Cancer Prevention

The timeline for the development of most cancers is over many years.  This gives us a long time to intervene and break up the process.  It also gives many different places to intervene.

In this mulistep pathway to cancer, there are many different steps with the potential to block or arrest the development of cancer.  Standard medicine has focuses on the last two steps and basically ignored the earlier ones.  Now, medicine is only beginning to focus on prevention.  This could become the most effective and least toxic method of decreasing death from cancer.  It is not a passive process but requires the direct participation of the patient.

This chart explains why it is so difficult to develope and confirm effective cancer prevention methods.  A very large number of patients is needed as well as a long follow-up period.  Many researchers shy away from these types of studies because of the long delay to publication .... delayed gratification.

This was a landmark study proving the effectiveness of tamoxifen in preventing breast cancer.  It shows we can develope drugs / supplements / lifestyle interventions that do work.  It also points out the potential for side effects like increased  endometrial cancer and increased thromboembolic vascular events (blood clots) as well as decreased bone fractures.

Nutritional Oncology

  • This is a lecture I gave on Nutritional Oncology - cancer prevention through lifestyle

American Cancer Society 2012 recommendations on diet and exercise in Cancer prevention and treatment.