Posts Tagged ‘cancer risk’

Review of Reducing Your Cancer Risk

Sunday, July 15th, 2018

Below is the latest review of my latest book Reducing Your Cancer risk: A holistic approach by Cheryl Gress, Editor in Chief,  at Christ Centered Gamer. –

Dr Carl O Helvie interviewed on new book and on cancer foundation.

Monday, June 25th, 2018


Last week I was interviewed by host James Lowe on The Voice of the People about my latest book Reducing Your Cancer risk: A holistic approach. It is about 18 minutes and the link follows.

Radio Interview on Chicago Media 3

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Yesterday I was interviewed on Chicago Medic 3 by William Maxwell (8 minutes) about my cancer journey and most recent book Reducing Your Cancer Risk. Enjoy the interview below.

Does Selenium Influence Cancer Risk?

Friday, September 9th, 2016


A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that high blood selenium levels are associated with a decrease risk of developing liver cancer. Selenium in the natural form is found in fish, shellfish, meat, milk, eggs, and certain nuts such as Brazil nuts.

In the case-control study, the researchers investigated a cohort of 477,000 participants, and selected individuals who had developed liver cancer during a 10 year follow up. Blood samples were obtained and analyzed for selenium levels. They found that the third of the population with the lowest selenium level had a five to ten fold increase risk of developing liver cancer. They also found that selenium supplements do not have a direct protective effect against liver cancer. “However, it does conform the importance of a balanced diet, of which selenium forms an integral part.”

Epigenetic vs Chronological Age and Cancer.

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

logo1267406_mdA new study reported in Northwestern University news  concluded that when your biological (epigenetic) age is older than your chronological age, you are at risk of getting and dying from cancer. In addition, the bigger difference between the two ages, the higher youyr risk of dying from cancer. Researchers said “The discrepancy between the two ages appears to be a promising tool that could be used to develop an early detection blood test for cancer.” They continued “People who are healthyu have a very small difference between their epigenetic/biological age and chronological age.” “People who develop cancer have a large difference and people who die from cancer have a diffe4rence even larger than that,?

Measurement of the epigenetic age is based upon calculation of an algorithm  measuring blood DNA methylation markers that could be modified by one’s environment, including environmental chemicals, obesity, exercise and diet. In DNA methylation, a cluster of molecules attach to a gene and makes the gene more or less receptive to biochemical signals from the body but the gene or your DNA code does not change.

The study was a longitudinal design with multiple blood samples collected from 1999 to 2013. Researchers used 834 blood samples collected from 442 subjects who were free of cancer at the time of the blood samples.

Results showed a 6 percent increase risk of getting cancer within three years for each one year discrepancy between chronological and epigenetic age. There was also a 17 percent increase risk of cancer death with five years.    Those who will develop cancer had an epigenetic age about six months older than their chronological age, and those who will die have about a 2.2 year older epigenetic age. Further research was recommended.

Does the Carmel Color in Beverages Pose a Cancer Risk?

Friday, February 20th, 2015

A new study in PLOS One concluded that 44 to 58 percent of people over age six usually have at least one can of soda daily, potentially exposing them to 4-methylimidazole (4-MEI) that is a possible carcinogen formed during manufacture of some kinds of caramel color that is a common ingredient in sodas. The said “Soft drink consumers are being exposed to an avoidable and unnecessary cancer risk from an ingredient that is being added to these  beverages simply for aesthetic purposes.” This unnecessary exposure poses a threat to public health and raises questions about the continued use of caramel coloring in soda.” Analyzing 4-MEI concentrations in 110 soft drinks purchased in New York and California and comparing with data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey to estimate the risk to populations and cancer burdens associated with 4-MEI they found no federal limits in food and drink but there is Proposition 65 law in California restricting products that the exceed the amount of 4-MEI per day have a warning label. They also found that the level of 4-MEI could vary substantially across samples of soda and for the same type of beverage. They said “For example, for diet sodas, certain samples had higher or more variable levels of the compound, while other samples had very low concentrations. ” They also found sharply contrasting levels of 4-MEI in some soft drinks purchased in the New Yor metropolitan area versus California indicating that regulations such as the California Proposition 65 may be effective in reducing exposure to 4-MEI. This means that sodas could be made with less 4-MEI. They concluded that An FDA intervention, such as determining maximum levels for 4-MEI in beverages could be a valuable approach to reducing excess cancer risk attributed to 4-MEI exposure in the U.S. population.?

Can Fruit and Vegetables Reduce the Risk of Bladder Cancer in Women?

Friday, August 30th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new study published in the journal Nutrition concluded that a higher consumption of fruits and vegetables lower the risk of invasive bladder cancer for women but not  men. Data was collected from 185,885 subjects who were part of the Multiethnic Cohort (MEC) established in 1993 to assess the relationship among dietary, lifestyle, genetic factors, and cancer risk. Data were- collectyed over 12.5 years and 581 invasive bladder cancer cases were diagnosed (152 women and 429 men).

