Maintaining a healthy weight is beneficial mentally and emotionally as well as physically. Excess weight is linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and many other serious health problems. In addition, statistics show that obesity presents the strongest cancer risk of any lifestyle factors.
The Link between Cancer and Lifestyle
According to the World Cancer Research Fund, 20 percent of cancer cases in the United States are at least partially attributable to one or more of these lifestyle factors:
Lack of physical activity
Excessive alcohol consumption
Out of these four elements, excess body weight contributes to 20 percent of all cancer-related deaths.
How Excess Weight Affects Cancer Risk
Excess body fat creates a number of imbalances that can lead to the development or growth of cancer cells, such as:
Skewed levels of hormones, as well as the proteins that help the body process them
Improper levels of substances that control cell growth
Does Weight Loss Help?
While studies regarding weight loss and cancer are still limited, growing evidence suggests that it can reduce the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer and more aggressive forms of prostate cancer. Ongoing tests are examining the relationship between weight loss and other forms of cancer.
The weight per se is not the contributing factor. It’s the physical changes weight loss brings, such as normalizing hormone levels that help reduce cancer risk.
Immunotherapy for Cancer Includes Lifestyle Considerations
The initials “HIV” are rarely associated with positive health news. In an amazing breakthrough, researchers at Penn Medicine have had success using the HIV virus to treat patients with incurable leukemia.
Dr. Carl June and his team at the University of Pennsylvania Health System have been working on the therapy for 20 years. The key to this treatment is the characteristic of the HIV virus to insert new genes into cells.
The procedure begins with billions of T-cells being removed from a patient’s body. A disabled form of HIV is then used to reprogram the T-cells, rendering them capable of recognizing, targeting and killing the cancer. At this point they are returned to the patient’s body to perform their mission.
According to Dr. June, once the cancer has been treated these “killer cells” become dormant, returning to action only if the cancer recurs. Out of 12 patients who have received the treatment, nine are in full or partial remission.
One of the successful cases is that of Marshall Jensen, a newlywed and young parent from Utah who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. So far, Dr. June’s treatment has accomplished what nearly three years of traveling the country for various surgeries and procedures could not.
What’s next for Dr. June and his team? They hope to be able to adapt this therapy to treat other forms of cancer. Trials on patients with pancreatic cancer are scheduled to begin in the summer of 2015.
Cancer can strike any of us at any age and leave us feeling helpless and uncertain of what to do in response. Issels Integrative Immuno-Oncology has been successfully treating cancer patients with individualized therapy since 1951. The Issels Foundation researches holistic treatment and educates people about their options for combating cancer. This has been a significant year for breast cancer research. New information published can help every woman.
Diabetes is linked to breast tumor size
The Huffington Post reports that high levels of insulin in the blood stream may stimulate growth of tumor cells. This is according to Dr. Caterina Fontanella, MD, who says, “We therefore believe that strict control of blood sugar levels is essential to the successful treatment of breast cancer.”
One skirt size increases breast cancer risk
We know obesity increases everyone’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease. A recent study published in the British Medical Journal finds a person who increases one skirt size every 10 years has a 33 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer.
Some birth control pills likely increase risk
Women taking pills containing high levels of estrogen may have a 50 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who have never taken oral contraceptives, according to a recent study. The increased risk declines when they stop taking these birth control pills.
Lifestyle changes reduce breast cancer risk for all
According to two studies by the Yale Cancer Center, breast cancer survivors who eat a healthy diet and get regular exercise reduce the chance of cancer coming back and increase their likelihood of survival.
Visit our website for the latest developments in cancer research.