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  • Don’t believe the hype – 10 persistent cancer myths debunked - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    commonly known as carbs molecules made from carbon hydrogen and oxygen Carbs whether from cake or a carrot get broken down in our digestive system to release glucose and fructose These get absorbed into the bloodstream to provide energy for us to live All our cells cancerous or not use glucose for energy Because cancer cells are usually growing very fast compared with healthy cells they have a particularly high demand for this fuel There s also evidence that they use glucose and produce energy in a different way from healthy cells Researchers are working to understand the differences in energy usage in cancers compared with healthy cells and trying to exploit them to develop better treatments including the interesting but far from proven drug DCA But all this doesn t mean that sugar from cakes sweets and other sugary foods specifically feeds cancer cells as opposed to any other type of carbohydrate Our body doesn t pick and choose which cells get what fuel It converts pretty much all the carbs we eat to glucose fructose and other simple sugars and they get taken up by tissues when they need energy While it s very sensible to limit sugary foods as part of an overall healthy diet and to avoid putting on weight that s a far cry from saying that sugary foods specifically feed cancer cells Both the acidic diet and sugar feeds cancer myths distort sensible dietary advice of course nobody is saying that eating a healthy diet doesn t matter when it comes to cancer You can read about the scientific evidence on diet and cancer on our website But dietary advice must be based on nutritional and scientific fact When it comes to offering diet tips to reduce cancer risk research shows that the same boring healthy eating advice still holds true Fruit vegetables fibre white meat and fish are good Too much fat salt sugar red or processed meat and alcohol are less so Also this post What should you eat while you re being treated for cancer is packed with links to evidence based advice from our CancerHelp UK website And this post from the Junkfood Science blog explores the science behind sugar and cancer in more detail Edited to add more information and links KA 28 03 14 Myth 5 Cancer is a fungus and sodium bicarbonate is the cure This theory comes from the not very observant observation that cancer is always white One obvious problem with this idea apart from the fact that cancer cells are clearly not fungal in origin is that cancer isn t always white Some tumours are But some aren t Ask any pathologist or cancer surgeon or have a look on Google Image search but maybe not after lunch Proponents of this theory say that cancer is caused by infection by the fungus candida and that tumours are actually the body s attempt at protecting itself from this infection But there s no evidence to show that this is true and plenty of evidence going back at least as far as 1902 that it starts from faults our own cells Furthermore plenty of perfectly healthy people can be infected with candida it s part of the very normal array of microbes that live in and on all of us Usually our immune system keeps candida in check but infections can get more serious in people with compromised immune systems such as those who are HIV positive The simple solution is apparently to inject tumours with baking soda sodium bicarbonate This isn t even the treatment used to treat proven fungal infections let alone cancer On the contrary there s good evidence that high doses of sodium bicarbonate can lead to serious even fatal consequences Some studies suggest that sodium bicarbonate can affect cancers transplanted into mice or cells grown in the lab by neutralising the acidity in the microenvironment immediately around a tumour And researchers in the US are running a small clinical trial investigating whether sodium bicarbonate capsules can help to reduce cancer pain and to find the maximum dose that can be tolerated rather than testing whether it has any effect on tumours As far as we are aware there have been no published clinical trials of sodium bicarbonate as a treatment for cancer It s also worth pointing out that it s not clear whether it s possible to give doses of sodium bicarbonate that can achieve any kind of meaningful effect on cancer in humans although it s something that researchers are investigating Because the body strongly resists attempts to change its pH usually by getting rid of bicarbonate through the kidneys there s a risk that doses large enough to significantly affect the pH around a tumour might cause a serious condition known as alkalosis One estimate suggests that a dose of around 12 grams of baking soda per day based on a 65 kg adult would only be able to counteract the acid produced by a tumour roughly one cubic millimetre in size But doses of more than about 30 grams per day are likely to cause severe health problems you do the maths Myth 6 There s a miracle cancer cure From cannabis to coffee enemas the internet is awash with videos and personal anecdotes about natural miracle cures for cancer But extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence YouTube videos and Facebook posts are emphatically not scientific evidence and aren t the same as good quality peer reviewed evidence In many cases it s impossible