to 26 years of follow-up, the study showed that those participants who consumed citrus once a day or more had a significantly increased risk for melanoma. An analysis of grapefruit consumption looking at the lowest vs the highest consumption category showed a 41% increased risk for melanoma for those who consumed grapefruit three or more times a week compared with those who never consumed it. Images Â© alexpro9500 (left), Juan Gaertner (right) / Shutterstock.com
A Spanish study found that adherence to a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil had a beneficial effect on the prevention of breast cancer. After almost 5 years follow-up of 4,282 women aged 60 to 80, 35 cases of breast cancer were diagnosed. The observed rate of breast cancer was 1.1 per 1,000 for the Mediterranean diet compared with 2.9 for the low-fat diet. The study was a secondary analysis of a larger trial looking at the effect of diet in women at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Based on only a few cases, the association needs confirmation in larger studies. Images Â© Alexilusmedical (left), pieropoma (right) / Shutterstock.com
Risk for endometrial cancer may be decreased with the consumption of a Mediterranean diet. A pooled analysis of three Italian studies showed that a high Mediterranean Diet Score of 6 to 9-based on a high intake of vegetables, fruits/nuts, cereals, legumes, and fish; a low intake of dairy products and meat; high monounsaturated to saturated fatty acid ratio; and moderate alcohol intake-significantly decreased the odds of endometrial cancer (odds ratio, 0.43) compared with participants with a score of 0 to 3. Images Â© Alila Medical Media (left), Sergey Yechikov (right) / Shutterstock.com
Vegetarian diets-particularly pescovegetarian diets, which include fish and seafood consumption-were related to a decreased incidence of colorectal cancers, according to a recent study from Loma Linda University in California. The study compared four different vegetarian diets and a non-vegetarian diet among more than 90,000 men and women. With follow-up of about 7 years, the researchers found that all vegetarians had reduced risk for all colorectal cancers (hazard ratio [HR], 0.78). The risk was especially decreased among pescovegetarians (adjusted HR, 0.57) compared with nonvegetarians. Images Â© Sebastian Kaulitzki (left), Subbotina Anna (right) / Shutterstock.com
Soy intake may affect survival from both lung and breast cancers. A study of 444 patients with lung cancer from the Shanghai Women’s Health Study showed that prediagnosis consumption of soy positively affected lung cancer survival. Compared with women with the median intake of soy, those with the lowest intake had worse survival (adjusted hazard ratio [HR], 1.81), whereas, those with the greatest intake had improved survival (adjusted HR, 0.89). Similarly, a study of 5,042 breast cancer survivors from the Shanghai Breast Cancer Survival Study showed that the highest levels of soy protein intake was linked with decreased risk for mortality (HR, 0.71) and disease recurrence (HR, 0.68) compared with the lowest levels of soy intake. Images Â© Sebastian Kaulitzki (left), naito8 (right) / Shutterstock.com
Data from several Australian studies showed that increased consumption of fish and decreased consumption of processed meat may be associated with a lower risk for ovarian cancer. Researchers looked at data from two case-control studies, a systematic review and a meta-analysis, that included 2,049 women with ovarian cancer and 2,191 controls. Women who ate high levels of processed meat had a significantly increased risk for ovarian cancer in the case-control studies (odds ratio [OR], 1.18) and the meta-analysis (hazard ratio, 1.20); whereas, increased fish intake was linked with a significantly reduced risk for the disease in the case-control studies (OR, 0.76). Images Â© joshya (left), zoryanchik (right) / Shutterstock.com
Participants with colorectal cancer in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutrition Cohort who reported higher levels of red and processed meat intake prior to their diagnosis were at an increased risk for death. The study included information on dietary patterns from 1992 to 2003 and followed patients until 2010. Of the 2,315 patients with colorectal cancer in the cohort, 966 died during the follow-up period. Comparing the highest and lowest quartiles of red and processed meat consumption, the researchers found that high levels were significantly associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality (relative risk [RR], 1.29) and death from cardiovascular disease (RR, 1.63) compared with the lowest levels. No link with colorectal cancer-specific mortality was found. Images Â© Sebastian Kaulitzki (left), Melnikov Sergey (right) / Shutterstock.com
Men with prostate cancer who consumed a “Prudent” diet, which included higher intake of vegetables, fruit, fish, legumes, and whole grains, had a lower all-cause mortality after diagnosis; whereas, men with a “Western” diet who had a higher intake of processed and red meat, high-fat dairy and refined grains had an increased all-cause and prostate cancerâspecific mortality. Researchers looked at dietary patterns and outcomes from 926 men from the Physician’s Health Study who had been diagnosed with nonmetastatic prostate cancer. Among men with a Western diet, those in the highest intake quartile had more than twice the risk for prostate cancer mortality than did those in the lowest quartile (hazard ratio, 2.53). Images Â© R.Iegosyn, Madlen, Aleksandar Mijatovic (left); Sebastian Kaulitzki (right) / Shutterstock.com