American Cancer Society Guidelines for Nutrition Management

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  • 1. Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention: Reducing the Risk of Cancer With Healthy Food Choices and Physical ActivityLawrence H. Kushi, Tim Byers, Colleen Doyle, Elisa V. Bandera, Marji McCullough, TedGansler, Kimberly S. Andrews, Michael J. Thun and The American Cancer Society 2006 Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee CA Cancer J Clin 2006;56;254-281 DOI: 10.3322/canjclin.56.5.254 This information is current as of December 11, 2010The online version of this article, along with updated information and services, is located on the World Wide Web at: subscribe to the print issue of CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, go to (USindividuals only): CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians is published six times per year for the American Cancer Society by Wiley-Blackwell. A bimonthly publication, it has been published continuously since November 1950. CA is owned, published, and trademarked by the American Cancer Society, 250 Williams Street NW, Atlanta GA 30303. (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) All rights reserved. Print ISSN: 0007-9235. Online ISSN: 1542-4863.
  • 2. Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity American Cancer Society Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention: Reducing the Risk of Cancer With Healthy Food Choices and Physical Activity* Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.)Dr. Kushi is Associate Director for Lawrence H. Kushi, ScD; Tim Byers, MD, MPH; Colleen Doyle, MS, RD;Etiology and Prevention Research,Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA. Elisa V Bandera, MD, PhD; Marji McCullough, ScD, RD; Ted Gansler, MD, MBA; .Dr. Byers is Professor, Department Kimberly S. Andrews; Michael J. Thun, MD, MS; and The American Cancer Societyof Preventive Medicine and Biometrics; 2006 Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committeeand Deputy Director, University ofColorado Cancer Center, Aurora, CO.Ms. Doyle is Director, Nutrition andPhysical Activity, Cancer Control ABSTRACT The American Cancer Society (ACS) publishes Nutrition and Physical ActivityScience, American Cancer Society, Guidelines to serve as a foundation for its communication, policy, and community strategiesAtlanta, GA. and ultimately, to affect dietary and physical activity patterns among Americans. These Guidelines,Dr. Bandera is Assistant Professor,The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, published every 5 years, are developed by a national panel of experts in cancer research, pre-New Brunswick, NJ. vention, epidemiology, public health, and policy, and as such, they represent the most currentDr. McCullough is Nutritional Epi- scientific evidence related to dietary and activity patterns and cancer risk. The ACS Guidelinesdemiologist, American Cancer Society,Atlanta, GA. include recommendations for individual choices regarding diet and physical activity patterns,Dr. Gansler is Director of Medical but those choices occur within a community context that either facilitates or interferes withContent, Health Promotions, American healthy behaviors. Community efforts are essential to create a social environment that pro-Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. motes healthy food choices and physical activity. Therefore, this committee presents one keyMs. Andrews is a Research Assoc-iate, Cancer Control Science, American recommendation for community action to accompany the four recommendations for individ-Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. ual choices to reduce cancer risk. This recommendation for community action recognizes thatDr. Thun is Vice President, Epidem- a supportive social environment is indispensable if individuals at all levels of society are to haveiology and Surveillance Research,American Cancer Society, Atlanta, GA. genuine opportunities to choose healthy behaviors. The ACS Guidelines are consistent withThis article is available online at guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association for the prevention of coronary heart disease and diabetes, as well as for general health promo- tion, as defined by the Department of Health and Human Services’ 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (CA Cancer J Clin 2006;56:254–281.) © American Cancer Society, Inc., 2006. THE IMPORTANCE OF WEIGHT CONTROL, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY, AND DIET IN CANCER PREVENTION For the great majority of Americans who do not use tobacco, weight control, dietary choices, and levels of phys-ical activity are the most important modifiable determinants of cancer risk.1–3 Evidence suggests that one-third ofthe more than 500,000 cancer deaths that occur in the United States each year can be attributed to diet and physicalactivity habits, including overweight and obesity, while another third is caused by exposure to tobacco products.Although genetic inheritance influences the risk of cancer, and cancer arises from genetic mutations in cells, most ofthe variation in cancer risk across populations and among individuals is due to factors that are not inherited.4 Behaviors *The following report was approved by the American Cancer Society National Board of Directors on May 19, 2006. 254 CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
  • 3. CA Cancer J Clin 2006;56:254–281such as avoiding exposure to tobacco products, factors were considered more credible than thosemaintaining a healthy weight, staying physically that failed to meet these throughout life, and consuming a healthy For many issues concerning nutrition anddiet can substantially reduce one’s lifetime risk of cancer, the evidence is not definitive, eitherdeveloping cancer.5–8 These same behaviors are because the published results are inconsistent,also associated with decreased risk of developing and/or because the methods of studying nutri-cardiovascular disease. Although these healthy tion and chronic disease in human populationschoices are made by individuals, they may be are still in evolution. Part of the uncertainty has Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.)facilitated or impeded by the social and physical resulted from studies that focus on specific nutri-environment in which people live. ents or foods in isolation, thereby oversimplify- ing the complexity of foods and dietary patterns; the importance of dose, timing, and duration of OVERVIEW OF THE GUIDELINES exposure; and the large variations in nutritional status among human populations. Nutritional The ACS publishes Nutrition and Physical research is equally challenging in RCTs, gen-Activity Guidelines to advise health care pro- erally considered the gold standard for scientificfessionals and the general public about dietary conclusions. Studies may fail to find an effect ifand other lifestyle practices that reduce cancer the intervention begins too late in life, is toorisk.9,10 These Guidelines, updated in 2006 by small, or if the follow up is too short for a ben-the ACS Nutrition and Physical Activity Guide- efit to appear. No single trial can resolve all of thelines Advisory Committee, are based on synthe- questions that are relevant to the potential effectssis of the current scientific evidence on diet and of nutrition throughout the lifespan. Moreover,physical activity in relation to cancer risk. The many important questions about how diet, phys-Committee reviewed evidence from human pop- ical activity, and obesity relate to cancer cannotulation studies and laboratory experiments pub- presently be addressed in RCTs. For example,lished since the last release of the Guidelines in randomized trials of weight loss in relation to2001. The Committee also considered other cancer risk are severely constrained by the cur-comprehensive reviews of diet, obesity, and phys- rent lack of effective behavioral or pharmaco-ical inactivity in relation to cancer. For some logic approaches to help people lose weight andaspects of nutrition, the most thorough review sustain a healthy weight. The cost and difficultywas the 1997 World Cancer Research Fund/ of randomized trials to determine the long-termAmerican Institute for Cancer Research mono- consequences of interventions that begin ingraph; for others, such as physical activity, obe- infancy and extend for many years preclude long-sity, and fruit and vegetable consumption, there term experimental interventions. Interventionshave been more recent comprehensive re- are ethical only if they can plausibly improve theviews.3,11,12 In weighing the evidence from ran- health of the participants. Although it might bedomized controlled trials (RCTs), the Committee easier to motivate people to increase their weightconsidered the findings in relation to the design by consuming more calories and/or fat and byof the trial, the specific question being addressed, decreasing their physical activity, such studies areand the importance of the trial results in the clearly unethical.context of other evidence from human popu- Inferences about the many complex interre-lations. Prospective cohort studies were weighted lationships among body weight, physical activ-more heavily than case-control studies, espe- ity, diet, and cancer risk are therefore based, forcially when results were available from several the most part, on a combination of clinical tri-cohorts. Population-based case-control studies als and observational studies coupled with advanc-with at least 200 cases of cancer were consid- ing understanding of the biology of cancer. Theseered more informative than smaller or hospital- Guidelines are based on the totality of evidencebased case-control studies. Studies that adjusted from all sources, taking into account both thefor total energy intake, considered other dietary potential health benefits and possible risks fromfactors, and controlled for other known risk the intervention. No diet or lifestyle pattern can Volume 56 • Number 5 • September/October 2006 255
  • 4. Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity TABLE 1 American Cancer Society (ACS) Guidelines on Nutrition and Physicial Activity for Cancer Prevention ACS Recommendations for Individual Choices Maintain a healthy weight throughout life. • Balance caloric intake with physical activity. • Avoid excessive weight gain throughout the life cycle. • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight if currently overweight or obese. Adopt a physically active lifestyle. • Adults: engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, above usual activities, on 5 or more days of the week. Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) Forty-five to 60 minutes of intentional physical activity are preferable. • Children and adolescents: engage in at least 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 5 days per week. Consume a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant sources. • Choose foods and beverages in amounts that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight. • Eat five or more servings of a variety of vegetables and fruits each day. • Choose whole grains in preference to processed (refined) grains. • Limit consumption of processed and red meats. If you drink alcoholic beverages, limit consumption. • Drink no more than one drink per day for women or two per day for men. ACS Recommendations for Community Action Public, private, and community organizations should work to create social and physical environments that support the adoption and maintenance of healthful nutrition and physical activity behaviors. • Increase access to healthful foods in schools, worksites, and communities. • Provide safe, enjoyable, and accessible environments for physical activity in schools, and for transportation and recreation in communities. guarantee full protection against any disease; the levels of society are to have genuine opportuni- potential health benefit represents a decreased ties to choose healthy behaviors. likelihood that the disease will occur, not a guar- antee of total protection. These Guidelines pro- vide a concise and understandable summary of AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY GUIDELINES the existing scientific information about weight FOR NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY control, physical activity, and nutrition in rela- Recommendations for Community Action tion to cancer. The ACS Guidelines are consis- tent with guidelines established for cancer Social, economic, and cultural factors strongly prevention by other countries 8; those from the influence individual choices about diet and phys- American Heart Association and American ical activity. Although many Americans would like Diabetes Association for the prevention of coro- to adopt a healthy lifestyle, many encounter sub- nary heart disease and diabetes 13,14; as well as for stantial barriers that make it difficult to follow diet general health promotion, as defined by the 2005 and activity guidelines. Indeed, current trends Dietary Guidelines for Americans.15 toward increasing portion sizes,16–19 as well as In addition to recommendations regarding the consumption of high-calorie convenience individual choices related to weight control, foods, beverages, and restaurant meals, and declin- physical activity, and diet, the ACS Guidelines ing levels of physical activity are contributing to underscore what communities can and should an obesity epidemic among Americans of all ages do to facilitate healthy eating and physical activ- and across all population segments.15,20,21 Longer ity behaviors (Table 1). Community efforts are workdays and more households with multiple essential to create a social environment that pro- wage earners reduce the amount of time avail- motes healthy food choices and physical activ- able for preparation of meals, with a resulting ity. Thus, the recommendation for community shift toward increased consumption of high- action recognizes that a supportive social envi- calorie food outside the home—frequently less ronment is indispensable if individuals at all nutritious than foods prepared at home.22 Large256 CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