to tell whether patients featured in such anecdotal sources have been cured by any particular alternative treatment or not We know nothing about their medical diagnosis stage of disease or outlook or even if they actually had cancer in the first place For instance we don t know what other cancer treatments they had And we only hear about the success stories what about the people who have tried it and have not survived The dead can t speak and often people who make bold claims for miracle cures only pick their best cases without presenting the full picture This highlights the importance of publishing data from peer reviewed scientifically rigorous lab research and clinical trials Firstly because conducting proper clinical studies enables researchers to prove that a prospective cancer treatment is safe and effective And secondly because publishing these data allows doctors around the world to judge for themselves and use it for the benefit of their patients This is the standard to which all cancer treatments should be held That s not to say the natural world isn t a source of potential treatments from aspirin willow bark to penicillin mould For example the cancer drug taxol was first extracted from the bark and needles of the Pacific Yew tree But that s a far cry from saying you should chew bark to combat a tumour It s an effective treatment because the active ingredient has been purified and tested in clinical trials So we know that it s safe and effective and what dose to prescribe Of course people with cancer want to beat their disease by any means possible And it s completely understandable to be searching high and low for potential cures But our advice is to be wary of anything labelled a miracle cure especially if people are trying to sell it to you Wikipedia has this excellent list of ineffective cancer treatments that are often touted as miracle cures which is worth a browse If you want to know about the scientific evidence about cannabis cannabinoids and cancer a topic we re often asked about please take a look at our extensive blog post on the subject including information about the clinical trials we re helping to fund And if you ve seen links to article about scientists in Canada curing cancer but nobody notices these refer to an interesting but currently unproven drug called DCA which we ve also written about before Added KA 28 03 14 Myth 7 and Big Pharma are suppressing it Hand in hand with the idea that there is a cornucopia of miracle cures is the idea that governments the pharmaceutical industry and even charities are colluding to hide the cure for cancer because they make so much money out of existing treatments Whatever the particular cure being touted the logic is usually the same it s readily available cheap and can t be patented so the medical establishment is suppressing it in order to line its own pockets But as we ve written before there s no conspiracy sometimes it just doesn t work There s no doubt that the pharmaceutical industry has a number of issues with transparency and clinical trials that it needs to address the book Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre is a handy primer We push regulators and pharmaceutical companies hard to make sure that effective drugs are made available at a fair price to the NHS although it s important to remember that developing and trialling new drugs costs a lot of money which companies need to recoup Problems with conventional medicine don t automatically prove that alternative cures work To use a metaphor just because cars sometimes crash doesn t mean that flying carpets are a viable transport option It simply doesn t make sense that pharmaceutical companies would want to suppress a potential cure Finding a highly effective therapy would guarantee huge worldwide sales And the argument that treatments can t be patented doesn t hold up Pharma companies are not stupid and they are quick to jump on promising avenues for effective therapies There are always ways to repackage and patent molecules which would give them a return on the investment required to develop and test them in clinical trials a cost that can run into many millions if the treatment turns out to work It s also worth pointing out that charities such as Cancer Research UK and government funded scientists are free to investigate promising treatments without a profit motive And it s hard to understand why NHS doctors who often prescribe generic off patent drugs wouldn t use cheap treatments if they d been shown to be effective in clinical trials For example we re funding large scale trials of aspirin a drug first made in 1897 and now one of the most widely used off patent drugs in the world We re researching whether it can prevent bowel cancer in people at high risk reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and even prevent cancer coming back and improve survival Finally it s worth remembering that we are all human even politicians and Big Pharma executives and cancer can affect anyone People in pharmaceutical companies governments charities and the wider medical establishment all can and do die of cancer too Here at Cancer Research UK we have seen loved ones and colleagues go through cancer Many of them have survived Many have not To suggest that we are collectively and individually hiding the cure is not only absurd it s offensive to the global community of dedicated scientists to the staff and supporters of