A Dietitian's Cancer Story Newsletter: Winter 2007

Greetings from Diana Dyer, MS, RD, Author of A Dietitian's Cancer Story

Winter 2007 Greetings from Diana Dyer, MS, RD, author of A Dietitian's Cancer Story

Welcome to 2007! I like to think about the way that Ellen Goodman (columnist at The Boston Globe) describes her approach to the New Year:

“We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room,
drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.
Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the
rooms of our lives.…not looking for flaws, but for potential.”

~ Ellen Goodman

I like this way of thinking because developing potential, instead of patching cracks, is positive, moving forward, and makes me feel more alive. In fact, I encourage all of you to look in the rooms of your life to find something you can do that makes you “come alive” in 2007. I am going to continue speaking, selling my book, writing this newsletter, and raising money for my cancer and nutrition survivorship research fund at AICR. However, the new thing I plan to do this year is plant a garden focused on heirloom varieties of dried beans and greens, such as the sweet and tender Russian kale that I first found at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home in Charlottesville, VA.

I recently read the following quotation while thoughtfully thinking about the rooms of my life, and I was struck by its similarity to the Quaker expression that I highlighted in my newsletter last January, “Let your life speak.”

Don’t ask so much what the world needs.
Go out and do what makes you come alive, because
what the worlds needs most are people who have come alive.

~ Howard Thurman, Theologian, Author, Activist, 1900-1981

You may see me speaking around the country this year, but who knows, at some point in the future you may see me selling dried beans and fresh greens and sharing ultra-healthy recipes at my Farmers’ Market while simultaneously helping to nurture the health of our planet plus old and new friends.

I send all my best wishes for 2007, that all of you find a room in your life in which you “come alive” as a part of your cancer journey!

Diana Dyer, MS, RD


Newsletter Contents:

I. Endowment Update
II. New Books to Suggest
III. Web Sites
IV. Research Updates
V. Web sites stats (just for fun)
VI. Book Ordering Information
VII. Newsletter forwarding guidelines
VIII. Newsletter sign-up instructions
IX. Removal Instructions


I. Endowment Update

I share my heartfelt appreciation to all of you who helped to increase the amount of my research fund (http://cancerrd.com/endowment.htm) at The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). Many of you made direct donations or bought additional books to share where you felt the messages and support were needed. I invite you to also consider initiating a local fund-raising event such as a golf outing, a walk, etc, etc. AICR is happy to help guide you through the steps for such an event. Feel free to call Heather Morgan, Director of Development for AICR, at 1-800-843-8114.

There is also an additional way that you can help me donate more money to AICR.

Whenever you shop at Amazon.com, please participate in a free and easy service that Amazon.com has set up for web site owners, like me. Here is how it works. If you always go through my web site's page of books to get to Amazon.com every time you wish to place an order for anything from Amazon, a small percentage (4-6%) of the total cost of your order is paid back to me as a "referral fee". That amount of money helps to pay my web site's expenses, thus I end up with more money to donate to AICR at the end of the year. Example: You wish to order some CDs from Amazon.com. First go to my web site, click on Books, click on Suggested Books, click on the link for my book or any book listed, after reaching that book on Amazon.com, then search for what you wish to order on Amazon.com's web site. That's it. You don't need to do anything special when you pay Amazon, nor does it cost you anything extra. No matter what you order (electronics, food, books, CDs, third party items, even a lawnmower!), a small percentage of the amount you pay Amazon comes back to me as a "referral fee" when you go through my web site first. "Many drops make a bucket"; in other words, it all adds up! Thank you for remembering to go through those easy steps when you order from Amazon.com.

Several people wrote asking me for more information about the research studies my endowment has already helped to fund through AICR. A list of those studies is on my web site: http://www.cancerrd.com/FAQs/FAQ53.htm Shortly I will receive information to review so that I may choose which research study I will help AICR to fund in 2007. Knowing that I am a part of the “big picture” by helping to fund and also raise awareness of the importance of research focused on nutrition strategies for cancer survivors makes me “come alive”!


II. New Books to Suggest

A. Food for Thought: Healing Foods to Savor, by Sheila Kealey, Vicky Newman, and Susan Faerber, University of California, San Diego Medical Center, Moores Cancer Center, 2006. Cost is $20.00 plus S/H.

An eagerly awaited cookbook filled with the delicious healthy recipes and easy-to-understand nutrition information developed by the WHEL staff and used by the participants in the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living Study that is evaluating the effect of diet on breast cancer recurrence (results coming soon!). I have tried several recipes already, anticipate enjoying all that are included in this book, and thank the WHEL staff for sharing these ultra-healthy recipes with all of us!

All proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Cancer Prevention and Control Program of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center at the University of California-San Diego. The website www.healthyeating.ucsd.edu has sample pages, a list of recipes, and ordering information.

I don't often "digress" from my focus on nutrition and cancer, but I have enjoyed reading the following three books.

B. The Dog Diet: A Memoir – What my dog taught me about shedding pounds, licking stress, and getting a new leash on life, by Patti Lawson, HCI, Deerfield Beach, FL, 2006. www.thedogdiet.com

Disclosure/confession: I am a new, late-in-life "doggie person", so I my reaction to this book may be biased!

I LOVE this book. I had to read parts of it out loud to my husband so he could enjoy it, too. Read it for fun, read it for inspiration, plus read it for sound nutritional and lifestyle advice. (I eat more of a vegetarian diet than this author, but her general advice is solid.)

Our vet recently told me to cut down on the amount of dog food I was giving my grand-dog (I was following the directions on the bag; she tells me those are overstated to sell more dog food!) and to start feeding Kaya vegetables if she was acting hungry. I don’t know if I would have the courage to do that without already having read this book. So, I am having fun exploring what vegetables Kaya will eat. So far ALL of them – the only thing she has rejected out of hand/paw was adding just a touch of pomegranate juice to her water! The goal is for her to slowly lose 5 # to keep her middle-aged joints flexible so she can continue to chase squirrels, Frisbees, and generally make us laugh as she “tears about the house”.

Caution - you just might find yourself wanting a dog (or another) if you like this book as much as I did!

C. Water with Lemon: An inspiring story of diet-free, guilt-free weight loss! by Zonya Foco, RD and Stephen Moss, ZHI Publishing, Onsted, MI, 2006. This book provides an innovative way to introduce (and reinforce) nutrition information, lifestyle habits, and inspiration to those people struggling to finally achieve a healthy weight through a healthy lifestyle, not another fad diet. The first book in a new genre of “health novels” is easy to read but thought provoking as eight habits for achieving a healthy weight are woven into the story. More information is at www.waterwithlemon.com

D. Heat: An Amateur’s Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-quoting Butcher in Tuscany, by Bill Buford, Knopf, New York, 2006. Highly recommended by a good friend, my husband read this first. After my turn at reading Heat, I now realize that all my nutrition training would not prepare me one bit for working in a restaurant kitchen!! And I am not sure that I would want to – I know I could not keep up with the fast pace needed by hands and brain during a rush. I can also see that my vegetarian leanings started a long time ago, as I can now remember that I just could not (would not?) memorize the cuts of meat, recommended preparations for the different cuts, etc, etc, in one of my food classes. Another enjoyable digression from my usual focus on trying to stay caught up with my professional nutrition and cancer reading.


III. Web sites to suggest

A. Vegetarian Resource Group – http://www.vrg.org – still the best place on the web to find reliable information about vegetarian nutrition, particularly questions regarding a vegan diet. Terrific recipes.

B. http://www.canceradvocacynow.org - online cancer advocacy training program available from the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS). The goal is to teach those affected by cancer to effectively speak up for better health care. This training program gives guidance on how to communicate with federal legislators and other policy makes on issues important to cancer survivors.

C. http://cornucopia.org – The Cornucopia Institute is dedicated to the fight for economic justice for the family-scale farming community. Through research, advocacy, and economic development their goal is to empower farmers both politically and through marketplace initiatives. The Organic Integrity Project acts as a corporate watchdog assuring that no compromises to the credibility of organic farming methods and the food it produces are made in the pursuit of profit.

One controversy: The fact that organic milk is produced both by family farms that allow the cows to graze outdoors in pastures, and by "factory farms" that confine cows, give them feed rather than allowing them to graze, and milk them several times a day. "Confined milk production is a quicker, easier way to produce," said Will Fantle, research director of the Cornucopia Institute. But Fantle and other organic advocates frown on the process and the end product.

To help consumers, the Cornucopia Institute has posted a scorecard on its Web site, giving dairy producers a "one-to-five-cow" rating, five being best. The scorecard is the result of a one-year research project in which the research team rated 68 organic dairy producers and private-label products. The Institute presented their report in April to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Organic Standards Board.