  • 5. CA Cancer J Clin 2006;56:254–281portion sizes and calorie-dense foods are used approaches that produced much larger reductionsextensively in marketing by restaurants, supermar- in cigarette smoking among children and adults,kets, and food companies.16–19 Reduced leisure beginning in the mid-1980s. These includedtime, increased reliance on automobiles for trans- restrictions on cigarette advertising, increases in theportation, and increased availability of electronic price of tobacco products through taxation, lawsentertainment and communications media all preventing exposure to secondhand smoke incontribute to reduced physical activity. 20,21 public places, and restrictions on the access ofIncreasing evidence indicates associations between children to tobacco products. Only recently have Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.)the built environment and obesity and physical communities begun to consider policy approachesactivity levels.23,24 Poor access to sidewalks, parks, that might promote better nutrition and physi-and recreation facilities is associated with greater cal activity at the population level. Public, pri-obesity risk,25 whereas neighborhoods that facil- vate, and community organizations are nowitate walking and safe physical recreation have considering policy measures and strategies thatlower obesity prevalence.23 could help individuals choose healthier patterns The increase in obesity and physical inactiv- of nutrition and physical activity (Table 1).ity is of particular concern for a number of pop-ulation groups, including children, who are Recommendations for Individual Choicesestablishing lifetime behavioral patterns thataffect health, and lower-income populations, Approximately two-thirds of Americans arewho face additional problems because nearby overweight or obese. The percentage of children,stores often lack affordable and attractive healthy adolescents, and adult men who are overweightfoods, and safety concerns limit opportunities for or obese has continued to increase through 2004,physical activity. although the trend has now stabilized in adult Facilitating improved diet and increased phys- women.26 In addition, many Americans are lessical activity patterns in communities will require physically active than is optimal for health. Theremultiple strategies and bold action, ranging from is no longer serious medical debate about whetherthe implementation of community, worksite, and obesity, the prevalence of which has doubled inother health promotion programs to policies that the last 25 years, constitutes a major health prob-affect community planning, transportation, school- lem in the United States, increasing the risk ofbased physical education, and food services. Par- several cancers as well as of coronary heart dis-ticular efforts will be needed to ensure that all ease, type 2 diabetes, and other medical prob-population groups have access to healthy food lems. For most people in the United States, weightchoices and opportunities for physical activity. gain results from a combination of excessive caloricPublic and private organizations at local, state, intake and inadequate physical activity. Thus,and national levels will need to develop new poli- while there continues to be genuine scientificcies and to reallocate or expand resources to facil- uncertainty about how specific aspects of excessitate necessary changes. Health care professionals adiposity, excessive energy intake, and physicaland community leaders, in particular, have new inactivity relate to cancer, there is no debate aboutopportunities to provide leadership and to pro- whether these constitute a serious and growingmote policy changes in their communities. health problem. These Guidelines therefore empha- Lessons learned from the tobacco epidemic size the importance of maintaining a healthy bodyexemplify the power of social context in chang- weight, adopting a physically active lifestyle, anding health behaviors. Adult per-capita cigarette consuming a healthy diet, particularly within theconsumption increased steeply from 1910 until context of weight management.1964, when the first US Surgeon General Reportpublicized the health hazards of smoking. However, 1. Maintain a Healthy Weight Throughout Life.public education alone produced only a gradualdecrease in cigarette consumption from 1964 • Balance caloric intake with physical activity.through the early 1980s. It was the subsequent • Avoid excessive weight gain throughout theintroduction of community-wide policy life cycle. Volume 56 • Number 5 • September/October 2006 257
  • 6. Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity TABLE 2 Adult BMI Chart BMI 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 Height Weight in Pounds 4 10 91 96 100 105 110 115 119 124 129 134 138 143 148 153 158 162 167 4 11 94 99 104 109 114 119 124 128 133 138 143 148 153 158 163 168 173 5 97 102 107 112 118 123 128 133 138 143 148 153 158 163 168 174 179 5 1 100 106 111 116 122 127 132 137 143 148 153 158 164 169 174 180 185 5 2 104 109 115 120 126 131 136 142 147 153 158 164 169 175 180 186 191 Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) 5 3 107 113 118 124 130 135 141 146 152 158 163 169 175 180 186 191 197 5 4 110 116 122 128 134 140 145 151 157 163 169 174 180 186 192 197 204 5 5 114 120 126 132 138 144 150 156 162 168 174 180 186 192 198 204 210 5 6 118 124 130 136 142 148 155 161 167 173 179 186 192 198 204 210 216 5 7 121 127 134 140 146 153 159 166 172 178 185 191 198 204 211 217 223 5 8 125 131 138 144 151 158 164 171 177 184 190 197 203 210 216 223 230 5 9 128 135 142 149 155 162 169 176 182 189 196 203 209 216 223 230 236 5 10 132 139 146 153 160 167 174 181 188 195 202 209 216 222 229 236 243 5 11 136 143 150 157 165 172 179 186 193 200 208 215 222 229 236 243 250 6 140 147 154 162 169 177 184 191 199 206 213 221 228 235 242 250 258 6 1 144 151 159 166 174 182 189 197 204 212 219 227 235 242 250 257 265 6 2 148 155 163 171 179 186 194 202 210 218 225 233 241 249 256 264 272 6 3 152 160 168 176 184 192 200 208 216 224 232 240 248 256 264 272 279 Healthy Weight Overweight Obese Source: US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Health, Lung, and Blood Institute. The Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults: Evidence Report. September 1998 [NIH pub. No. 98-4083]. • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight if cur- growth, such as insulin-like growth factor-1; rently overweight or obese. and proteins that make hormones more or less available to tissues, such as sex hormone-bind- Body Weight and Cancer Risk ing globulin. 3 Overweight and obesity may In the United States, overweight and obesity increase risk of adenocarcinoma of the esopha- contribute to 14% to 20% of all cancer-related gus by increasing risk of gastroesophageal reflux mortality.27 Overweight and obesity are clearly disease and Barrett’s esophagus.3 associated with increased risk for developing Most research on energy imbalance and can- many cancers, including cancers of the breast in cer focuses on increased risks associated with postmenopausal women, 3,27–33 colon, endo- overweight and obesity. Recently, studies explor- metrium, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, and ing intentional weight loss suggest that losing kidney. Evidence is highly suggestive that obe- weight may reduce the risk of breast cancer.34–38 sity also increases risk for cancers of the pan- Surgery to treat morbid obesity and short-term creas, gallbladder, thyroid, ovary, and cervix, and intentional weight loss have been shown to for multiple myeloma, Hodgkin lymphoma, and improve insulin sensitivity and biochemical meas- aggressive prostate cancer.3,27–33 These findings ures of hormone metabolism, which have been are supported by both epidemiologic studies in postulated to contribute to the relationship humans and other research.3,27–33 Overweight between obesity and certain cancers. The sur- and obesity are thought to affect risk of these gical removal of intra-abdominal fat has also cancers through a variety of mechanisms, some been shown to reduce the metabolic syndrome. of which are specific to particular cancer types. Even though our knowledge about the relation- These mechanisms include effects on fat and ship between weight loss and cancer risk is incom- sugar metabolism; immune function; levels of plete, individuals who are overweight or obese several hormones, including insulin and estra- should be encouraged and supported in their diol; factors that regulate cell proliferation and efforts to reduce weight.258 CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
  • 7. CA Cancer J Clin 2006;56:254–281 Achieving and Maintaining a Healthy Weight people.15 The healthiest way to reduce caloric intake is to reduce intake of added sugars, sat- A healthy weight depends on a person’s height, urated and trans fats, and alcohol, which all pro-so recommendations for a healthy weight are vide substantial calories, but few or no essentialoften expressed in terms of a body mass index nutrients. Caloric intake can be reduced by(BMI) (Table 2). BMI is calculated as body weight decreasing the size of food portions (see standardin kilograms divided by height in meters, squared.2 serving sizes [Table 3]) and limiting the intakeExact cutoffs for a healthy weight are somewhat of foods and beverages that are high in calories,arbitrary, but for most Americans, experts con- Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) fat, and/or refined sugars, and which providesider a BMI within the range of 18.5 to 25.0 few nutrients (eg, fried foods, cookies, cakes,kg/m2 to be healthy, a BMI between 25.0 and candy, ice cream, and soft drinks). Such foods29.9 to be overweight, and a BMI of 30.0 and and beverages should be replaced with choicesover to be obese. Individuals should strive to main- like vegetables and fruits, whole grains, beans,tain healthy weights as illustrated in Table 2. and lower-calorie beverages.39 People should The way to achieve a healthy body weight be aware that meals served in fast-food estab-is to balance energy intake (food and beverage lishments and restaurants typically exceed theintake) with energy expenditure (physical activ- portion sizes needed to meet recommendedity).3,15 Excess body fat can be reduced by reduc- daily caloric intake and are often high in hiddening caloric intake and increasing physical activity. fats.39 They also are often low in vegetables,For most adults a reduction of 50 to 100 calo- fruits, whole grains, and beans.22 Monitoringries per day may prevent gradual weight gain, food intake and physical activity has been shownwhereas a reduction of 500 calories or more per to be effective in weight management.19,39,40day is a common initial goal in weight loss pro- The health of young people, and the adultsgrams. Similarly, up to 60 minutes of moder- they will become, is critically linked to the estab-ate to vigorous intensity physical activity per lishment of healthy behaviors in childhood.41day may be needed to prevent weight gain, but Risk factors such as excess weight gain, unhealthyas much as 60 to 90 minutes of moderate inten- dietary patterns, and physical inactivity duringsity physical activity per day may help to sus- childhood and adolescence can result in increasedtain weight loss for previously overweight risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, and osteoporosis later inTABLE 3 What Counts as a Serving life.41 Children who adopt healthy lifestyle habits at an early age are more likely to continue these Fruits • 1 medium apple, banana, orange • 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked, or behaviors throughout life. About half of young- canned fruit sters who are overweight as children will remain • 1/2 cup of 100% fruit juice overweight in adulthood42; 70% of those who Vegetables • 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables are overweight by adolescence will remain over- • 1/2 cup of other cooked or raw weight as adults.18 For these reasons, efforts to vegetables, chopped • 1/2 cup of 100% vegetable juice establish healthy weight and patterns of weight gain should begin in childhood. Grains • 1 slice bread • 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal • 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice, pasta 2. Adopt a Physically Active Lifestyle. Beans and nuts • 1/2 cup cooked dry beans • 2 tablespoons peanut butter • Adults: engage in at least 30 minutes of mod- • 1/3 cup nuts erate to vigorous physical activity, above usual Dairy foods • 1 cup milk or yogurt activities, on 5 or more days of the week. and eggs • 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese • 2 ounces processed cheese Forty-five to 60 minutes of intentional phys- • 1 egg ical activity are preferable. Meats 2–3 ounces of cooked lean meat, • Children and adolescents: engage in at least poultry, fish 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous physical activity at least 5 days per week. Volume 56 • Number 5 • September/October 2006 259