cancer research organisations such as Cancer Research UK and most importantly to cancer patients and their families Myth 8 Cancer treatment kills more than it cures Let s be clear cancer treatment whether chemotherapy radiotherapy or surgery is no walk in the park The side effects can be tough After all treatments that are designed to kill cancer cells will inevitably affect healthy cells too And sometimes sadly treatment doesn t work We know that it s very difficult to treat late stage cancer that has spread throughout the body and while treatment can provide relief from symptoms and prolong life it s not going to be a cure for very advanced cancers Surgery is still the most effective treatment we have for cancer provided it s diagnosed early enough for an operation to be done And radiotherapy helps cure more people than cancer drugs Yet chemotherapy and other cancer drugs have a very important part to play in cancer treatment in some cases helping to cure the disease and in others helping to prolong survival The claims on the internet that chemotherapy is only 3 per cent effective are highly misleading and outdated and are explored in more depth in these two posts from the Science Based Medicine blog We also wrote this post in response to concerns that chemotherapy might encourage cancer It important to point out that in an increasing number of cases the drugs do work For example more than 96 per cent of all men are now cured of testicular cancer compared to fewer than 70 per cent in the 1970s thanks in part to a drug we helped to develop called cisplatin And three quarters of children with cancer are now cured compared with around a quarter in the late 1960s most of them are alive today directly thanks to chemotherapy We know that we still have a long way to go until we have effective kinder treatments for all types of cancer And it s important that doctors patients and their families are realistic and honest about the best options for treatment especially when cancer is very advanced It may be better to opt for treatment aimed at reducing pain and symptoms rather than attempting to cure the disease palliative care Balancing quality and quantity of life is always going to be an issue in cancer treatment and it s one that each patient must decide for themselves Myth 9 We ve made no progress in fighting cancer This simply isn t true Thanks to advances in research survival from cancer has doubled in the UK over the past 40 years and death rates have fallen by 10 per cent over the past decade alone In fact half of all patients now survive at least ten years This article by our chief clinician Professor Peter Johnson outlines some of the key facts By definition these figures relate to people treated at least 10 years ago It s likely that the patients being diagnosed and treated today have an even better chance of survival To see how the picture has changed make yourself a cuppa and settle down to watch this hour long documentary we helped to make The Enemy Within 50 years of fighting cancer From the early days of chemotherapy in the 50s and 60s to the latest smart drugs and pinpoint accurate radiotherapy it highlights how far we ve come over the years There s still a long way to go There are some cancers where progress has been much slower such as lung brain pancreatic and oesophageal cancers And when you lose someone you love to cancer it can feel as though no progress has been made at all That s why we re working so hard to beat cancer sooner to make sure that nobody loses their life prematurely to the disease Myth 10 Sharks don t get cancer Yes they do This excellent article goes into why the myth about the cancer free shark has been so persistent Olly and Kat Useful links CancerHelp UK Alternative and complementary therapies NHS Behind The Headlines US National Cancer Institute Alternative and complementary therapies Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre Herbs botanicals and other products American Cancer Society Complementary and alternative therapies Science based Medicine blog Wikipedia list of ineffective cancer treatments Quackwatch a special message to cancer patients ASCO Answers Myths and Facts about Cancer pdf Image links Pyramids blueberries lemons sweets fungus cures pills chemotherapy sharks Share this article More on this topic Tags Alternative complementary Cancer controversies Causes of cancer Treatment Comments Click here to cancel reply Al September 14 2014 Gully That s short for Gullible right Clearly you have internet access so please use it to educate yourself Maybe once you re awake you ll see that it s the article that is ridiculous not the comments Scott September 13 2014 Gully Why don t you site some credible references yourself instead of just branding other peoples comments ridiculous Gully September 11 2014 The author has made a good effort in explaining these MYTHS they are myths unfortunately he hasn t given enough further reading or even a bibliography A few of the hyper links lead to random sites with articles that are not quite reliable Next time i suggest you add credible journals so you don t get subjected to these ridiculous comments significant typo s in the last post soz Gully September 11 2014 The author has made a good effort in explaining these MYTHS well they are myths unfortunately he hasn t given enough further reading for even a bibliography and few hyperlinks here and there but leading to random site