D. http://www.wendyharpham.com – Wendy Harpham, MD is a doctor of internal medicine and 16-year cancer survivor who has helped thousands of fellow survivors by sharing her words of wisdom in many published books such as After Cancer: A Guide to Your New Life (1994) and Happiness in a Storm: Facing Illness and Embracing Life as a Healthy Survivor (2005). In addition, she has a regular column in the publication, Oncology Times, in which she shares her thoughts and experiences from the dual perspective of physician and cancer survivor. I look forward to reading each column and often share them with my own primary care physician who, in turn, shares them with the residents in the Internal Medicine/Pediatric Residency Program that he directs at the University of Michigan. Now everyone can read these columns by visiting Dr. Harpham’s web site and clicking on the publications tab (scroll down and you will find a section of Oncology Times articles with links to each article). These essays often bring tears to my eyes as I first relate to her perspective as a cancer survivor and also as I think about all the oncology health care professionals these columns can help to more completely understand and therefore care for both future patients and us.

E. http://www.cutnclean.com - a terrific web site and terrific group of products. If you can’t purchase fresh greens from a local farmer, these pre-cut and packages greens are a close substitute as they are harvested and shipped daily to grocery stores around the country. Use this web site to view some recipes and try a variety you haven’t eaten before. Power-packed with nutrition and cancer-fighting molecules. (Even my grand-dog now eats kale with enthusiasm!)

F. Other cancer and nutrition Email newsletters available:
(1) Cancer Nutrition Newsletter from The Cancer Nutrition Network for Texans – monthly, free, archived on the web back to March 2004 http://www.utmb.edu/nsights/newsletter.htm

(2) AICR – monthly, free sign up at www.aicr.org, link on homepage

G. New newsletters dedicated to optimizing cancer survivorship (both include columns by Registered Dietitians) – I hope these inspire you to suggest or even develop one at your own cancer center!
(1) Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles http://www.cedars-sinai.edu/pdf/CSSurvivorJan07-35200.pdf

(2) University of Virginia Cancer Center’s newsletter for survivors is entitled “Kia Ora”, an expression from the Maori (the indigenous people in New Zealand) with many meanings, one of which is “Be Alive!” in the same sense as I was discussing in my opening greeting. https://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/cancer-patients/support/education/kiaora.cfm

H. Recently added to my web site:
1. http://www.pregnantwithcancer.org - includes the name of a physician who will consult with an oncologist about using chemotherapy during a pregnancy and compile and keep confidential mother and baby health outcomes.
2. http://www.sharecancersupport.org - SHARE (Self-help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer) has been providing peer support for 30years for women with breast cancer and 11 years for women with ovarian cancer.
3. http://law.wisc.edu/patientadvocacy/ - The Center for Patient Partnerships at The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a non-profit organization founded by people who struggled finding optimal care for their own cancer diagnoses. Now they help others with cancer and other serious or chronic diseases make informed decisions and get the care they need, emphasizing the benefits to all by developing real partnerships with health care providers. There is no charge for their services. You do not need to be receiving your medical care at UW-Madison, and phone consultations are possible.


IV. New Research

A. Very obese fare worse after colon cancer diagnosis
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2006 Nov 15;98(22):1647-54.

Obese colon cancer patients with a body mass index > or = 35 kg/m2 have a 38% increased risk of recurrence of colon cancer compared to their normal-weight counterparts (BMI = 18.5 – 24.9) and also face 28% increased risk of dying from the disease during a 11+ year follow-up. No studies have yet been done to evaluate if losing weight after a colon cancer diagnosis and treatment improves prognosis, but healthy lifestyle changes can bring benefits that improve other medical conditions and overall quality of life, worthy goals in their own rights.

I also included research in one of my 2003 newsletters that reported increased risk of recurrence and death in colon cancer patients who also have diabetes.

^*^*^*^*^*^ Take Home Message ^*^*^*^*^*^
My recommendation for all people with a colon cancer diagnosis would be to proactively seek the evaluation and guidance of a Registered Dietitian (RD), but I would strongly urge you to do so if you have diabetes or are overweight. Don’t wait for the research studies to be started and completed (this could be years!), as you have everything to gain by incorporating nutrition into your comprehensive cancer care now.

B. More evidence for tea’s health-promotion abilities

(1) Journal of the Agricultural and Food Chemistry (published on-line ahead of print) “Structure-Activity Relationships of Tea Compounds against Human Cancer Cells”, M. Friedman, et al.