  • 8. Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity Benefits of Physical Activity Recommended Amount of Total Scientific evidence indicates that physical and Intentional Activity activity may reduce the risk of several types of Although the optimal intensity, duration, and cancer, including cancers of the breast, colon, frequency of physical activity needed to reduce prostate, and endometrium.3,29,43 Although sci- cancer risk are unknown, evidence suggests that entific evidence for many other cancers is lack- at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous ac- ing, associations may exist. Physical activity acts tivity, in addition to usual activities done through- in a variety of ways to impact cancer risk. 44 out the day, can help reduce cancer risk. Evidence Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) Regular and intentional physical activity helps is accumulating that 45 to 60 minutes on 5 or maintain a healthy body weight by balancing more days of the week may be optimal to reduce caloric intake with energy expenditure.45 Other risk of cancers of the colon and breast.3 There mechanisms by which physical activity may is limited evidence regarding whether physical help to prevent certain cancers may involve activity is most protective if done in a single both direct and indirect effects, including reg- session or in increments throughout the day, ulating sex hormones, insulin, prostaglandins, but it is reasonable to assume that benefit can and various beneficial effects on the immune be accumulated in separate sessions of 20 to 30 system.3,46,47 The benefits of a physically active minutes each. lifestyle far exceed reducing the risk of cancer Data suggest that 60 minutes of moderate to and provide other important health benefits,3 vigorous activity on 5 or more days per week including associations with reduced risk of other helps to prevent weight gain and obesity.15,50 By chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, helping to maintain weight, physical activity for osteoporosis, and hypertension.48 60 minutes on 5 or more days of the week may have an indirect effect on reducing the risk of Types of Activity developing obesity-related cancers.51–55 Apart Usual activities are those that are performed from effects on obesity, physical activity appears on a regular basis as part of one’s daily routine. to have other effects on reducing the risk of can- These activities include those performed at work cers of the colon and breast, even when activity (such as walking from the parking garage to the is not initiated until later in life.55 office), at home (such as climbing a flight of For people who are largely inactive or just stairs), as well as those considered activities of beginning a physical activity program, a grad- daily living (such as dressing and bathing). They ual increase to 30 minutes per day of moderate are typically of low intensity and short duration. intensity physical activity on at least 5 days per Intentional activities are those that are done in week will provide substantial cardiovascular ben- addition to these usual activities. These activities efits.56,57 After this duration is achieved, increas- are often planned and often done at leisure, for ing intensity to vigorous levels may further exercise, for fitness, or transportation to inten- improve health benefits for those individuals tionally supplement other routine activities. who are able to exercise at this intensity. Most These activities range from a bike ride or a run children and young adults can safely engage in to including more purposeful physical activity moderate physical activity without consulting into the day, such as walking to use public trans- their physicians. However, men older than 40 portation instead of driving. Moderate activi- years, women older than 50 years, and people ties are those that require effort equivalent to a with chronic illnesses and/or established cardio- brisk walk.49 Vigorous activities generally engage vascular risk factors should consult their physi- large muscle groups and cause a noticeable cians before beginning a vigorous physical activity increase in heart rate, breathing depth and fre- program. Stretching and warm-up periods before quency, and sweating. 49 These activities can be and after activity can reduce the risk of muscu- performed in a variety of settings: occupational, loskeletal injuries and muscle soreness. recreational, in the home or garden, and with Individuals who are already active at least 30 friends or family.49 minutes on most days of the week should strive260 CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
  • 9. CA Cancer J Clin 2006;56:254–281TABLE 4 Examples of Moderate and Vigorous Intensity Physical Activities Moderate Intensity Activities Vigorous Intensity Activities Exercise and leisure Walking, dancing, leisurely bicycling, ice and roller Jogging or running, fast bicycling, circuit weight skating, horseback riding, canoeing, yoga training, aerobic dance, martial arts, jumping rope, swimming Sports Volleyball, golfing, softball, baseball, badminton, Soccer, field or ice hockey, lacrosse, singles doubles tennis, downhill skiing tennis, racquetball, basketball, cross-country skiing Home activities Mowing the lawn, general yard and garden maintenance Digging, carrying and hauling, masonry, Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) carpentry Occupational activity Walking and lifting as part of the job (custodial work, Heavy manual labor (forestry, construction, farming, auto or machine repair) firefighting)to accumulate 60 minutes of moderate or greater to vigorous intensities for at least 60 minutes perintensity activity on most days of the week. day on 5 or more days per week.60,61 ActivitiesSelected examples of moderate and vigorous should be developmentally appropriate, enjoy-activities are provided in Table 4. able, and varied,59 including sports and fitness Adopting a physically active lifestyle involves activities in school, at home, and in the com-making deliberate decisions and changing munity.62 Because children and adolescents spendlifestyle behaviors to select active rather than a significant portion of their days in schools, thesedentary behavior. To enhance the ability of availability of routine, high-quality physical edu-individuals to adopt a more active lifestyle, both cation programs is a critically important and rec-communities and individuals need to imple- ognized way of increasing physical activity amongment changes (see Recommendation for Community youth.62 To help achieve activity goals, dailyAction). Ideas to reduce sedentary behavior are physical education programs and activity breakssuggested in Table 5. should be provided for children at school, and tel- Physical activity plays an important role in evision viewing and computer game time shouldchildren’s and adolescents’ health and well-being be minimized at home.and has important physical, mental, and social Although the health benefits of physical activ-benefits.15,58,59 Because one of the best predic- ity in preventing cancer and other chronic dis-tors of adult physical activity is activity level dur- eases are facilitated by the development of healthying childhood and adolescence, and because activity patterns in childhood, benefit seems tophysical activity plays a critical role in weight accumulate over the course of a lifetime.6 There-maintenance, children and adolescents should be fore, increasing the level of physical activity atencouraged to be physically active at moderate any age can provide important health benefits and may reduce the risk of some cancers.TABLE 5 Suggested Ways to Reduce 3. Consume a Healthy Diet, with an EmphasisSedentary Behavior on Plant Sources. • Use stairs rather than an elevator. Choose foods and beverages in amounts that • If you can, walk or bike to your destination. help achieve and maintain a healthy weight. • Exercise at lunch with your coworkers, family, or friends. • Take an exercise break at work to stretch or take a quick walk. • Become familiar with standard serving sizes, • Walk to visit coworkers instead of sending an e-mail. and read food labels to become more aware • Go dancing with your spouse or friends. of actual servings consumed. • Plan active vacations rather than only driving trips. • Wear a pedometer every day and increase your daily steps. • Eat smaller portions of high-calorie foods. Be • Join a sports team. aware that “low-fat” or “nonfat” does not mean • Use a stationary bicycle or treadmill while watching TV. “low-calorie,” and that low-fat cakes, cook- • Plan your exercise routine to gradually increase the days per week and minutes per session. ies, and similar foods are often high in calories. • Spend time playing with your kids. • Substitute vegetables, fruits, and other low- calorie foods and beverages for calorie-dense Volume 56 • Number 5 • September/October 2006 261
  • 10. Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity foods and beverages such as French fries, dietary pattern as outlined, with special empha- cheeseburgers, pizza, ice cream, doughnuts sis placed on controlling total caloric intake to and other sweets, and regular sodas. help achieve and maintain a healthy weight. • When you eat away from home, choose food Choosing Foods and Beverages in Amounts low in calories, fat, and sugar, and avoid large portion sizes. That Achieve and Maintain a Healthy Weight Eat five or more servings of vegetables and Most people cannot maintain a healthy weight fruits each day. without limiting caloric intake while maintain- • Include vegetables and fruits at every meal and Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) ing regular physical activity. Unfortunately, cur- for snacks. rent trends indicate that the largest percentage • Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits each day. of calories in the American diet comes from • Limit French fries, chips, and other fried veg- foods high in fat, sugar, and refined carbohy- etable products. drates.66 Consuming a varied diet that empha- • Choose 100% juice if you drink vegetable or sizes plant foods may help to displace these fruit juices. calorie-dense foods. Limiting portion sizes, espe- Choose whole grains in preferences to proc- cially of these types of foods, is another impor- essed (refined) grains and sugars. tant strategy to reduce total caloric intake. • Choose whole grain rice, bread, pasta, and Replacing dietary fat with foods that are high cereals. in calories from added sugar and other refined car- • Limit consumption of refined carbohydrates, bohydrates does not protect against overweight including pastries, sweetened cereals, and other or obesity. The decrease in fat intake and increase high-sugar foods. in refined carbohydrates that occurred in the Limit consumption of processed and red meats. United States between 1977 and 1995 coincided • Choose fish, poultry, or beans as an alternative with an 8% increase in the prevalence of obe- to beef, pork, and lamb. sity.67,68 Many processed foods, including soft • When you eat