Tag

Cancer

Browsing

While colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and mortality rates are decreasing in those 50 years of age and older, CRC in young adults is on the rise. New research sheds light on the differences between early and late onset CRC. Analyzing data from 36,000 patients, a recent study found that younger patients (aged 18 to 29 years) diagnosed with CRC are more likely to have specific genetic mutations and CRC sub-types, while older patients and those with predisposing conditions like inflammatory bowel disease have different clinical and genetic characteristics. Cancer  Takeaway: These very distinct differences in CRC between younger and older patients may affect how the cancer presents itself and may call for different types of treatments. The researchers who conducted the study are hoping for more studies looking at very young CRC patients and those with predisposing conditions. For more on early onset CRC, check out Did You Know – Colorectal Screening Age…

Probiotics significantly improve chemotherapy-induced diarrhea, a common and often severe side effect of chemotherapy drugs, which can threaten the effectiveness of treatment. The study included 291 patients undergoing chemotherapy (Fluropyrimidines and/or Irinotecan specifically) -145 participants received a twice-daily dose of a high potency probiotic powder and 146 participants received a placebo powder twice daily. Treatment began 14 days before chemotherapy and continued 2 weeks following the third cycle of chemo. Results showed successful reduction in incidence of diarrhea (mild to moderate) and in patient inflammatory patterns. European Society for Medical Oncology  Takeaway: This study shows promising results from a high potency, multi-strain probiotic in reducing diarrhea in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. Hopefully this will result in a better quality of life, a more balanced microbiome, reduction in sickness and death related to diarrhea, and more effective cancer treatment. However, probiotics are living organisms and can be problematic in immunocompromised patients, including some cancer…

Did you know the recommended age for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening is now 45 for the general population (or those at average risk)? The age recommendation (previously 50) changed in May 2018 after researchers analyzed data and found that the rate of new CRC cases is increasing in younger adult populations. This new age recommendation will result in earlier CRC detection and will save more lives. While colonoscopy is the gold standard test for CRC screening and recommended every 10 years between ages 45 and 75 for those at average risk, stool-based tests can also be used, as long as immediate follow-up with a colonoscopy is performed in the presence of an abnormal test. These tests include an annual highly sensitive fecal immunochemical test (FIT), an annual highly sensitive guaiac-based fecal occult blood test (gFOBT), and a multi-targeted stool DNA test (MT-sDNA) every 3 years. For some, screening is recommended…

High dietary fiber intake lowers non-communicable disease (namely cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes) risk, and the relationship is causal. The study included all past studies (200+ observational studies and randomized control trials) involving dietary fiber and its relationship to human health. A dietary intake of between 25 and 29 grams of fiber showed the greatest reduction in disease risk. Whole grain fiber was found to have significant disease lowering effects, while the effects of low glycemic index diets on disease risk was not significant. The Lancet →Takeaway: Based on this extensive study, there is direct causal evidence that a diet rich in fiber (between 25 and 30 grams daily) has significant effects on lowering disease risk. Increasing dietary fiber is also one of the most immediate ways to improve microbial health. Scientists who conducted the study recommend three ways to increase dietary fiber: Change food prep methods: keep and consume the…

High intake of dietary fiber is linked to lowering the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) – a form of liver cancer that often develops in those with chronic liver disease and cirrhosis. The study included over 125,000 participants with an average follow-up of 24 years and found that of those participants, 141 patients were diagnosed with HCC. Among the cohort, researchers found that those who increased whole grains in the diet had a reduced risk of developing HCC. JAMA Oncology →Takeaway: Increasing fiber intake can be a powerful tool in lowering disease risk. Focus on non-gluten containing whole grains such as brown rice, rolled oats, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, and amaranth – as well as vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds.