After adjusting for factors related to cancer such as age, the researchers found that women who consumed the most fruit and vegetables had the lowest bladder cancer risk. For example, women who consumed the most yellow-orange vegetables were 52% less likely to have bladder cancer than women wo consumed the least of these vegetables. Women who consumed the highest intake of vitamin A,C and E also had the lowest risk of bladder cancer compared to women who consumed the least amount. Researchers said “Our study supports the fruit and vegetable recommendation for cancer prevention. However, further investigation is needed to understand and explain why the reduced cancer risk with higher consumption of fruit and vegetables was confined to only women.”

Reason Why People with Red Hair Have a Higher Risk of Developing Melanoma?

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

logo1267406_mdA new research study published in Molecular Cell concluded that  a persons skin pigment, which determines hair color and skin tone, is influenced by the melanocortin-l (MClR) gene receptor. and those with red hair have a mutation in MClR accounting for the red hair. This same MRlC mutation also promotes an important cancer-causing pathway and helps to explains the molecular mechanism that underlies redheads well-known risk of developing melanoma

The researchers found from cell culture and mouse model research that under normal circumstances MClR was binding to PTEN, a well known tumor suppressor gene. PTEN acts to safeguard against cancer,but in those without PTEN, the end result is elevated signaling in the cancer causing P13/AKt pathway. Researchers then demonstrated that MClR-RHC mutations found in red-haired people lacked this protective mechanism., “As a result, upon UVB exposure (that can damage DNA and lead to melanoma), we saw an increased destruction of PTEN in the mutated pigment cells.” They also found that in the same MCiR/RHC pigment cells, elevated P13K/Akt activity was boosting cell proliferation and synchronizing with another well-known cancer mutation in the BRAF gene (found in close to 70% of all melanoma) to accelerate cancer development. Other researchers have also recently found that expression of the BRAF gene mutation in the melanocytes of mice carrying a mutant MClR gene led to a high incidence of invasive melanomas/ “Together, our findings provide a possible molecular mechanism as to why red-haired individuals harboring MCLR mutations are much more susceptible to UV-induced skin damage than individuals with darker skin, resulting in a 10-to-100 fold higher frequency of melanoma.”

Cancer Diagnosis Later in Live Poses Significant Risk in Offspring.

Friday, January 4th, 2013

A new study published in (formerly the British Medical Journal) concluded that relatives of family members with cancer are still at risk of the disease even if the diagnosis occurred at an older age.  Although it is known that early onset cancer cases carry more hereditary risk than late onset cases, but little is known about whether any familial component exists in cancer at a very old age.

The study looked at data from just under 8 million offspring and their biological parents. Offspring were all between age 0 and 76 years of age and follow up was started at birth, immigration date or 1961, whichever came latest. The follow up data ended on the year of diagnosis of the first cancer, death, emigration, or 2008.  Results were adjusted by such factors as age, sex, socioeconomic status, residential area, hospitalization for obesity, COPD, and alcohol consumption.

Although the highest risk was seen in cases whose parents were diagnosed at earlier ages, even when parents were diagnosed in old age (80+) and for some cases in very old age (90+) the risk of the same cancer in offspring was significantly higher than those whose parents were not affected. Increased risks for cancer by type in offspring aged 0-76 years : non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma 1.6%; urinary bladder 2.8%; skin 3.5%; melanoma 4.6%; lung 5%; colorectal 6.4%; breast 8.8%; and prostate 30.1%.

In the study population, 35 to 81% of all familial cancers in parents occured over 69 years of age as follows: colorectal 59%; lung 56%; breast 41%; prostate 75%; urinary bladder 62%; skin cancer 81%; melanoma 35%; and non-Hodgskin’s lymphoma 54%. Thus, the majority of familial cancers occured at the older ages.  Researchers suggest offspring may benefit from knowing they are at increased risk of a particular cancer so they can avoid modifiable risk factors for the particular cancer.

Are Double Mastectomies Necessary for Women With Breast Cancer?

Friday, December 7th, 2012

A new study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Quality Care Symposium last month concluded that about 70% of women who have both breasts removed following a breast cancer diagnosis do so despite a very low risk of having subsequent cancer in the healthy breast.

The study found that 90% of wom,en who had surgery to remove both breast reported being worried about cancer recurring., The researchers said “Women appear to be using worry over cancer recurrence to choose contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. This does not make sense, because having a non-affected breast removed will not reduce the risk of recurrence in the affected breast.  ”

One thousand four hundred forty six women who had been treated for breast cancer and who had not had recurrence were included in the study.  Of these, 7% had surgery to remove both breasts and among women who had a mastectomy, nearly 1 in 5 had a double mastectomy.

Researchers also collected data on clinical indications for double mastectomy, including patients family history of breast and ovarian cancer and the results of any genetic testing. “For women who do not have a strong family history or a genetic finding, we would argue it’s probably not appropriate to get the unaffected breast removed.” The researchers are developing a decision tool that will help guide women through breast cancer treatment choices. The researchers said “I believe surgeons are telling their patients that a contralateral mastectomy won’t reduce their risk of recurrence and that it is associated with higher mortality. But this procedure is still done and it’s done in women who donm;t need to have it done. A decision tool like ours will solicit common misconceptions about breast cancer treatment and give women feedback to help them fully understand the options and risks involved.”