meat, select lean cuts and eat drinks and fruit drinks, presweetened cereals, smaller portions. pastries, candies, and syrups, contain large • Prepare meat by baking, broiling, or poaching amounts of added sugars. These added sugars rather than by frying or charbroiling. come in many forms, such as glucose, high- The scientific study of nutrition and cancer is fructose corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates, and highly complex, and many important questions honey. Consuming products high in these added remain unanswered. For example, it is not sugars adds little nutrient value to the diet, con- presently completely understood how energy tributes to excess energy intake, and may con- imbalance or how single or combined nutrients tribute to insulin resistance, alterations in the or foods affect one’s risk of specific cancers. In amount and distribution of body fat, and increased addition, many dietary factors and lifestyle prac- concentrations of growth factors that may pro- tices tend to correlate with each other; for exam- mote the growth of cancers. ple, people who consume a diet high in vegetables Vegetables and Fruits and fruits also tend to eat less meat and be more physically active.63 Foods and nutrients may have Vegetables (including legumes) and fruits are additive or synergistic effects on health and need complex foods, each containing numerous po- to be considered in the context of the total diet. tentially beneficial vitamins, minerals, fiber, Studies have shown that individuals whose diets carotenoids, and other bioactive substances, such are very low in vegetables and fruits and whole as flavonoids, terpenes, sterols, indoles, and phe- grains, and high in processed and red meats, tend nols that may help prevent cancer.11 Greater con- to have an increased risk of some of the most sumption of vegetables and fruits is associated common types of cancers.64,65 Until more is with decreased risk of lung, esophageal, stomach, known about the specific components of diet and colorectal cancer.11 For other cancers, evi- that influence cancer risk, the best advice is to dence is either limited or inconsistent, although consume whole foods following an overall healthy the role of vegetables and fruits may indirectly262 CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
  • 11. CA Cancer J Clin 2006;56:254–281influence cancer risk via their effects on energy duration, and timing of a single nutrient interven-intake. Intervention studies of dietary patterns, tion, based on evidence derived from broaderincluding high consumption of vegetables and observational data on whole foods, like vegeta-fruits, have not been associated with a reduced bles and fruits. Notable examples are the fourrisk of developing adenomatous polyps 69 or randomized trials of beta carotene for the pre-colon cancer,70 but the degree of adherence to vention of lung cancer, which were initiatedand achievement of study goals over several because many observational epidemiologic stud-years among free-living individuals may limit ies had indicated a lower risk of lung cancer in per- Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.)interpretability. Although the strength of the sons eating foods high in beta carotene.74,75 Incumulative evidence that total intake of vegeta- two of these trials, the individuals taking high-dosebles and/or fruits decreases cancer risk has weak- beta carotene supplements developed lung can-ened in recent years, the totality of the evidence cer at higher rates than those taking a placebo.76–78remains strong for a risk reduction associated Although there has been considerable evidencewith vegetable and fruit consumption at a vari- from observational studies that people consum-ety of cancer sites.11 There is ongoing research ing more beta carotene from foods were at reducedon the potential benefits of particular vegetables risk for lung cancer, these findings support theand fruits, or groups of these, including dark idea that beta carotene may be only a proxy forgreen and orange vegetables, cruciferous veg- other single nutrients or combinations of nutri-etables (eg, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels ents found in whole foods, and that taking a sin-sprouts), soy products, legumes, Allium vegeta- gle nutrient in large amounts can be harmful, atbles (onions and garlic), and tomato products. least for some subgroups of the population. In addition to providing nutrients that may A number of different recommendationsbe beneficial in reducing cancer risk, vegeta- have been made to encourage Americans tobles and fruits may also contribute to weight increase the number of servings of vegetables andmaintenance, although the epidemiologic evi- fruits they consume.13,15,79 Despite these rec-dence supporting such an association is lim- ommendations, intake of these foods remainsited.71 Some evidence suggests that individuals low among adults and children.80,81 This may bewho eat more vegetables and fruits have less due to several reasons, including lack of accessweight gain and lower risk of developing obe- to affordable produce, preparation time, andsity over time.72 Intake of vegetables and fruits taste preferences.82–85may be particularly important if their consump- Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruitstion replaces other, more calorically dense foods may reduce cancer risk both directly and indi-as a strategy for maintaining a healthy weight. rectly by contributing to maintenance of a healthyFor that reason, consumption of low-calorie, weight.11,71 Vegetable and fruit consumption haswhole vegetables and fruits should be encour- also been found to be associated with reduced riskaged. Consumption of vegetables and fruits that of other chronic diseases, particularly cardiovas-are fried (eg, French fries) or consumed with cular disease, an important contributor to over-calorically dense sauces (eg, broccoli with cheese all morbidity and mortality in the Unitedsauce), or high-calorie fruit juices and/or drinks States.13,86–88 For cancer risk reduction, the rec-does not help achieve this objective. ommendation is to consume at least five serv- Evidence that vegetable and fruit consump- ings of a variety of vegetables and fruits eachtion reduces cancer risk has led to attempts to day; however, for overall health, the ACS supportsisolate specific nutrients and administer them as the recommendation to consume higher levels,supplements, sometimes in very high doses.73 depending on calorie needs, as stated in the USMost of these attempts have been unsuccessful Department of Health and Human Services’in preventing cancer or its precursor lesions, and Dietary Guidelines for Americans.15in some cases, have had adverse effects.73 Some Whole Grainsof this may be due to the methodologic chal-lenges of studying nutrients in RCTs for can- Grains such as wheat, rice, oats, and barley,cer; investigators must often select exact doses, and the foods made from them, are an important Volume 56 • Number 5 • September/October 2006 263
  • 12. Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity part of an overall healthful diet. Whole grain formation of nitrosamines that can damage DNA. foods, which are those made from the entire It is also possible that the fat content in meat con- grain seed, are relatively low in caloric density and tributes to risk. For example, foods that are high can contribute to maintaining energy balance.15,89 in fat increase the concentration of secondary bile In addition, whole grains are higher in fiber, acids and other compounds in the stool that could certain vitamins, and minerals than processed be carcinogens or promoters of carcinogenesis. (refined) flour products. Some of these vitamins Although meats are good sources of high- and minerals have been associated with lower quality protein and can supply many impor- Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) risk of cancer.90 The association between whole tant vitamins and minerals, they remain major grain foods and different types of cancer has been contributors of total fat, saturated fat, and cho- inconsistent, however, possibly because the ques- lesterol in the American diet.100 The recommen- tionnaires used in these studies to assess dietary dation is to limit consumption of processed and intake were generally not specifically designed to red meats. To accomplish this, choose lean meats assess whole grain consumption, which in most and smaller portions, and use meat as a side cases resulted in incomplete assessments. dish rather than as the focus of a meal. Legumes Consumption of high-fiber foods is associ- are especially rich in nutrients that may pro- ated with a lower risk of several chronic diseases, tect against cancer and can be a healthier source including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and of protein than red meats. Although cooking diverticulitis.15 Consuming high-fiber foods, meat at high temperatures, such as in grilling or such as legumes and whole grain breads, cereals, frying, can produce potential carcinogens, care rice, and pasta, is therefore highly recommended, should be taken to cook meat thoroughly to even though data for an association between destroy harmful bacteria and parasites, but to fiber and cancer risk are limited.69,91,92 Because avoid charring. the benefits of whole grain foods may derive 4. If You Drink Alcoholic Beverages, from their other nutrients as well as fiber, it is Limit Consumption preferable to consume whole grain foods rather than fiber supplements. People who drink alcohol should limit their intake to no more than two drinks per day for Processed and Red Meats men and one drink a day for women.15 The rec- Many epidemiologic studies have examined ommended limit is lower for women because of the association between cancer and the con- their smaller body size and slower metabolism of sumption of red meats (defined as beef, pork, alcohol. A drink of alcohol is defined as 12 ounces or lamb) and processed meats (cold cuts, bacon, of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hot dogs, etc.). Current evidence supports an 80-proof distilled spirits. Alcohol consumption is increased risk of cancers of the colon and/or an established cause of cancers of the mouth, rectum93–96 and prostate.97,98 More limited evi- pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and liver.5,101 For dence exists for other sites. Studies that have each of these cancers, risk increases substantially examined red meat and processed meat sepa- with intake of more than two drinks per day.5,101 rately suggest that risks associated with processed Alcohol consumption combined with tobacco meat may be slightly greater than red meat,93–95,98 increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, lar- but the consumption of both should be limited. ynx, and esophagus far more than the independ- Meat contains several constituents that could ent effect of either dr inking or smoking. 5 increase the risk of cancer.97,99 Mutagens and Extensive evidence also implicates alcohol con- carcinogens (heterocyclic amines and polycyclic sumption as a cause of cancer of the breast,102–104 aromatic hydrocarbons) are produced by cook- and probably colon and rectum cancer. 5,105 ing meat at high temperatures and/or by char- Regular consumption of more than one drink per coal grilling. The iron content (heme) in red day has been associated with an increased risk meat may generate free radicals in the colon that of breast cancer in women.103 The mechanism damage DNA. Substances used to process meat by which alcohol is related to breast cancer is (nitrates/nitrites and salt) contribute to the not known, but it may be due to alcohol-induced264 CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
