Nutrition & Cancer Rates Thesis

Length: 15 pages Sources: 15 Subject: Health - Nutrition Type: Thesis Paper: #73183034 Related Topics: American Cancer Society, Lung Cancer, Vitamin Supplements, Nutrition
Excerpt from Thesis :

In the daily diet; (5) Include cruciferous vegetables in the diet. (Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and cauliflower); (6) Consume alcoholic beverages only moderately; and (7) Only moderately consume salt-cured, smoked and nitrate cured foods. (American Cancer Society, 1984, pp. 122-123) What little was understood about nutrition as it relates to cancer rates is summed up in the following specific food categories by the American Cancer Society in its 1984 report:

Food Additives -- chemicals of a variety are added to foods for improving the color and flavor of the foods and to preserve the foods. While some of these have been banned due to having been shown to cause cancer in animals others are believed to protect against carcinogens.

Vitamin E -- Vitamin E is an oxidant and while it may prevent cancer in animals more research is needed of the role Vitamin E plays in preventing cancer in humans.

Selenium -- This substance may be poisonous if wrongly used however, there is evidence that this trace element may provide some protection against the individual developing cancer.

Artificial sweeteners -- there is some evidence that these cause cancer in animals. The long-term risk of developing cancer due to use of the artificial sweeteners has not been fully examined in research.

Coffee -- only inconclusive evidence exist relating to the dangers of coffee.

Meat and Fish Cooked at High Temperatures (Frying, Broiling) - Studies show that this method of cooking meat 'gives rise to a number of potential mutagens (genetic changing agents) in bacteria and that some of these have induced cancer in animals. This is still under investigation (as of 1984).

Cholesterol -- No evidence exists that cholesterol leads to the development of cancer.

The National Cancer Institute reports in its June 11th 2009 publication entitled: "Nutrition in Cancer Care (PDQ) that nutrition plays "major (but not always fully understood) roles in many aspects of cancer development and treatment." (Reeves, et al., 2007, cited in National Cancer Research Institute, 2009, p.1) Malnutrition is stated to be a problem that is a common one among cancer patients and that this issue has been identified as "an important components of adverse outcomes, including increased morbidity and mortality and decreased quality of life. Weight loss has been identified "as an indicator of poor prognosis in cancer patients." (McMahon, Decker, and Ottery, 1998, as cited in National Cancer Institute, 2009, p.1)

It has been shown in research that patients with lung and gastrointestinal cancer at the rates of 60% and 80% respectively, "...have already experienced a significant weight loss, generally defined as at least 10% loss of body weight in 6 months time." (National Cancer Institute, 2009, p.1) Good nutrition assist the patient with cancer maintain their weight and the nutrition stores of the body and this results in "relief from nutrition impact symptoms..." And an improved quality of life. (American Cancer Society, 2000, cited in, p.1)

Nutrition impact symptoms identified by the National Cancer Institute include those of "...anorexia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, stomatitis, mucositis, dysphagia, alterations in taste and smell, pain, depression, and anxiety" all of which may reduce the chances of the cancer patient for survival. It is important that the "eating practices of individuals diagnosed with assessed throughout the continuum of care to reflect the changing goals of nutritional therapy." (National Cancer Institute, 2009, p.1) The neoplastic disease progression is stated to often jeopardize the individual's nutritional status and that the changes in nutritional status generally begin at diagnosis "...when psychosocial issues may also adversely affect dietary intake, and proceed through treatment and recovery." (National Cancer Institute, 2009, p.1) Stated as the second most common secondary diagnosis in individuals who have been diagnosed with cancer is that of 'Protein-calorie malnutrition (PCM)' which is known to stem from the failure of intaking carbohydrate, protein and fat in large enough quantities to meet the requirements of metabolism or the absorption of macronutrients reduction. Multiple factors in cancer affect PCM and this is stated to specifically include:...