with articles that are not reliable Next time i suggest you add credible journals so don t get subjected to these ridiculous comments Per September 10 2014 Dumbest thing Ive ever read Per September 10 2014 Nobel prize winner in medicine 1931 was a fraud you say Dorin September 10 2014 I m not buying it Very black and white you know the world is actually rainbow coloured We are not simple Gian September 10 2014 An elegant slalom around truth here where myths 4 6 7 and 9 are the poles I found this type of half truth in a huge number of pharma and main institutional sites Unfortunately these half truth often are vehicle to half lies and there is really no debunking taking place here Maybe one day I ll post here some details for the sake of a honest discussion sarah September 10 2014 I want to update you all on the good news that have just happen in my life i that i never believe because i own my bank a lot of money that i use in building my house here in

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2014/03/24/dont-believe-the-hype-10-persistent-cancer-myths-debunked/comment-page-14/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Casey Dunlop | Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    Biankin See all researchers More Our research history Our research strategy FUNDING FOR RESEARCHERS Our funding schemes Biomarker Project Awards Career Development Fellowship Grand Challenge award View all schemes and deadlines Applying for funding Start your application online Guide to filling in your application form How to make a successful application Funding committees Manage your research grant Manage your grant online Guide to managing a grant online Notify us of new publications Update your profile How we deliver research Our research strategy Our institutes Our centres Our research partnerships More Drug discovery and development Recently funded awards Researcher case studies ABOUT US What we do We beat cancer We fundraise We develop policy Our organisation Our strategy Our Trustees CEO and Executive Board Annual report and accounts Annual review Current jobs Graduates and interns Your development Benefits Cancer news Science blog Latest press releases Latest news reports Search all news More Contact Us Press office Publications HOME ABOUT CANCER SUPPORT US NEWS RESOURCES FUNDING RESEARCH ABOUT US You are here Home border 0 Support us Home About us Cancer news Science blog Author Casey Dunlop Author Casey Dunlop Processed meat and cancer what you need to know Category Science blog October 26 2015 Casey Dunlop Following today s headlines about processed meat and cancer we ask how much meat is it sensible to eat And how many cases of cancer are linked to meat Read More Aspirin obesity and inherited bowel cancer what s the story Category Science blog August 18 2015 Casey Dunlop We look at the science behind some overblown headlines about aspirin and bowel cancer Read More Older Posts Newer Posts Popular posts Most read today Most discussed Don t believe the hype 10 persistent cancer myths debunked How does alcohol cause cancer Processed meat and cancer

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/author/caseydunlop/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Does red and processed meat increase the risk of dying from cancer? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    their food choices The NIH AARP study has reported on many other links between lifestyle and cancer In this study they focused on red processed and white meat Red meat includes all fresh minced and frozen beef pork and lamb White meat includes chicken and turkey Processed meat includes ham bacon salami sausages and luncheon meats What did they find By the end of the study the researchers found that people who ate the most red or processed meat were more likely to die of cancer heart disease and all causes combined than those who ate the least For example men and women who ate the most red meat had 20 22 per cent higher risk of dying from cancer than those who ate the least However people who ate the most white meat were less likely to die of cancer and all causes combined than those who ate the least The table below shows how different types of meat increase the risk of dying from different conditions by gender To put things in perspective the people who ate the most meat in the study were eating about 160g a day about the size of a six ounce steak Those who ate the least meat were getting just 25g a day about a small rasher of bacon The increase in risk of dying from different conditions by type of meat and gender All the figures compare people who ate the most meat to those who ate the least But what about other weight age and other things Obviously many other things can cause cancer and affect our health In the past some people have said that the connection between meat and cancer reflects nothing more than the fact that heavier people eat more meat and heavier people are more likely to get cancer Fortunately the NIH AARP researchers took that into account All of their results have been adjusted for a large number of other things that can affect the risk of cancer and other diseases age smoking physical activity educational level marital status family history of cancer ethnicity body mass index alcohol calorie intake fruit and vegetable consumption use of hormonal replacement therapy and use of vitamin supplements Despite these adjustments the results were still statistically significant This means that they were unlikely to have come about by chance Does this fit with what we know already Yes Certainly for cancer other large studies have found that red and processed meat can increase the risk of some cancers Several years ago the large EPIC study showed that bowel cancer is more common in people who ate the most red or processed meat And more recently the World Cancer Research Fund s panel of scientific experts concluded that these types of meat are convincing causes of bowel cancer We also have an idea about the many ways in which these meats could affect our risk of cancer and Henry has laid these all out in a previous blog post The