  • 13. CA Cancer J Clin 2006;56:254–281increases in circulating estrogens or other hor- chemicals. Limited evidence suggests that drink-mones in the blood, reduction of folate levels, or ing more fluids may lower the risk of bladderto a direct effect of alcohol or its metabolites on cancer, as may eating more vegetables.111breast tissue. Reducing alcohol consumptionmay be an important way for many women to Brain Tumorsreduce their risk of breast cancer. In particular,women with a low intake of folate may be more There are no known nutritional risk factorssusceptible to the increase in breast cancer risk for brain tumors at this time. Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.)from alcohol.106–109 Overall, the evidence seemsto indicate that total alcohol consumption is the Breast Cancerimportant factor, not the type of alcoholic bev-erage consumed.110 Breast cancer is the most common cancer Complicating the recommendation for alco- diagnosed among American women and is sec-hol and cancer risk reduction is the fact that low ond only to lung cancer as a cause of cancerto moderate intake of alcoholic beverages has deaths in women.134 The risk of breast cancer isbeen associated with decreased risk of coronary increased by several reproductive and other fac-heart disease.102 Even though drinking moder- tors that are not easily modified: menarche beforeate levels of alcohol is associated with reduced age 12, nulliparity or first birth at age greaterrisk of coronary heart disease in women, those than 30 years, late age at menopause, and a fam-women who are at high risk of breast cancer ily history of breast cancer. Risk factors may dif-might reasonably consider abstaining from alco- fer for breast cancer that is diagnosed before orhol. There is no compelling reason for adults after menopause. New evidence indicates thatwho currently do not consume alcoholic bever- exposures throughout life including in utero mayages to start consuming alcohol to reduce their have an effect on breast cancer risk. That breastrisk for heart disease, as cardiovascular risk can cancer risk is increased with increasing adultbe reduced by other means, such as avoiding height strongly points to early-life nutritionalsmoking, consuming a diet low in saturated and factors in breast cancer.trans fats, maintaining a healthy weight, staying There is consistent evidence that increasedphysically active on a regular basis, and control- body weight and weight gain during adulthoodling blood pressure and lipids. Furthermore, are associated with increased risk for breast can-there is convincing evidence that cardiovascu- cer among postmenopausal (but not premeno-lar risk increases with heavy alcohol consump- pausal) women.34,37,112–117 This increased risk istion.102 Some groups of people should not drink likely due to the higher levels of estrogens pro-alcoholic beverages at all. These include chil- duced by extra adipose tissue after menopause;dren and adolescents; individuals of any age who the adverse effect of weight gain is not seen ascannot restrict their drinking to moderate lev- readily among women taking postmenopausalels or who have a family history of alcoholism; hormone therapy (hormone replacement ther-women who are or may become pregnant; indi- apy), since it may be masked by higher levelsviduals who plan to drive or operate machinery of exogenous estrogens. Alcohol intake is alsoor who take part in other activities that require associated with an increase in risk, 103,104,118attention, skill, or coordination; and individuals particularly for women whose intake of folatetaking prescriptions or over-the-counter med- is low. 106–109 Moderate to vigorous physicalications that can interact with alcohol. activity has been shown to be associated with decreased breast cancer risk among both pre- DIET AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY FACTORS THAT menopausal and postmenopausal women. 3 AFFECT RISKS FOR SELECT CANCERS Although reduction of fat intake to very low levels may reduce breast cancer risk, results from Bladder Cancer the recent intervention trial found that lower- The major risk factors for bladder cancer are to- ing fat intake to 29% of calories had only a verybacco smoking and exposure to certain industrial small effect on risk among postmenopausal Volume 56 • Number 5 • September/October 2006 265
  • 14. Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity women.119 At the present time, the best nutri- calcium; eat more vegetables and fruits; avoid tional advice to reduce the risk of breast can- obesity; and avoid excess alcohol consumption cer is to engage in moderate to vigorous physical (eg, no more than one drink/day in women, activity 45 to 60 minutes on 5 or more days per two drinks/day in men).53,54,122,132 In addition, week, minimize lifetime weight gain through it is very important to follow the ACS guide- the combination of caloric restriction and reg- lines for regular colorectal screening, as identi- ular physical activity, and avoid or limit intake fying and removing precursor polyps in the colon of alcoholic beverages.6,104,115,120,121 can prevent colorectal cancer.133 Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) Colorectal Cancer Endometrial Cancer Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause Endometrial cancer is the most common female of cancer death among American men and reproductive cancer in the United States, rank- women combined.134 The risk of colorectal can- ing fourth among all cancers in women in age- cer is increased in those with a family history of adjusted incidence.134 Although endometrial colorectal cancer. Long-term tobacco use and cancer has been traditionally considered as a sin- possibly excessive alcohol consumption increase gle entity, epidemiologic and clinicopathologic risk, whereas use of aspirin or other nonsteroidal evidence points to two separate types. Type I anti-inflammatory drugs, postmenopausal hor- endometrial cancer (low grade, the most common mone therapy, and possibly increased calcium type) is hormonally related, associated with hyper- intake may decrease risk. Currently, however, plasia, and tends to have a better prognosis. neither aspirin-like drugs nor postmenopausal Type II endometrial cancer (high grade, approx- hormones are recommended to prevent colorec- imately 10% of endometrial cancers) is not hor- tal cancer because of their potential adverse monally related, is associated with endometrial effects. Studies demonstrate a lower risk of colon atrophy, and tends to have a worse prognosis.135 cancer among those who are moderately active Most of the established risk factors for endome- on a regular basis, and increasing evidence sug- trial cancer, summarized here, refer to type I; the gests that more vigorous activity may have an causes of type II endometrial are largely unknown. even greater benefit in reducing the risk of colon Most of the major known risk factors for type cancer.53,122 Obesity increases the risk of colon I endometrial cancer have in common a pro- cancer among both men and women, but the longed and excessive exposure of the endo- association seems to be stronger in men.3,27 Diets metrium to estrogens unopposed by progesterone, high in vegetables and fruits have been associ- such as postmenopausal estrogen therapy, sequen- ated with decreased risk, 11 and diets high in tial oral contraceptive formulations, a history of processed and/or red meat have been associated polycystic ovarian syndrome, and obesity. with increased risk of colon cancer.123–125 A There is strong evidence of a relationship growing number of studies support a protective between obesity and endometrial cancer.3 In role of calcium126,127 for colorectal cancer or its premenopausal women, the increased risk has precursor, colorectal adenomas. Several studies been attributed to insulin resistance, elevation also suggest that vitamin D128,129 or a combina- in ovarian androgens, anovulation, and chronic tion of vitamin D and calcium130 may prevent progesterone deficiency associated with over- this cancer. However, because of a potential weight. 135 In postmenopausal women, the increase in risk of prostate cancer associated with increased risk has been attributed to the higher calcium intake,131 it would be prudent to limit circulating concentration of bioavailable estro- calcium intake in men to less than 1,500 mg/day gens created from the conversion of androstene- until further studies are conducted. The best dione to estrone in adipose tissue. 3 Studies nutritional advice to reduce the risk of colon examining physical activity, which has also been cancer is to increase the intensity and duration shown to affect endogenous hormone levels, of physical activity; limit intake of red and have suggested a decrease in endometrial can- processed meat; consume recommended levels of cer risk for the highest level of physical activity.3266 CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
  • 15. CA Cancer J Clin 2006;56:254–281 Vegetable and fiber intakes may decrease risk, lung cancer risk among smokers (see Beta Caro-whereas red meat, saturated fat, and animal fat tene).76,77 At the present time, the best advice tomay increase risk.136 At the present time, the reduce the risk of lung cancer is to avoid tobaccobest advice to reduce the risk of endometrial use and environmental tobacco smoke and tocancer is to maintain a healthy weight through avoid radon exposure. Eating at least five serv-diet and regular physical activity, and eat a pre- ings of vegetables and fruits every day is alsodominantly plant-based diet rich in vegetables, advised.7,138whole grains, and beans. Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) Ovarian Cancer Kidney Cancer Cancer of the ovary is the second most com- In the United States, kidney cancer accounts mon gynecologic cancer and the leading causefor 3% of both incident and fatal cancers in men of death from gynecologic malignancies. 134and 2% of cancer cases and deaths in women.134 Although the etiology of ovarian cancer is notThe incidence of kidney cancer has been steadily well understood, hormonal, environmental, andrising by nearly 2% annually since 1975. 137 genetic factors have been implicated. Family his-Approximately 80% to 85% of kidney cancers tory of ovarian cancer is a risk factor, but fewerare renal cell cancers. The etiology of renal cell than 10% of ovarian cancers are hereditary.cancer is largely unknown; however, the most At the present time there are no establishedestablished modifiable risk factors include obe- nutritional risk factors for ovarian cancer. In thesity and tobacco smoking. In 2002, the Inter- Pooling Project of Diet and Cancer Cohorts, anational Agency for Research on Cancer con- study combining the data from 12 cohort stud-cluded that there is sufficient evidence for ies,139 there was no indication of an associationexcessive weight as a cause of renal cell cancer.3 of risk with total fruit, total vegetable, total fruitResults for associations between dietary factors and vegetable, or any botanically defined sub-and renal cell cancer risk have been limited or group, and in the European Investigation intoinconsistent. At the present time, the best advice Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study,140 a veryto reduce the risk of kidney cancer is to main- large cohort study of women in Europe, totaltain a healthy weight and avoid tobacco use. fruit, total vegetables, or total fruit and vegeta- bles were unrelated to ovarian cancer risk. The Leukemias and Lymphomas association with milk/dairy products and galac- There are no known nutritional risk factors tose metabolism has been widely explored withfor leukemias or lymphomas at this time. inconsistent results.141,142 There was no indica- tion of an association with milk/dairy product or Lung Cancer calcium consumption in a recent study pooling data from 12 cohort studies,143 whereas there was Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer some indication of a weak association with lactosedeath among Americans.11,134 More than 85% intake at a level equivalent to three or more glassesof lung cancers occur because of tobacco smok- of milk per day. The overall evidence seems toing, and 10% to 14% are attributed to radon indicate that alcohol consumption at moderateexposure. Many studies have found that the risk levels may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer.110,144,145of lung cancer is lower among smokers and non- The role of obesity and physical activity in ovar-smokers who consume at least five servings of ian cancer risk is unclear.3,5,146vegetables and fruits a day. A recent review foundsignificantly lower risk of lung cancer with higher Pancreatic Cancerconsumption of fruit.11 Although healthful eat-ing may reduce the risk of lung cancer, the risks Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading causeposed by tobacco remain substantial. Nutritional of cancer death in the United States.134 Substantialsupplementation with high doses of beta carotene evidence indicates that tobacco smoking, adult-and/or vitamin A has increased (not decreased) onset diabetes, and impaired glucose tolerance Volume 56 • Number 5 • September/October 2006 267
