Don't give up now -- keeping your New Year's resolutions could reduce cancer risk

January 04, 2018

The New Year is an excellent time to make resolutions for a healthier lifestyle - but by the end of the first week of January, even the best intentions may start to pall.

But research published this week in ecancermedicalscience may provide the motivation needed to stick with it - those hard-won healthy choices may lead to a total reduction of about one-third in cancer risk.

Researchers led by Professor Peter Elwood of Cardiff University, UK examined preliminary data from the UK Biobank, a prospective study of half a million subjects.

They sorted through the data to identify healthy behaviours - which include not smoking, maintaining a low BMI, participating in regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet and limiting alcohol intake - and compared them to the risk of cancer over several years.

Together, the collection of healthy behaviors contributed to a total reduction of about one-third in cancer risk and possibly a greater reduction in cancer mortality.

These results may not sound surprising. Most people are aware that healthy behaviours have some general benefit - otherwise they wouldn't be "healthy." The real problem is translating the vague idea of lifestyle choices being "good" into useful evidence, which is what this study provides.

Next comes the challenge of translating this evidence to useful (and realistic!) recommendations.

"Perhaps the advice to take up one additional healthy behaviour is the most acceptable message for most subjects," says Professor Peter Elwood.

"In our study each additional healthy behaviour was associated with a reduction of about 8% in cancer, independent of the effects of the other behaviours."

"The take-home message is that healthy behaviours can have a truly tangible benefit."

Professor Elwood adds, "A healthy lifestyle has may benefits additional to cancer reduction - it costs nothing, has no undesirable side effects.... and is better than any pill!"
-end-
Editor's Notes

This information is embargoed until 14:00 GMT (9:00 Eastern USA Time) on the 4th January, 2018.

Prof Peter Elwood is available for comment.

For a copy of the final version of the paper, to set up an interview or for more information please contact Katie Foxall, Head of Publishing, ecancer (katie@ecancer.org)

Citation information and links:

PC Elwood, A Whitmarsh, J Gallacher, A Bayer, R Adams, L Heslop, J Pickering, G Morgan, J Galante, S Dolwani, M Longley and ZE Roberts (2018). Healthy living and cancer: evidence from UK Biobank. ecancer 12 792

https://doi.org/10.3332/ecancer.2018.792http://ecancer.org/journal/12/full/792-healthy-living-and-cancer-evidence-from-uk-biobank.php

About ecancermedicalscience (ecancer.org)

ecancermedicalscience (ecancer) is the official open access journal of the Organisation of European Cancer Institutes (OECI) and the European Institute of Oncology (IEO), Milan.

The journal was established in 2007 by Professor Umberto Veronesi and Professor Gordon McVie with the mission to break down the financial barriers to accessing cancer research and education.

The journal is not for profit and only charges authors an article publication fee if they have specific funding for publishing. So far over 2000 authors have published for free. The journal is funded by the Swiss based ECMS foundation, educational grants, sponsorship and charitable donations.

ecancermedicalscience

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.