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2009/03/24/does-red-and-processed-meat-increase-the-risk-of-dying-from-cancer/ (2016-02-11)
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  • How does red meat increase bowel cancer risk? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    our gut senses it s been damaged it reacts by telling the existing cells to divide more rapidly to make new cells This extra cell division might also increase the chances of cancer developing because every time a cell divides it runs the risk of making a copying error in its DNA Professor Bingham ran studies that directly looked at the amount of N nitroso compounds in people s faeces and looked at whether N nitroso linked DNA damage was occurring It was There s still some evidence missing here no one s yet proved that people with high levels of N nitroso compounds in their stools actually have a higher chance of developing bowel cancer itself But as evidence goes it s probably the best we ve got Intriguingly there s some evidence that chlorophyll a green pigment found in plants might block the breakdown of haem in the gut This could be one of the reasons why a diet high in fruit and vegetables can protect against bowel cancer So looking at all the evidence it seems that haem breakdown is probably responsible for the increased risk of bowel canceramongst people who eat large amounts of meat There might be an additional effect from nitrogen based preservatives but the haem evidence is certainly the most compelling of the theories we have so far But as with so much about diet and cancer we should stress that they re just that theories Until we ve really pinned down the culprit or culprits the best advice remains to keep red and processed meat to a sensible level in our diets How much meat But what is a sensible level of red and processed meat Again we re venturing into rather uncertain territory EPIC the big Europe wide study on diet and cancer that Cancer Research UK is helping to fund has found that bowel cancer rates were 30 per cent higher among people who ate two daily 80g portions of these meats compared to the rate in people who ate just 20g a day And a French team found that every daily 80g portion of processed meat increased bowel cancer risk by two thirds So there are some ball park figures But it s important to remember that these are studies that look at overall risks in large numbers of people not specific risks in individuals Given that we all carry different genes our individual personal risk of bowel cancer is currently impossible to work out So all we can say for sure in answer to the question what should I do that inevitably follows stories like this is that a diet low in red and processed meat is definitely a good starting point if you re worried about bowel cancer There s a lot more work to do we re really only just starting to understand how the complicated jigsaw of diet genetics and cancer fits together Henry PS If you want to read a really detailed but slightly

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2007/11/12/how-does-red-meat-increase-bowel-cancer-risk/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Meat and cheese aren’t ‘as deadly as smoking’ - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    confident in the results The conclusions are based on a single survey of what people reported eating in the preceding 24 hours It s a big leap to presume that people s diets didn t change in the following 18 years It s not clear how accurately the researchers adjusted for other things such as whether people smoked in the past Because this research looked at deaths from cancer not cases of cancer we can t know whether protein was linked with people s chance of surviving cancer developing the disease in the first place or both The study didn t compare the risks of smokers versus people who ate lots of animal protein so it s not accurate to say that high protein diets are as deadly as smoking Does protein still have a place in a healthy diet Yes but it s not quite that simple There s good evidence linking diets high in red and processed meat including beef pork lamb and sausages and bacon with a moderate increased risk of cancer particularly bowel cancer as well as heart disease So if you re a self confessed meat fiend and eat piles of red and processed meat then we would encourage you to cut down to help reduce your risk of cancer Because this study looked at animal protein as a whole we can t tell whether the links the researchers saw were driven by red and processed meats rather than fish poultry and dairy But they did note that vegetable proteins from things like beans and other pulses didn t seem to be associated with an increased risk This