Cancer rates are rising in young Americans and obesity could be to blame. The American Cancer Society and National Cancer Institute released a report showing that the rates of 6 different cancers (multiple myeloma, colorectal, endometrial, gallbladder, kidney, and pancreatic), associated with obesity, are on the rise among adults between the ages of 25 and 49. Pancreatic and kidney cancers rose 4.34% and 6.23% respectively between 1995 and 2014. The report linked excessive body weight to approximately 40% of U.S. cancer cases; based on the 2014 estimates, obesity accounts for 60% of endometrial cancers, 36% of gallbladder cancers, 33% of kidney cancers, 17% of pancreatic cancers and 11% of multiple myeloma in those 30+ years of age. Lancet Public Health →Takeaway: From increasing inflammation to altering hormone levels, obesity can fuel the growth and proliferation of cancer cells. While the cancer rate increases in young adults can’t be directly attributed to obesity, it’s…

Short sessions of high intensity exercise may limit colorectal cancer (CRC) growth. Researchers recruited 20 patients who survived CRC and split them into an acute group who completed a single session of high intensity interval training (HIIT) (serum samples were collected at baseline and at 0 and 120 minutes after exercise) and a chronic group who participated in 12 HIIT sessions over 4 weeks (resting serum samples were collected before and after the 4 weeks of training). In addition, cells from the acute group were incubated and analyzed for number of cells present. Results showed significant increases in serum interleukin-6 & 8 as well as TNF-alpha – cytokines that are associated with cancer growth reduction. But these increased cytokine levels were only observed in serum collected immediately after exercise and not in those collected 120 minutes post-exercise. Journal of Physiology →Takeaway: Past studies have shown a link between exercise and CRC survival. Researchers who…

The tongue microbiome could help identify patients with early stage pancreatic cancer. While previous research shows a strong connection between gut microbial alterations and pancreatic cancer, this study is the first to show changes in the tongue microbiome. 30 patients with early-stage pancreatic cancer and 25 healthy individuals participated in the study. Analysis of the tongue microbiome in all 55 subjects showed remarkably different bacteria between the two groups. Researchers identified 4 types of bacteria that distinguished those with pancreatic cancer from healthy individuals: low levels of Haemophilus and Porphyromonas and high levels of Leptrichia and Fusobacterium. Journal of Oral Microbiology →Takeaway: Pancreatic cancer is highly aggressive with a 1-year survival rate of 20% and a 5-year survival rate of 7%. Researchers who conducted the study believe that if these findings are replicated in larger studies, it could result in a much-needed microbiome-based early diagnostic/prevention tool for pancreatic cancer.

1. Those who eat organic most often have 25% fewer cancer diagnoses – especially for breast cancer and lymphoma – compared to those who never eat organic. The French study followed 70,000 adults (primarily women) over a 5-year period. JAMA Internal Medicine →Takeaway: Organic matters. While there are limitations to our organic farming system, at Gutbliss we recommend eating organic whenever possible. If you find eating organic a challenge – maybe you live in a food desert (an urban area where affordable or good-quality, fresh food is hard to come by) or find it difficult to fit organic into your budget – focus on buying organic foods in this order: meat, other animal products (eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt, etc.), vegetables and fruits.

Gut bacteria play a leading role in how well cancer drugs work. Certain gut bacteria (Bifidobacterium specifically) boost people’s response to cancer treatment while others can make immunotherapy ineffective. In addition, previous studies show that those with antibiotic exposure are more likely to have a poor response rate to immunotherapy. Researchers are now testing how to manipulate gut bacteria in immunotherapy “non-responders”- using methods such as fecal microbiota transplantation, robust oral probiotics, and other medications based on the interplay between gut bacteria and the immune system. While manipulating the intestinal microbiome to treat cancer is an exciting proposition, some scientists are wary. Altering the gut microbiome can lead to harmful side effects, including other health problems. Some scientists also feel that it’s too early – we just don’t know enough about the microbiome: “A lot of findings [in microbiome research] have proven to either not stand up or be considerably more…