Tag Archives: risks of cancer

Bigger Belly May Up Smokers’ Lung Cancer Risk

Reuters Health – Smokers who carry more weight around their waistlines may be at greater risk of lung cancer, according to a new study.

The finding, along with the fact that lung cancer risk is actually higher among leaner smokers, provides “intriguing” evidence that how a smoker stores fat could play a role in his or her likelihood of developing lung cancer, Dr. Geoffrey C. Kabat of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, told Reuters Health.

Several studies have found that a lower body mass index (BMI) means a higher lung cancer risk among smokers. “Reflex explanations” for the link include the fact that smokers are skinnier than non-smokers, Kabat noted in an interview, as well as the tendency for people to gain weight after they quit smoking.

Another proposed mechanism for the relationship is that people lose weight when they develop lung cancer.

But careful analysis of the data doesn’t bear out these explanations, Kabat said. To better understand the relationship, he and his colleagues looked at data from the Women’s Health Initiative.

Over the course of 8 years, 1,365 of the study’s 161,809 participants developed lung cancer. When the researchers looked at BMI after adjusting for weight circumference, they found that both smokers and ex-smokers with lower BMIs had a greater lung cancer risk.

But when they looked at waist circumference independent of BMI, they found that a larger waistline conferred a greater likelihood of lung cancer for smokers and ex-smokers. There was no relationship between BMI or waist circumference and lung cancer risk among never-smokers.

The findings, reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology, must be confirmed by other investigators, and don’t offer any clues on the mechanism behind the relationship, Kabat noted.

belly fatHowever, he speculated, “it may have to do with the storage, the mobilization, and the metabolization of carcinogens. These carcinogens … tend to be stored in fat tissue. That may play a role in the development of lung cancer. It may be that it’s linked to smoking but that it plays a role on top of smoking.”

He added: “We’re not ready to give people advice, because overall the advice would not be changed. We’re not advocating that people lose weight so that they have a lower risk of lung cancer. Smoking is so far and away the dominant risk factor.”

News Source: American Journal of Epidemiology, July 15, 2008.

Anne Harding, Cancerpage.com

Red Meat, May Encourage Cancer

We have shared in previous articles that red meat can make cigarettes taste better to some people.

However, joggers–put down the hog head cheese.

A new study of half a million people from the National Cancer Institute finds that red and processed meat not only promotes colon cancer–which everyone knew–but esophagus, liver, lung and pancreas cancer!

Grilled meat, the study found, is especially bad.

This is because red meat which is grilled or char-grilled produces *heterocyclic amines –linked to breast, colon, stomach and prostate cancers–and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, another class of carcinogens formed from dripping fat.

Much to the chagrin of cattlemen, in the last two decades red meat has gone from good-for-you to do-it-if-you-feel lucky. Not as kamikaze as smoking or eating a Lake Michigan fish but getting there.

In fact, the all American meal of roast beef swimming in a moat of gravy and mashed potatoes, rolls, butter and pie for dessert is now regarded as a coronary waiting to happen.

And that’s before we get to the all American breakfast of sausage and bacon.

No, for anyone who wants to live past 40 today the four food groups are no longer cholesterol, salt, calories and unhealthy fats. There’s a new sheriff in town and he’s called fiber.

It’s got to be rough on the Department of Agriculture these days–promoting beef and the beef industry while safeguarding the population whose health it destroys.

USDA can’t come right out and say red meat causes heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, obesity and most of the other neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases that are known to man.

So it says a low fat diet prevents them–the same way low tar cigarettes prevent lung cancer and low ultraviolet exposure prevents melanoma. (how can they say these things?)

Red Meat Steak PictureInstead of saying get your affairs in order before eating this product, it does a little diplomatic dance and says red meat can be a valuable contribution to a well balanced diet when used in moderation. So can saw dust. And the problems don’t end there.

Thanks to the “honor” system enacted in slaughterhouses, HACCP– Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point or Have A Cup of Coffee and Pray–in which packers inspect their own operations with no onsite federal inspectors to stop the line and lose the company money, e Coli is another red meat “perk.”

How do you convince people the meat is perfectly safe when they have to disinfect their hands, cutting board and utensils after handling it?

And speaking of bio-hazards, does anyone really think mad cow disease has gone away?

Red meat has other public relations problems too.

Like production on corporate or “factory” farms which produces more waste than the top American cities put together writes Eric Schlosser in Chew On This, polluting streams, killing fish and cannibalizing valuable arable land for nothing more than animal grain.

And the slaughter floor itself where animals do not die voluntarily or nicely and which has “cured” many a meat eater of the habit.

No, thanks to cancer, coronaries, contamination and cruelty, red meat is a tradition on the way out.

Like smoking or chewing tobacco or even putting kids in the car without a car seat, we did it once– and now we know better.

Source: Martha Rosenberg is staff cartoonist for the Evanston Roundtable. – *Grilled Meats and Cancer:

It is true that eating grilled or pan-fried meats can increase a person’s risk of cancer. When meat is grilled, chemicals called heterocyclicamines, which can be harmful, are created.

These chemicals are found in higher quantities when meat is well-done or burned.

Experts recommend limiting the amount of grilled meat in your diet, and avoiding the burnt parts altogether. They also recommend marinating and precooking meats in a microwave before cooking by other methods.

Keep in mind that many grilled foods are safe and good for you including grilled vegetables and fruits.

Formaldehyde is in Secondhand Smoke

Formaldehyde is known as a human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

It is also known as a human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Formaldehyde in sidestream cigarette smoke is evident in concentrations of up to three times above occupational limits, which readily accounts for eye and nasal irritation.

Formaldehyde is also found in embalming fluids used to preserve bodies and lab specimens. That frog in the jar at school is floating in formaldehyde.

formaldehyde.gifThe tobacco industry uses formaldehyde in order to preserve tobacco moisture. isn’t that a yummy thought to imagine what you are preserving when you inhale tobacco smoke that is floating around the room.

The dangers of secondhand smoke has been proven.

Here are two resources for you:

Warning Signs for Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal Cancer is a disease that is most often related to the risks of smoking.

Here are three serious warning signs that you should be aware of for esophageal cancer.

If you find yourself experiencing any one of these symptoms immediately visit your doctor and get a full check up.

Symptoms of Esophageal Cancer

  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Painful swallowing, especially when accompanied by hiccups.

Esophageal CancerEsophageal cancer is a serious form of cancer that starts in the inner layer of your esophagus –  the 10-inch long tube that connects your throat and stomach.

The most common symptom of esophageal cancer, usually occurring late in the disease, is difficulty swallowing and a sensation of food getting stuck in your throat or chest.