fits with what we already know about food groups and health beans and pulses are also usually high in fibre plus a serving counts as one of your five a day Getting plenty of fibre fruit and veg and swapping other protein sources for red and processed meat are all good ways to make your diet better for you Balance and moderation are key It s important so we ll repeat ourselves if you want to improve your health and you re a smoker quit And when it comes to diet whatever your age balance is the key to healthiness It might be boring but it s true Healthy living is about moderation If you ve got a tab at the local kebab house or burger van then you probably already know you could benefit by cutting down a little But on the other hand as New Scientist note you can has cheezburger every now and then Our message on diet remains the same and is backed by decades of evidence eat plenty of fibre fruit and vegetables cut back on red and processed meat salt and high calorie foods and cut back on alcohol Making healthy choices like this means giving yourself the best possible chance when it comes to avoiding diseases like cancer diabetes and heart disease Share this article More on this topic Tags

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2014/03/05/meat-and-cheese-arent-as-deadly-as-smoking/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Diesel exhaust fumes 'definitely' cause cancer - should we be worried? - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    this inflammation could theoretically make them more likely to grow and spread Diesel exhaust may be carcinogenic by a combination of these effects we know the particles are coated with the PAHs delivering them deep into the lungs where they get stuck and potentially cause damage I should stress though that we don t know for certain which of these mechanisms is most important in practice Was IARC s decision expected Yes according to Phillips describing the IARC evaluation process as thorough rigorous and independent The last time IARC looked at diesel fumes was back in the late 1980s and there s been a lot more research since then the strength of the epidemiology has really changed a lot he says Most of the recent evidence comes from studies looking at cancer rates amongst populations that have high levels of exposure to diesel fumes for example miners railroad workers and truckers But the real game changers according to Phillips were two papers published earlier this year in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute These looked at exposure levels and cancer rates in a population of over 12 000 miners at eight non metal mines in the US and found substantially higher lung cancer rates amongst those with the highest exposure These are good large studies and consistent with previous findings he says and probably pivotal he speculates in IARC s decision to move diesel exhaust to Category 1 Who does this affect And where does diesel fit into the bigger picture This is where things start to get complicated The data we have relate to so called occupational exposure says Phillips in other words people whose jobs bring them into regular contact with high levels of diesel fumes These people are much easier to study because their exposure is so strong and effects are easier to spot But as a result it s harder to generalise as to how this affects the rest of us However Phillips feels the strength of the effect in people working regularly with diesel fumes is enough to suggest that there will be a smaller impact on people at lower exposure levels particularly those who live in cities The main thing to bear in mind though is that the size of the effect is likely to be small compared with things like smoking In fact estimates suggest that 85 per cent of lung cancers are linked to smoking making it by far the biggest cause of the disease Set against this huge figure the number of cases caused by air pollution is likely to be many times smaller Are UK regulations sufficient Professor Phillips is reluctant to get drawn into discussing the finer detail of air quality and emissions regulations something for policy makers not scientists he says But the Government needs to look at the current regulations and make sure they re sufficient urban air pollution has changed over the last few decades he adds The contribution to air pollution from diesel exhausts

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2012/06/14/diesel-fumes-definitely-cause-cancer-should-we-be-worried/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Bowel cancer - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    FUNDING FOR RESEARCHERS Our funding schemes Biomarker Project Awards Career Development Fellowship Grand Challenge award View all schemes and deadlines Applying for funding Start your application online Guide to filling in your application form How to make a successful application Funding committees Manage your research grant Manage your grant online Guide to managing a grant online Notify us of new publications Update your profile How we deliver research Our research strategy Our institutes Our centres Our research partnerships More Drug discovery and development Recently funded awards Researcher case studies ABOUT US What we do We beat cancer We fundraise We develop policy Our organisation Our strategy Our Trustees CEO and Executive Board Annual report and accounts Annual review Current jobs Graduates and