Chemoprevention (Salem Health: Cancer)
Discussion: Cancer affects people of all ages in the United States. The incidence rates of some forms of cancer have declined over the past few years while those of others have increased. Many financial and human resources have been spent on the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, and much research has been done on its prevention. Most of this research has confirmed that certain lifestyle choices play a significant role in the development of cancer. In fact, an estimated two-thirds of all cancers could be eliminated through healthy lifestyle choices. Changes in diet could eliminate almost one-third of cancers. Exercise and diet are primary ways that people can diminish their chances of developing cancer.
Prevention research has increasingly focused on chemoprevention for persons at high risk for certain cancers. These studies are designed to evaluate the effectiveness and usefulness of substances that may serve as chemoprevention. Since the 1980’s the National Cancer Institute has identified more than four hundred agents that may have the ability to prevent cancer. The value of these compounds in human subjects is the focus of numerous clinical trials.
How chemoprevention works: Research has focused on ways to arrest or even reverse the process of carcinogenesis (the transformation of normal living cells into abnormal or cancer cells). Studies show that certain substances have the ability to stop...
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For Further Information (Salem Health: Cancer)
Loop, Matthew J. Cracking the Cancer Code: The Secret to Transforming Your Health from Inside Out. New York: iUniverse, 2006.
Runowicz, Carolyn D., and Sheldon H. Cherry. The Answer to Cancer. Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale Books: 2004.
Sheridan, Stacey L., Russell P. Harris, and Steven H. Woolf. “A Suggested Approach from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, Shared Decision-Making Workgroup of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, Elsevier Science.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine 26, no. 1S (2003): 56-66.
Sporn, Michael B., and Nanjoo Sun. “Prevention of Cancer.” Carcinogenesis 21, no. 3 (2000): 525-530.
Varona, Verne. Nature’s Cancer Fighting Foods. New York: Penguin Putnam, 2001.
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Chemoprevention (Encyclopedia of Cancer)
Chemoprevention is the attempt to prevent cancer from developing by using substances that interfere in the process of carcinogenesis.
Clinical trials are currently investigating chemoprevention for people at high risk of certain cancers. For instance, to prevent breast cancer in the second breast of women who have already been treated for breast cancer, or women who have never had breast cancer but are determined to be at high risk; or to prevent colon cancer in people with a genetic predisposition for that cancer. Individuals not at a particularly high risk can use behavioral and dietary modifications for chemoprevention. Since the 1980s, the National Cancer Institute has identified more than 1, 000 natural and synthetic chemicals with some degree of cancer preventive activity. Currently, over 400 potential agents are under investigation for their ability to prevent cancer and at least 40 compounds or combinations are undergoing human clinical trials.
Chemopreventive agents have been identified that interact with all stages of carcinogenesis; initiation, promotion and progression. They work by inactivating carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), inducing enzymes,...
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