Many cancers due to obesity

Nov 03, 2005

According to updated statistics released Monday by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health over a 100,000 new cases of cancer could be avoided in the United States if obesity and overweight did not exist, unfortunately with the dramatically increasing percentage of Americans with obesity these estimates are probably low. This figure represents 10% of all newly developed cancers.

Percent and number of cases of each cancer that could be avoided:

  • 14% of colon cancers - over 14,000 fewer cases
  • 11% of breast cancers - over 18,000 fewer cases
  • 49% of endometrial cancers - almost 20,000 fewer cases
  • 31% of kidney cancers - over 11,000 fewer cases
  • 39% of esophageal cancer - 5,500 fewer cases
  • 14% of pancreatic cancers - 4,500 fewer cases
  • 20% of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas - over 11,000 fewer cases
  • 17% of multiple myeloma
As an example, in reviewing four studies analyzing weight and breast cancer it was suggested that if women lost from 5 to 20 pounds they significantly decrease their risk of developing the disease. The information is being presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's International Conference on Frontier's in Cancer prevention Research currently taking place in Baltimore.

Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.

Hopefully none of us will encounter an agent as destructive as mustard gas, but it is good for us to note that these particular antioxidants are very lung friendly and that available oral supplement levels have shown protective activity in research.

GLA from Primrose Oil may help fight HER2 positive-dangerous cancers

HER2 is a gene that helps control how fast cells grow, divide and repair themselves. It does this through the HER2 receptor proteins in each cell. About 25% of breast cancers in women have too many HER2 genes or are termed HER2 positive. HER2 positive breast cancers are more aggressive, and tend to grow and spread faster than other breast cancers. HER2 are also seen in men's breast cancers and in cases of ovarian, gastrointestinal and numerous other cancers. Cancer patients with this gene often have a poor prognosis.

In this study HER2 cancer cell lines from breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and gastrointestinal cancer were treated with GLA (gamma-linolenic acid) for 48 hours. The GLA substantially decreased the amount of HER2 protein on the cancer cells. Next the researchers exposed HER2 positive cancers to GLA at varying potencies. The stronger the dosage the less likely the cancer cells were to copy the HER2 gene.

Additionally GLA increased the sensitivity of breast cancer cells 30 to 40 times to Herceptin. Herceptin is a special antibody treatment that attaches to HER2 receptors on cancer cells and blocks the cells from receiving growth signals from HER2 genes. The study is published in the November 2nd, 2005 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (Cancer Spectrum).