interns Your development Benefits Cancer news Science blog Latest press releases Latest news reports Search all news More Contact Us Press office Publications HOME ABOUT CANCER SUPPORT US NEWS RESOURCES FUNDING RESEARCH ABOUT US You are here Home border 0 Support us Home About us Cancer news Science blog Topic Bowel cancer Topic Bowel cancer Improving cancer survival by understanding how patients are diagnosed Category Science blog January 22 2016 Cancer Research UK New figures show that people diagnosed in emergencies are more likely to be diagnosed at a later stage Read More Processed meat and cancer what you need to know Category Science blog October 26 2015 Casey Dunlop Following today s headlines about processed meat and cancer we ask how much meat is it sensible to eat And how many cases of cancer are linked to meat Read More Gut microbes trigger chemo side effects but there could be a way to stop them Category Science blog September 17 2015 Nick Peel A US team has found new evidence that a particular group of bacteria may be behind side effects linked to bowel cancer chemo Read More Science Snaps prioritising the gene faults behind bowel cancer Category Science blog September 7 2015 Nick Peel This entry is part 14 of 14 in the series Science Snaps Step behind the microscope and find out how this image is helping our scientists understand more about how bowel cancer develops Read More NHS England must act as patients miss out on cancer drug tests Category Science blog August 20 2015 Emlyn Samuel We explore our latest report showing that thousands of cancer patients are missing out on genetic tests for targeted cancer drugs Read More Aspirin obesity and inherited bowel cancer what s the story Category Science blog August 18 2015 Casey Dunlop We look at the science behind some overblown headlines about aspirin and bowel cancer Read More Cancer survival in England is improving but still lagging behind similar countries Category Science blog August 5 2015 Natalie Moitt We explore new data showing that cancer survival in England remains lower than countries with similar healthcare systems Read More Older Posts Newer Posts Popular posts Most read today Most discussed Don t believe the hype 10 persistent cancer myths

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/topic/cancer-type/bowel/ (2016-02-11)
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  • Processed meat and cancer – what you need to know - Cancer Research UK - Science blog
    different as there are many different factors at play We know that out of every 1000 people in the UK about 61 will develop bowel cancer at some point in their lives Those who eat the lowest amount of processed meat are likely to have a lower lifetime risk than the rest of the population about 56 cases per 1000 low meat eaters If this is correct the WCRF s analysis suggests that among 1000 people who eat the most processed meat you d expect 66 to develop bowel cancer at some point in their lives 10 more than the group who eat the least processed meat How does red and processed meat cause cancer Researchers are still trying to pin down exactly how red and processed meat cause cells to become cancerous but the main culprits seem to be certain chemicals found in the meat itself In red meat the problems seem to start when a chemical called haem part of the red pigment in the blood haemoglobin is broken down in our gut to form a family of chemicals called N nitroso compounds These have been found to damage the cells that line the bowel so other cells in the bowel lining have to replicate more in order to heal And it s this extra replication that can increase the chance of errors developing in the cells DNA the first step on the road to cancer On top of this processed red meats contain chemicals that generate N nitroso compounds in the gut such as nitrite preservatives Cooking meat at high temperatures such as grilling or barbequing can also create chemicals in the meat that may increase the risk of cancer These chemicals are generally produced in higher levels in red and processed meat compared to other meats But there are other theories too some research has suggested that the iron in red meat could play a role while others suggest the bacteria in the gut might play a supporting role too So despite what you may hear it isn t about the quality of the meat or whether it s from the local butcher or your supermarket The evidence so far suggests that it s probably the processing of the meat or chemicals naturally present within it that increases cancer risk What does this decision from IARC mean Whatever the underlying mechanism there s now sufficient evidence for IARC to rule that processed meat definitely causes cancer and that red meat probably causes cancer But to really understand what this means and doesn t mean you need to know a bit about IARC s categories When IARC assesses the evidence on a particular cancer risk it assigns it to one of several groups which as the graphic below shows represent how confident they are that it causes cancer in people Copy this link and share our graphic on social media Credit Cancer Research UK Processed meat has been classified as a definite cause of cancer or Group

    Original URL path: http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2015/10/26/processed-meat-and-cancer-what-you-need-to-know/comment-page-11/ (2016-02-11)
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