  • 16. Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity increase the risk for pancreatic cancer.147 Some prostate cancer.131,152 Although obesity has been studies have also shown that obesity and physi- inconsistently related to prostate cancer develop- cal inactivity (both factors strongly linked to ment, recent data suggest that being overweight abnormal glucose metabolism) and higher con- is associated with worse prognosis after diagno- sumption of red and processed meat are associ- sis and treatment among men with prostate can- ated with elevated pancreatic cancer risk, and cer. 31,153 Evidence suggests that exercise, in that fruit and vegetable intake is associated with particular vigorous exercise, may impart some reduced risk,148 but none of these relationships is benefit for prostate cancer.3 At the present time, Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) yet firmly established. At the present time, the the best advice to reduce the risk of prostate best advice to reduce the risk of pancreatic can- cancer is to eat five or more servings of a wide cer is to avoid tobacco use, maintain a healthful variety of vegetables and fruits each day, limit weight, remain physically active, and eat five or intake of red meats and dairy products, and main- more servings of vegetables and fruits each day. tain an active lifestyle and healthy weight. Prostate Cancer Stomach Cancer Prostate cancer is the most common cancer Stomach cancer is the fourth most common among American men.134 Although prostate cancer worldwide and the number two cause of cancer is related to male sex hormones, just how death from cancer.134 This cancer, however, is nutritional factors might influence risk remains relatively uncommon in the United States. Many uncertain.149 Several studies suggest that diets studies have found that high intake of fresh fruits high in certain vegetables (including tomatoes/ and vegetables is associated with reduced risk of tomato products, cruciferous vegetables, soy, stomach cancer, whereas high intake of salt- beans, or other legumes) or fish are associated preserved foods is associated with increased with decreased risk. There is some evidence that risk.154,155 There is also convincing evidence that food or supplements containing specific antiox- chronic stomach infection by the bacterium idant nutrients, such as vitamin E, selenium, Helicobacter pylori increases the risk of stomach beta carotene, and lycopene, may reduce prostate cancer.154,155 Although the overall incidence of cancer risk. Whether vitamin E and/or selenium stomach cancer continues to decrease in most reduce prostate cancer incidence is currently parts of the world, the incidence of this cancer being tested in a large clinical trial. Most epi- in the gastric cardia has increased recently in the demiologic studies have not consistently distin- United States and several European countries.156 guished between specific nutrients and the foods The reasons for the increase are under active in which they occur. The biological plausibil- investigation but may be tied to increases in lower ity that certain nutrients may affect prostate can- esophageal cancers caused by gastric reflux from cer risk has been strengthened by recent reports abdominal obesity.156 At the present time, the of gene-diet interactions for these nutrients and best advice for reducing the risk of stomach can- specific genes involved in antioxidant function cer is to eat at least five servings of vegetables and DNA repair.149 Some of the genotypes were and fruits daily, reduce salt-preserved food con- fairly common in the predominantly Caucasian sumption, and maintain a healthy weight. populations studied (eg, 25%), and men with the specific genotype who had higher versus Upper Aerodigestive Tract Cancers lower levels of these circulating nutrients were greatly protected against prostate cancer.150 Several In the United States, upper digestive tract studies have observed that greater consumption cancers are significantly more common among of red meat or dairy products may be associated men than women. Tobacco (including cigarettes, with increased risk of prostate cancer.97,98,151 chewing tobacco, and snuff ) and alcohol, alone, There is also evidence that a high calcium intake, but especially when used together, increase the primarily through supplements, is associated risk for cancers of the mouth, larynx, pharynx, with increased risk for more aggressive types of and esophagus; these exposures contribute268 CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
  • 17. CA Cancer J Clin 2006;56:254–281substantially to the gender disparities for these distilled spirits. The combination of alcohol andcancers. Obesity increases the incidence of ade- tobacco increases the risk of some cancers farnocarcinoma in the lower esophagus and at the more than the independent effects of eitherjunction of the esophagus and stomach, likely as drinking or smoking.5 Regular consumption ofa result of epithelial damage, metaplasia, and dys- even a few drinks per week is associated withplasia associated with acid reflux. There is some an increased risk of breast cancer in women—aevidence to suggest that consuming beverages risk that is particularly high in women who doand foods that are very hot in temperature may not get enough folate.103,104,109 Women at high Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.)increase risk for oral and esophageal cancers, risk of breast cancer may consider abstaininglikely as a result of thermal damage to exposed tis- from alcohol.sue. Eating recommended amounts of vegeta-bles and fruits probably reduces the risk of oral and Antioxidantsesophageal cancers. At the present time, the bestadvice to reduce the risk of cancers of the upper What are antioxidants, and what do they have todigestive and respiratory tracts is to avoid all forms do with cancer? Along with a number of otherof tobacco, restrict alcohol consumption, avoid defense systems, the body appears to use certainobesity, and eat at least five servings of a variety nutrients in vegetables and fruits to protect theof vegetables and fruits each day.157–159 body against damage to tissues that occurs con- stantly as a result of normal metabolism (oxida- tion). Because such damage is associated with COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT DIET, PHYSICAL increased cancer risk, the so-called antioxidant ACTIVITY, AND CANCER nutrients are thought to protect against cancer.160 Antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, Because people are interested in the relation- carotenoids, and many other phytochemicals.ship that specific foods, nutrients, or lifestyle Studies suggest that people who eat more veg-factors have to specific cancers, research on health etables and fruits, which are rich sources ofbehaviors and cancer risk is often widely publi- antioxidants, may have a lower risk for somecized. Health professionals who counsel patients types of cancer.11 Clinical studies of antioxidantshould emphasize that no one study provides supplements are currently under way, but stud-the last word on any subject, and that individual ies have not yet demonstrated a reduction innews reports may overemphasize what appear cancer risk from vitamin or mineral supple-to be contradictory or conflicting results. In brief ments73 (see also Beta Carotene, Lycopene, Vitaminnews stories, reporters cannot always put new E, Supplements). To reduce cancer risk, the bestresearch findings in their proper context. The advice presently is to consume antioxidantsbest advice about diet and physical activity is through food sources rather than supplements.that it is rarely, if ever, advisable to change dietor activity levels based on a single study or news Aspartamereport. The following questions and answersaddress common concerns about diet and phys- Does aspartame cause cancer? No. Aspartame isical activity in relation to cancer. a low-calorie artificial sweetener that is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. Current evidence Alcohol does not demonstrate any link between aspar- tame ingestion and increased cancer risk.161,162 Does alcohol increase cancer risk? Yes. Alcohol People with the genetic disorder phenylketonuriaincreases the risk of cancers of the mouth, phar- should avoid aspartame in their diets.ynx, larynx, esophagus, liver, colorectum, andbreast.5,101 People who drink alcohol should Beta Carotenelimit their intake to no more than two drinksper day for men and one drink per day for Does beta carotene reduce cancer risk? Becausewomen.15 A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, beta carotene, an antioxidant chemically related5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof to vitamin A, is found in vegetables and fruits, Volume 56 • Number 5 • September/October 2006 269
  • 18. Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity and because eating vegetables and fruits is asso- excellent sources of calcium, as are some leafy ciated with a reduced risk of cancer, it seemed vegetables and greens. People who obtain much plausible that taking high doses of beta carotene of their calcium from dairy products should select supplements might reduce cancer risk. However, low-fat or nonfat choices to reduce intake of the results of three major clinical trials show this saturated fat. is not the case. In two studies in which people were given high doses of beta carotene supple- Cholesterol ments in an attempt to prevent lung cancer and Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) other cancers, the supplements were found to Does cholesterol in the diet increase cancer risk? increase the risk of lung cancer in cigarette smok- Cholesterol in the diet comes only from foods ers, and a third study found neither benefit nor derived from animal sources—meat, dairy prod- harm from them.76–78 Therefore, consuming ucts, eggs, and animal fats such as butter or lard. vegetables and fruits that contain beta carotene Although some of these foods (eg, processed and may be helpful, but high-dose beta carotene sup- red meats) are associated with higher risk of cer- plements should be avoided. tain types of cancer, at present, there is little evi- dence that this increased risk is specifically related Bioengineered Foods to cholesterol. Lowering blood cholesterol low- ers cardiovascular disease risk, but there is no What are bioengineered foods, and are they safe? evidence that lowering blood cholesterol has an Bioengineered foods are made by adding genes effect on cancer risk. from other plants or organisms to increase a plant’s resistance to insect pests, retard spoilage, Coffee or improve transportability, flavor, nutrient com- position, or other desired qualities. In theory, Does drinking coffee cause cancer? No. Caffeine these added genes might create substances that may heighten symptoms of fibrocystic breast could cause adverse reactions among sensitized lumps (a type of benign breast disease) in some or allergic individuals. However, there is cur- women, but there is no evidence that it increases rently no evidence that the substances found in the risk of breast cancer or other types of can- bioengineered foods now on the market are cer. The association between coffee and pancre- harmful or that they would either increase or atic cancer, widely publicized in the past, has decrease cancer risk because of the added genes. not been confirmed by recent studies; there does not appear to be any connection between cof- Calcium fee drinking and cancer risk.165 Is calcium related to cancer? Several studies have Fat suggested that foods high in calcium might help reduce the risk for colorectal cancer,163 and cal- Will eating less fat lower cancer risk? There is lit- cium supplementation modestly reduces the for- tle evidence that the total amount of fat con- mation of colorectal adenomas.126,127 There is sumed increases cancer risk. However, diets high also evidence, however, that a high calcium intake, in fat tend to be high in calories and may con- primarily through supplements, is associated with tribute to obesity, which in turn is associated increased risk for prostate cancer, especially for with increased risk of cancers at several sites. prostate cancers that are more aggressive.131 In There is evidence that certain types of fat, such light of this, both men and women should strive as saturated fats, may have an effect on increas- to consume recommended levels of calcium, pri- ing cancer risk.97 There is little evidence that marily through food sources. Recommended other types of fat (omega-3 fatty acids, found intake levels of calcium are 1,000 mg/day for primarily in fish), monounsaturated fatty acids people aged 19 to 50 and 1,200 mg/day for peo- (found in olive and canola oils), or other polyun- ple older than 50 years.164 Dairy products are saturated fats reduce cancer risk.270 CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