Friedman and his co-workers showed that various polyphenols from tea extracts, composed of nine green tea catechins, three black tea theaflavins, or theanine, can induce cell death in human breast, liver, colon, and prostate cancer. Green tea contains between 30 and 40 per cent of water-extractable polyphenols, while black tea contains between 3 and 10 per cent. Oolong tea is semi-fermented tea and is somewhere between green and black tea.

The researchers did not undertake mechanistic studies, but previous studies have suggested various tea compounds can induce programmed cell death (apoptosis), stop P450 enzymes that activate pro-carcinogens, stop the transmission of signals by tumor promoters, bind to damaged DNA usually involved in cancer promotion, or inhibit the formation of new blood vessels in the tumor (angiogenesis).

I still drink approximately 4 cups (about 1 quart) of green or black teas on a daily basis. I also carry green tea bags with me when I travel so I have plenty at the airport, in the hotel, and at a conference or speaking engagement.

There are a few clinical trials currently recruiting patients that are testing the effects of green tea (or an extract) on various types of cancer. Further information can be found at the following web site: http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct/gui/search?term=green+tea+cancer&submit=Search

(2) In addition, some older research has demonstrated that consuming 5 cups of tea per day (compared to coffee) for 4 weeks boosts the body’s ability to help fight infections nearly 5-fold (that is 500%!). (Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 May 13;100(10):6009-14. Epub 2003 Apr 28, Kamath, AB, et al). The compound isolated and found to be responsible for this benefit is called theanine, found in both black and green tea, This same compound was also tested in the more recent research and also found to have anti-cancer activity.

(3) However, try not to add milk to your tea (as is common in Great Britain and other places). Brand new research has demonstrated that the addition of milk negates the vascular health effects that reduce risk for cardiovascular disease (Eur Heart J 20007 Jan 9 Epub ahead of print, Lorenz M, et al).

(4) The combination of green tea and tamoxifen is effective against breast cancer (Carcinogenesis 2006 27(12):2424-2433, Sartippour, MR, et al)

The combination regimen is more potent than either agent alone at increasing cancer cell apoptosis (programmed cell death). In animal experiments, mice treated with both green tea and tamoxifen had the smallest breast tumor size, and the highest levels of apoptosis in tumor tissue, as compared with either agent administered alone. Also, the suppression of angiogenesis (blood vessel growth in tumors) correlated with larger areas of necrosis (cell death) and lower tumor blood vessel density in the mice that received breast cancer grafts. Green tea decreased levels of the estrogen receptors in tumors both in vitro and in vivo, and this is the first study to show the interaction of green tea with the ER pathway, as well as provide evidence that the combination of green tea and tamoxifen is more potent than either agent alone in suppressing breast cancer growth.

^*^*^*^*^*^ Take Home Message ^*^*^*^*^*^
Drink up and enjoy your tea!

C. Olive oil reduces damage to cells’ genetic material (FASEB J 2006 Nov 16, Epub ahead of print, Machowetz, A, et al)

A study was conducted in 182 European men (from both northern and southern countries) evaluating oxidative damage to cells’ genetic material (DNA), a process that can be the beginning step to cancer. The study demonstrated that consumption of 1/4 cup of olive oil daily for two weeks led to a 13% reduction in a biomarker called 8oxodG, an indicator of oxidative damage to cells’ DNA.

In addition to containing healthy mono-unsaturated fats, olive oil contains numerous phytochemicals that act as antioxidants. It was very interesting that the study was conducted so that the men consumed olive oils with varying amounts of these antioxidant molecules, which did not influence the results, thus the researchers believe the drop in the biomarkers may be related instead to the healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.

That amount of olive oil is approximately 480 calories (!!), which would need to be replacing other calories in the diet, most particularly saturated fats from foods like meats, butter, cream, and high fat cheeses. In addition, the low rates of breast, prostate, colon, and ovarian cancer in countries where people consume this much olive oil as part of their daily diet also are due to a diet and lifestyle that contain many more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean fish, and legumes, plus more daily exercise.

^*^*^*^*^*^ Take Home Message ^*^*^*^*^*^
Yes, consume more olive oil in 2007, but not without regard for how those calories are going to fit into your overall diet and lifestyle!

D. New prostate cancer research studies (these are for the fellas and the women who love you!)

(1) Obesity and Weight Gain Linked to Prostate Cancer Mortality

A new prospective study shows that obese men with adult weight gain (after age 18) are more likely to die from prostate cancer than men of normal weight, even though this study did not show they were more likely to develop the disease. (Cancer, February 15, 2007 issue, Wright, M, et al., ahead of print)

Compared with men with a BMI < 25 kg/m2, those who were overweight (BMI 25-29.9)had a 25% increased risk of death, mildly obese men (BMI 30-34.9) had a 46% higher risk, and severely obese men (BMI > 35) doubled their risk.