These factors range from altered tastes to a physical inability to ingest or digest food, leading to reduced nutrient intake." (National Cancer Institute, 2009, p.1)

Also increasing the incidence of PCM are "...cancer-induced abnormalities in the metabolism of the major nutrients..." (National Cancer Institute, 2009, p.1) These abnormalities are stated include such as "glucose intolerance and insulin resistance, increased lipolysis, and increased whole-body protein turnover. If left untreated, PCM can lead to progressive wasting, weakness, and debilitation as protein synthesis is reduced and lean body mass is lost, possibly leading to death." (Shils, 1999, cited in National Cancer Institute, 2009, p.1)

The subject of vitamins and their potential application in being utilized for prevention of cancer has been a source of debate. The work of Byers (2008) entitled: "Lessons from the Differing Effects of Foods and Supplements" states that study findings show that there was a modest increase in the risk of lung cancer due to the use of vitamin E supplements and that this was particularly true for those who continued to smoke. In fact, it is stated by Byers that each time objective evidence is examined closely "the balance tips away from the benefit (of vitamin supplements in the fight against cancer) and toward harm." (2006, p.1)

Over the past twenty years it is reported in the work of Byers that there has been disappointment after disappointment in the "ability of vitamin supplements to reduce risk for cancers at several sites including the stomach, colorectum, breast and lung." (2006, p.1) While foods rich in vitamins have been linked to reduced cancer development risk study has shown that vitamins when "packaged as pills, clearly do not have the same effect." (Byers, 2006, p.1)

In 2007 The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) issued a report that was comprehensive in nature as to the effects that foods and nutrients have upon the risks of developing cancer. This study was based on a systematic review of literature from across the globe and reviewed by 21 experts on cancer risks. The primary conclusions stated in regards to lung cancer were based on 23 case-control studies, 25 cohort studies and three randomized, controlled trails. Findings state that after having controlled for use of tobacco that the group with the lowest intake of fresh fruits were at a 20% increase of risk for developing lung cancer. Findings also claim that beta carotene not only failed to reduce but in face increased the risk of developing lung cancer.

The work of Marshall (2009) entitled: "Nutrition and Colon Cancer Prevention" states that regardless of the improvements in care of colon cancer patients, "...prevention may enable potential patients to avoid cancer therapy. Although screening is direct and effective, dietary modification or low-risk chemopreventive agents might prevent colon cancer development. Epidemiologic findings continue to suggest that diet is related to colon cancer risk. These findings, although, are inconsistent enough to render dietary recommendations premature." (p.1) Nutritional modification is stated to be regarded as "potentially valuable, although research has not yet identified the objects of nutritional intervention." (Marshall, 2009, p.1)

The work of Pala, et al. (2009) entitled: "Meat, eggs, dairy products, and risk of breast cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort" states that the diet of the Western world is linked to a risk of breast cancer. Pala et al. (2009) reports a study in which investigated was "...the relation of meat, egg, and dairy product consumption with breast cancer risk using data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer." (p.1) Reported is a study between 1992 and 2003 in which information on diet was collected from 319,826 women." (Pala, et al., 2009, p.1) Pala et al. reports "Disease hazard ratios were estimated with multivariate Cox proportional hazard models."

The study results state that "no consistent association was found between breast cancer risk and the consumption of any of the food groups under study analyzed by both categorical and continuous exposure variable models. High processed meat consumption was associated with a modest increase in breast cancer risk in the categorical model (hazard ratio: 1.10; 95% CI: 1.00, 1.20; highest compared with lowest quintile: P. For trend = 0.07). Subgroup analyses suggested an association with butter consumption, limited to premenopausal women (hazard ratio: 1.28; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.53; highest compared with lowest quintile: P. For trend = 0.21). Between-country heterogeneity was found for red meat (Q statistic = 18.03; P = 0.05) and was significantly explained (P = 0.023) by the proportion of meat cooked at high temperature." (Pala, et al., 2009, p.1) The study reported by Pala et al. concludes the failure to consistently identify intakes of meats, eggs, or dairy products as risk factors for breast cancer." (2006, p.1)

The work of Blackburn and Wang (2007) entitled: "Dietary Fat Reduction and Breast Cancer Outcome: Results from…

Sources Used in Documents:


American Cancer Society.: Nutrition for the Person with Cancer: A Guide for Patients and Families. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society, Inc., 2000.

Brown, J. (2001) Nutrition During and After Cancer Treatment A Guide for Informed Choices by Cancer Survivors. Ca Cancer J. Clin. 2001; 551: 153.

Doyle, Leonard (2009) New Film Exposes Unsavory Side of U.S. Food Industry. 14 Jun 2009. Telegraph online available at:

Jemal, A. et al. (2009) Cancer Statistics, 2009. Cancer Journal for Clinicians. 27 May 2009.

Cite this Document:

"Nutrition & Cancer Rates" (2009, June 16) Retrieved October 26, 2021, from

"Nutrition & Cancer Rates" 16 June 2009. Web.26 October. 2021. <>

"Nutrition & Cancer Rates", 16 June 2009, Accessed.26 October. 2021,

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