  • 19. CA Cancer J Clin 2006;56:254–281 Fiber public water supplies, or foods on cancer risk. Fluorides have not been found to increase can- What is dietary fiber, and can it prevent cancer? cer risk.168Dietary fiber includes a wide variety of plantcarbohydrates that are not digestible by humans. FolateSpecific categories of fiber are “soluble” (likeoat bran) or “insoluble” (like wheat bran and What is folate, and can it prevent cancer? Folatecellulose). Soluble fiber helps to reduce blood is a B vitamin found in many vegetables, beans,cholesterol and, therefore, helps lower the risk of fruits, whole grains, and fortified breakfast cere- Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.)coronary heart disease. Good sources of fiber als. Since 1998, all grain products have been for-are beans, vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. tified with folate. Folate deficiency may increaseAssociations between fiber and cancer risk are the risk of cancers of the colorectum and breast,weak, but consumption of these foods is still rec- especially in people who consume alcoholic bev-ommended because they contain other nutri- erages.106–108,169 Current evidence suggests thatents that may help reduce cancer risk and because to reduce cancer risk, folate is best obtainedof their other health benefits.15 through consumption of vegetables, fruits, and enriched grain products. Fish Food Additives Does eating fish protect against cancer? Fish is a richsource of omega-3 fatty acids. Studies in ani- Do food additives cause cancer? Many substancesmals have found that these fatty acids suppress are added to foods to preserve them and to en-cancer formation or hinder cancer progression, hance color, flavor, and texture. New additivesbut there is limited suggestive evidence of a pos- must be cleared by the Federal Drug Admin-sible benefit in humans.166 While consuming istration before being incorporated into the foodfish rich in omega-3 fatty acids is associated with supply, and rigorous testing in animal models toreduced risk of cardiovascular disease, some types determine any effects on cancer is undertakenof fish may contain high levels of mercury, poly- as part of this process.170 Additives are usuallychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, and other present in very small quantities in food, and noenvironmental pollutants. Levels of these sub- convincing evidence exists that any additive con-stances are generally highest in older, larger, sumed at these levels causes human cancers.predatory fish such as swordfish, tilefish, shark,and king mackerel. (In addition, some studies Garlichave shown that farm-raised fish may carry moreof these toxins than fish caught in the wild.) Can garlic prevent cancer? The health benefitsWomen who are pregnant, planning to become of the Allium compounds contained in garlicpregnant, or who are nursing, and young chil- and other vegetables in the onion family havedren should not eat these fish.167 Consumers been publicized widely. Garlic is currently undershould be advised to vary the types of fish con- study for its ability to reduce cancer r isk.sumed to reduce the likelihood of exposure to Insufficient evidence exists at this point to sup-excessive levels of toxins. port a specific role for this vegetable in cancer Research has not yet demonstrated whether prevention.171,172the possible benefits of fish consumption maybe reproducible by taking omega-3 or fish oil Geneticssupplements. If our genes determine cancer risk, how can diet Fluorides help prevent cancer? Damage to the genes that con- trol cell growth and maturation can either be Do fluorides cause cancer? No. Extensive research inherited or acquired during one’s lifetime.has examined the effects of fluorides given as Certain types of mutations or genetic damagedental treatments, or added to toothpaste, can increase the risk of cancer. Nutrients in the Volume 56 • Number 5 • September/October 2006 271
  • 20. Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity diet can protect DNA from being damaged. at very high temperatures creates chemicals that Physical activity, weight control, and diet might might increase cancer risk. Although studies delay or prevent the development of cancer in show that these chemicals can damage DNA and people with an increased genetic risk for can- cause cancer in animals, it is not clear how much cer. The many interactions between diet and they, rather than other components of meat, genetic factors are an important and complex contribute to the increase in colorectal cancer topic of widespread current research interest. risk associated with heavier meat consumption in epidemiologic studies. Techniques such as Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) Irradiated Foods braising, steaming, poaching, stewing, and microwaving meats minimize the production of Do irradiated foods cause cancer? No. Radiation these chemicals. is increasingly used to kill harmful organisms on foods to extend their “shelf life.” Radiation does Obesity not remain in the foods after treatment, how- ever, and at the present time, there is no evi- Does being overweight increase cancer risk? Yes. dence that consuming irradiated foods increases Overweight and obesity are associated with cancer risk.173,174 increased risk for cancers of the breast among postmenopausal women, colon, endometrium, Lycopene gallbladder, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, pancreas, renal cell (kidney) carcinoma, and pos- Will lycopene reduce cancer risk? Lycopene is the sibly other sites as well.3,27–30,33,176 Although red-orange carotene pigment found primarily there is limited research on whether losing weight in tomatoes and tomato-based foods, and to a reduces cancer risk, some research suggests that lesser extent, in pink grapefruit and watermelon. weight loss does reduce the risk of breast can- Several studies have reported that consumption cer.36,38 Because of other proven health benefits of tomato products reduces the risk of some can- to losing weight, people who are overweight are cers.149,175 It is uncertain, however, whether encouraged to stop gaining weight, then to lose lycopene is the micronutrient responsible for weight and prevent regaining it. The avoidance this association. It is important to note that even of excessive weight gain during adulthood is if lycopene in foods is associated with lower risk important not only to reduce cancer risk, but for cancer, the conclusion cannot be made that the risk of other chronic diseases as well.13,14 high doses taken as supplements would be either more effective or safe. Olive Oil Meat: Cooking and Preserving Does olive oil affect cancer risk? Consumption of olive oil is associated with a reduced risk of car- Should I avoid processed meats? Some epidemi- diovascular disease, but it is not associated with ologic studies have linked high consumption of any increased risk of cancer and is most likely processed meats with increased risk of colorectal neutral with respect to cancer risk. Although and stomach cancers.93–95,154 This association may olive oil is a healthy alternative to butter and or may not be due to nitrites, which are added margarine, it is a significant source of calories to many luncheon meats, hams, and hot dogs to and should be used in moderation. maintain color and to prevent contamination with bacteria. Consumption of processed meats and Organic Foods meats preserved by methods involving smoke or salt increases exposure to potentially carcinogenic Are foods labeled organic more effective in lower- chemicals, and so should be minimized. ing cancer risk? The term organic is popularly used How does cooking meat affect cancer risk? Adequate to designate plant foods grown without pesti- cooking is necessary to kill harmful microor- cides and genetic modifications. At present, no ganisms within meat. However, some research research exists to demonstrate whether such suggests that frying, broiling, or grilling meats foods are more effective in reducing cancer risk272 CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
  • 21. CA Cancer J Clin 2006;56:254–281than are similar foods produced by other farm- Saccharining methods. Does saccharin cause cancer? No. High doses of Pesticides and Herbicides the artificial sweetener saccharin cause the for- mation of bladder stones that can lead to blad- Do pesticides in foods cause cancer? Pesticides and der cancer in rats. Saccharin consumption doesherbicides can be toxic when used improperly in not cause the formation of bladder stones inindustrial, agricultural, or other occupational humans, though. Saccharin has been removedsettings. Although vegetables and fruits some- from the list of established human carcinogens by Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.)times contain low levels of these chemicals, over- the US National Toxicology Program.178whelming scientific evidence supports the overallhealth benefits and cancer-protective effects of Salteating vegetables and fruits.11 At present, thereis no evidence that residues of pesticides and Do high levels of salt in the diet increase cancerherbicides at the low doses found in foods increase risk? Studies in other countries link diets contain-the risk of cancer. However, produce should be ing large amounts of foods preserved by saltingthoroughly washed before consumption. (ie, salt-curing) and pickling with an increased risk of stomach, nasopharyngeal, and throat can- Physical Activity cer. No evidence suggests that moderate levels of salt used in cooking or in flavoring foods Will increasing physical activity lower cancer risk? affect cancer risk.Yes. People who engage in moderate to vigor-ous levels of physical activity are at lower risk of Seleniumdeveloping colon and breast cancer than thosewho do not.3,53,122 For some cancers, this risk What is selenium, and can it reduce cancer risk?reduction is independent of the impact of activ- Selenium is a mineral that contributes to theity on weight. Data for a direct effect on the risk antioxidant defense mechanisms. Animal stud-of developing other cancers are more limited. ies suggest that selenium protects against can-Nonetheless, overweight and obesity have been cer, and one experimental trial has shownassociated with many types of cancer,3 and phys- selenium supplements might reduce the risk ofical activity is a key component of maintaining cancers of the lung, colon, and prostate.179 How-or achieving a healthy body weight. In addition, ever, repeated and well-controlled studies arephysical activity has a beneficial impact on car- needed to confirm whether selenium is helpfuldiovascular disease and diabetes.15 in preventing these cancers. High-dose selenium supplements are not recommended, as there is Phytochemicals only a narrow margin between safe and toxic dosages. The maximum dose in a supplement What are phytochemicals, and do they reduce can- should not exceed 200 micrograms per day.cer risk? The term phytochemicals refers to a widevariety of compounds produced by plants. Some Soy Productsof these compounds protect plants against insectsor have other biologically important functions. Can soy-based foods reduce cancer risk? Soy-Some have either antioxidant or hormone-like derived foods are an excellent source of proteinactions both in plants and in people who eat and a good alternative to meat. Soy contains sev-them.177 Because consumption of vegetables and eral phytochemicals, some of which have weakfruits reduces cancer risk, researchers are search- estrogenic activity and appear to protect againsting for specific components that might account hormone-dependent cancers in animal studies.for the beneficial effects. There is no evidence that Presently, there are limited data to support aphytochemicals taken as supplements are as ben- potential beneficial effect of soy supplements oneficial as the vegetables, fruits, beans, and grains reducing cancer risk.180 Furthermore, adversefrom which they are extracted. effects of high doses of soy supplements on the Volume 56 • Number 5 • September/October 2006 273