(2) Some studies have shown that obesity has been associated with increased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. However, another new study is the first to show that weight loss of 11# lowers the risk of developing an aggressive form of prostate cancer by 42% compared to men whose weight remained the same. (Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2007;16(1):OF1 – 7)

^*^*^*^*^*^ Take Home Message ^*^*^*^*^*^

Check your BMI at http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/ . Make 2007 your year to focus on improving your health, reducing your risk for developing prostate cancer, and at the same enhancing your overall quality of life!


V. Web site stats (just for fun!)

I gathered this information from my web site’s statistics for the year 2006 and thought it might be fun to share it with all of you, too.

• ~ 400,000 unique visitors (many people visit more than once)
• ~ 800,000 page views
• 156 countries
• Top 10 countries:

  United States
United Kingdom

Top 5 recipes
• Tabouli - http://cancerrd.com/Recipes/tabouli1.htm
• SuperSoy and Phytochemical Shake Recipe http://cancerrd.com/recipes/supersoy1.htm
• Fresh tomato soup - http://www.cancerrd.com/Recipes/freshtomatosoup1.htm
• Black olive tapenade - http://www.cancerrd.com/recipes/blackolivetapenade1.htm
• Easy Homemade Pizza - http://www.cancerrd.com/recipes/pizza1.htm

Top 5 FAQs
• Use of vitamins after bladder cancer - http://cancerrd.com/FAQs/FAQ50.htm
• Diarrhea after abdominal radiation therapy - http://www.cancerrd.com/FAQs/FAQ82.htm
• Flax use with prostate cancer - http://www.cancerrd.com/FAQs/FAQ67.htm
• Flax use with estrogen positive breast cancer http://www.cancerrd.com/FAQs/FAQ33.htm
• use of antioxidants during chemotherapy and radiation therapy - http://www.cancerrd.com/FAQs/FAQ37.htm


VI. Book Ordering Information

Both editions of A Dietitian's Cancer Story (English version ISBN13 is 978-0-9667238-3-0) and the Spanish version (ISBN13 is 978-9667238-2-3) can be ordered from any bookstore, library, Amazon.com, and directly from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) by calling 1-800-843-8114 or going to AICR's web site.

Discounts for orders of 10 or more copies are available for both editions by calling AICR at 1-800-843-8114 - asking to speak to Candis Navarrete. Many cancer centers, health care professional offices, and places of worship have ordered books in larger quantities to have available to give as educational and support information or to resell.

Bookstores and libraries may order directly from the book wholesalers Ingram or Baker & Taylor.

Personally autographed copies of A Dietitian's Cancer Story are now readily available through Nicola's Books in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It's easy to order the book directly from this full service independent bookstore at their web site, http://www.nicolasbooks.com , which has a space to indicate how you would like the book inscribed. They will happily mail the book anywhere in the world and have already sent copies with personalized autographs as far away as Australia and England.


VII - Newsletter forwarding guidelines

This e-mail newsletter may be reproduced, printed, or otherwise redistributed as long as it is provided in full and without any modification. Requests to do otherwise must be approved in writing by Diana Dyer. Please email that request to Newsletter3@CancerRD.com with "Reprint Request" in the subject line. Please tell me which section of my newsletter you are requesting to reprint and where it will be published.


VIII - New subscriptions to this newsletter

You may have received this newsletter because a friend forwarded it to you. If you wish to sign up for your own free subscription, please visit my web site at www.CancerRD.com , click on Newsletter and follow the directions. I aim to send the newsletter 4x/year. Be sure to add newscancerrd1@cancerrd.com to your list of accepted email addresses (i.e., spam filter).


IX - Removal from future Email updates from Diana Dyer

I know that life changes with time. Thus, if you are not interested in receiving future newsletters from me via Email, please unsubscribe at my web site http://cancerrd.com/newsletter.asp .

Those who choose to remain on this list can be assured that I will never share or sell your name or Email address to anyone.

Diana Grant Dyer, MS, RD - Author
A Dietitian's Cancer Story (English and Spanish translation)
Available from AICR (call 1-800-843-8114)
My Website: http://www.CancerRD.com

"Information and inspiration for cancer survivors"

Proceeds donated to the Diana Dyer Cancer Survivors'
Nutrition and Cancer Research Endowment at the
American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)

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