  • 22. Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity risk of estrogen-responsive cancers, such as breast mineral supplement containing no more than or endometrial cancer, are possible.181 Breast 100% of the “Daily Value” of most nutrients. cancer survivors should consume only moder- Tea ate amounts of soy foods as part of a healthy plant-based diet, and they should not intention- Can drinking tea reduce cancer risk? Some re- ally ingest very high levels of soy products in searchers have proposed that tea might protect their diet or more concentrated sources of soy, against cancer because of its antioxidant con- such as soy-containing pills, powders, or sup- tent. In animal studies, some teas (including Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) plements containing isolated or concentrated green tea) have been shown to reduce cancer isoflavones. risk,184,185 but epidemiologic studies have had mixed findings.186,187 Presently, tea has not been Sugar proven to reduce cancer risk in humans. Does sugar increase cancer risk? Sugar increases caloric intake without providing any of the nutri- Trans-saturated Fats ents that reduce cancer risk. By promoting obe- Do trans-saturated fats increase cancer risk? Trans- sity and elevating insulin levels, high sugar intake saturated fats are produced during the manufac- may indirectly increase cancer risk. White ture of hydrogenated oils such as margarine or (refined) sugar is no different from brown (unre- shortening to make them solid at room temper- fined) sugar or honey with regard to these effects ature. Recent evidence demonstrates that trans- on body weight or insulin. Limiting foods such fats have adverse cardiovascular effects, such as as cakes, candy, cookies, and sweetened cereals, raising blood cholesterol levels.13,188 Their rela- as well as high-sugar beverages such as soda, can tionship to cancer risk, however, has not been help reduce sugar intake. determined. Regardless, it is recommended to Supplements consume as few trans-fats as possible. Can nutritional supplements lower cancer risk? Vegetables and Fruits There is strong evidence that a diet rich in veg- etables, fruits, and other plant-based foods may Will eating vegetables and fruits lower cancer risk? reduce the risk of cancer, but there is no evi- Yes. Greater consumption of vegetables and dence at this time that supplements can reduce fruits has been associated in the majority of cancer risk, and some evidence exists that indi- epidemiologic studies with a lower risk of lung, cates that high-dose supplements can increase oral, esophageal, stomach, and colon cancer.11 cancer risk.182,183 Because it is not known which of the many Can I get the nutritional equivalent of vegetables compounds in vegetables and fruits are most and fruits in a pill? No. Many healthful compounds protective, the best advice is to consume five are found in vegetables and fruits, and it is likely or more servings of a variety of colorful vegeta- that these compounds work synergistically to bles and fruits each day. exert their beneficial effect. There are likely to What are cruciferous vegetables, and are they be important, but as yet unidentified, compo- important in cancer prevention? Cruciferous vege- nents of whole food that are not included in sup- tables belong to the cabbage family, and include plements. The small amount of dried powder in broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale. the pills that are represented as being equivalent These vegetables contain certain chemicals thought to vegetables and fruits frequently contains only to reduce the risk for colorectal cancer. The best a small fraction of the levels contained in the evidence suggests that consumption of a wide whole foods. Food is the best source of vitamins variety of vegetables, including cruciferous and and minerals. Supplements, however, may be ben- other vegetables, reduces cancer risk.11,12 eficial for some people, such as pregnant women, Is there a difference in the nutritional value of fresh, women of childbearing age, and people with frozen, and canned vegetables and fruits? Yes, but restricted dietary intakes. If a supplement is taken, they can all be good choices. Fresh foods are the best choice is a balanced multivitamin/ usually considered to have the most nutritional274 CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
  • 23. CA Cancer J Clin 2006;56:254–281value. Often, however, frozen foods can be more preformed from animal food sources, and de-nutritious than fresh foods because they are often rived from beta carotene in plant-based foods.picked ripe and quickly frozen; nutrients can be Vitamin A is needed to maintain healthy tis-lost in the time between harvest and consump- sues. Vitamin A supplements, whether in thetion for fresh foods. Canning is more likely to form of beta carotene or retinol, have not beenreduce the heat-sensitive and water-soluble shown to lower cancer risk, and high-dose sup-nutrients because of the high heat temperatures plements may, in fact, increase the risk for lungnecessary in the canning process. Be aware that cancer in current and former smokers.76,77 Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.)some fruits are packed in heavy syrup, and somecanned vegetables are high in sodium. Choose Vitamin Cvegetables and fruits in a variety of forms. Does cooking affect the nutritional value of vegeta- Does vitamin C lower cancer risk? Vitamin C isbles? Boiling vegetables, especially for long peri- found in many vegetables and fruits, particularlyods, can leach their content of water-soluble oranges, grapefruit, and peppers. Many studiesvitamins. Microwaving and steaming are the best have linked consumption of vitamin C–richways to preserve the nutritional content in foods with a reduced risk for cancer.11 The fewvegetables. studies in which vitamin C has been given as a Should I be juicing my vegetables and fruits? Juicing supplement, however, have not shown a reducedcan add variety to the diet, and it can be a good risk for cancer.way to consume vegetables and fruits, especiallyfor those who have difficulty chewing or swal- Vitamin Dlowing. Juicing also improves the body’s absorp-tion of some of the nutrients in vegetables and Does vitamin D lower cancer risk? There is afruits. However, juices may be less filling than growing body of evidence from epidemiologicwhole vegetables and fruits and contain less fiber. studies (not yet tested in RCTs) that vitaminFruit juice, in particular, can contribute quite a D may have beneficial effects on some types offew calories to one’s diet if large amounts are cancer, including cancers of the colon, prostate,consumed. Commercially juiced products should and breast.190 Vitamin D is obtained throughbe 100% vegetable or fruit juices and should be skin exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, andpasteurized to eliminate harmful microorganisms. through diet, particularly products fortified with vitamin D such as milk and cereals, and Vegetarian Diets supplements. Many Americans, however, do Do vegetarian diets reduce cancer risk? Vegetarian not consume sufficient amounts of vitamin D.191diets include many health-promoting features; The current national recommended levels ofthey tend to be low in saturated fat and high intake of vitamin D of 200 to 600 IU164 mayin fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals.189 It is be inadequate to meet needs, especially amongnot possible to conclude at this time, however, those with little sun exposure, the elderly, indi-that a vegetarian diet has any special benefits viduals with dark skin, and exclusively breast-for the prevention of cancer. Diets including fed babies. More research is needed to definelean meats in small to moderate amounts can optimal blood and intake levels for cancer riskalso be healthful. Strict vegetarian diets that reduction, but recommended intake is likelyavoid all animal products, including milk and to fall between 200 and 2000 IU, dependingeggs, should be supplemented with vitamin on age and other factors that modify vitaminB12, zinc, and iron (especially for children and D status. To minimize the health risks associ-premenopausal women).189 ated with UVB radiation exposure while max- imizing the potential benefits of optimum Vitamin A vitamin D levels, a balanced diet, supplemen- tation, and limiting sun exposure to small Does vitamin A lower cancer risk? Vitamin A amounts are the preferred methods of obtain-(retinol) is obtained from foods in two ways: ing vitamin D. Volume 56 • Number 5 • September/October 2006 275
  • 24. Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity Vitamin E Medicine and Biometrics; and Deputy Direc- tor, University of Colorado Cancer Center, Does vitamin E lower cancer risk? Alpha- Aurora, CO; June M. Chan, ScD; Assistant tocopherol is recognized as the most active form Professor and Program Director, Genitourinary of vitamin E in humans and is a powerful Cancer Epidemiology and Population Science, biological antioxidant. A reduction in prostate University of California, San Francisco; Ralph cancer incidence was observed among men J. Coates, PhD; Associate Director for Sci- randomly assigned to receive alpha-tocopherol ence, Division of Cancer Prevention and Con- in the Alpha-Tocopherol Beta Carotene (ATBC) Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.) trol, Centers for Disease Control and Preven- trial, a study that included only male smok- tion (CDC), Atlanta, GA; Wendy Demark– ers.76 However, this association was not observed Wahnefried, PhD, RD, LDN; Professor, in the HOPE-TOO trial,192 in postinterven- Surgery and School of Nursing, Duke Univer- tion follow up of the ATBC trial,193 or in two sity Medical Center, Durham, NC; Jo Freuden- large prospective observational studies,194,195 heim, PhD; University of Buffalo Distinguished and may have been a result of chance. While Professor and Chair, Department of Social and ongoing randomized trials196,197 will eventu- Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health ally provide further information, the promise of and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, alpha-tocopherol as a cancer prevention agent State University of New York; Peter Gann, appears to be dimming. MD, ScD; Professor and Director of Pathol- ogy Research, Department of Pathology, Col- Water and Other Fluids lege of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chi- cago; Edward Giovannucci, MD, ScD; How much water and other fluids should I drink? Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology, Har- Consumption of water and other liquids may vard School of Public Health, Boston, MA; reduce the risk of bladder cancer, as water Terry Hartman, PhD, MPH, RD; Associate dilutes the concentration of carcinogens and Professor, Nutrition, The Pennsylvania State shortens the time in which they are in contact University, University Park, PA; Laurence with the bladder lining.111 Some studies sug- Kolonel, MD, PhD; Deputy Director, Cancer gest that adequate fluid consumption may also Research Center, University of Hawaii, Hon- reduce the risk of colon cancer.198 Drinking olulu, HI; Lawrence H. Kushi, PhD; Asso- at least 8 cups of liquid a day is usually recom- ciate Director for Etiology and Prevention Re- mended, and some studies indicate that even search, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, CA; Alice more may be beneficial. H. Lichtenstein, DSc; Gershoff Professor of Nutrition Science and Policy; and Director and ACS 2006 NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY Senior Scientist, Tufts University, Boston, MA; GUIDELINES ADVISORY COMMITTEE Maria Elena Martinez, PhD, RD; Associ- ate Professor of Public Health, Arizona Cancer Volunteer Members: Barbara Ainsworth, Center, Tucson, AZ; Anne McTiernan, MD, PhD, MPH; Professor, Exercise and Nutritional PhD; Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Science, Cancer Prevention and Control Pro- Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, gram, San Diego State University; Rachel WA; Marion Morra, MA, ScD; President, Ballard-Barbash, MD, MPH; Associate Direc- Morra Communications, Milford, CT; Arthur tor, Applied Research Program, Division of Can- Schatzkin, MD, DrPH; Chief, Nutrition Epi- cer Prevention and Control, National Cancer demiology Branch, National Cancer Institute, Institute, Rockville, MD; Elisa V. Bandera, Bethesda, MD; Marty Slattery, PhD, MPH; MD, PhD; Assistant Professor, The Cancer Insti- Professor, Family and Preventive Medicine, tute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ; Abby School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt F. Bloch, PhD, RD, FADA; Nutrition Con- Lake City, UT; Stephanie Smith-Warner, sultant, New York, NY; Tim Byers, MD, PhD; Assistant Professor of Nutritional Epi- MPH; Professor, Department of Preventive demiology, Department of Nutrition, Harvard276 CA A Cancer Journal for Clinicians
  • 25. CA Cancer J Clin 2006;56:254–281School of Public Health, Boston, MA; Judith Risk Factor Surveillance; Colleen Doyle, MS,Wylie-Rosett, EdD, RD; Professor of Epi- RD; Director, Nutrition and Physical Activity;demiology and Population Health, Albert Ein- Ted Gansler, MD, MBA; Director of Medicalstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY; Wei Content; Marji McCullough, ScD, RD; Nutri-Zheng, MD, PhD; Professor, Vanderbilt- tional Epidemiologist; Alicia Samuels, MPH;Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN Manager, Medical and Scientific Communica- American Cancer Society Staff Mem- tion; David P. Ringer, PhD, MPH; Scientificbers: Terri Ades, RN, MS, AOCN; Direc- Program Director, Research Department; Robert Downloaded from by on December 11, 2010 (©American Cancer Society, Inc.)tor, Cancer Information; Kimberly S. Andrews, A. Smith, PhD; Director of Cancer Screen-Research Associate, Cancer Control Science; ing; Michael J. 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