Monday, November 16, 2009

Fruit and vegetables (10) WHI and cancer

From Gary, just in case WHEL wasn't enough for you, a fruit and vegetables vs cancer study that I missed at the time. Moral: Don't bet your life on the gifts from plants. Look at the last line of the abstract for a some light entertainment:

"However, the nonsignificant trends observed suggesting reduced risk associated with a low-fat dietary pattern indicate that longer, planned, nonintervention follow-up may yield a more definitive comparison"

Invasive breast cancer at 0.42% in the eight years of fruit-n-veg vs 0.45% on the SAD. That's not much of a trend after you've employed 40 plus people for over eight years. As I see it all you can say, as per WHEL and PPT, is that they probably didn't kill anyone.



LeenaS said...

I wonder about the "not killing" prospect. If I remember right, the women in the WHI intervention group and with previous heart incidences had 25% higher recurrance of those than the ladies in the control group?

Then again, the study was on cancer, not on heart problems...

Peter said...

Ah LeenaS, yes, I'd forgotten that post. But perhaps this is a benefit... Which would I rather die of, cancer or a heart attack, assuming either was due to happen on the same day? But you are correct, a few extra heart attacks in that particular data trawl...


LeenaS said...

Heart attack is a gentle way to go, if compared to cancer. There's no doubt about that. Preferably without (or prior to) serious dementia too, if one could choose that for the near and dear?

Yet, reoccurring heart episodes seem to affect quality of life rather rudely, too? Mother had tumors/cancer for years and they were no fun, but the frequent minor strokes and the Parkinsons, which dad had in his late years, were not easier in the end. And auntie has told about her fears when having "heart attacks" as a kid, who was not thought to survive into adulthood.

Then again, it is sort of interesting to become "healthy" only in one's adult years, as happened to this auntie or myself.
- Her "heart attacks" stopped at her twenties, her back was operated 30 years later and lo, now she's outliving just about all in her kin, in spite of tobacco, sedentary life and a rather original lifestyle.
- And, as for myself, at 51, this is my tenth year on locarb and my tenth year without the chronic allergy-related problems. I guess that with genes like my folks, each day/week/year without prescription drugs could be taken as an extra bonus or blessing?

With regards,

Peter said...

Well that puts us in similar situations. Having lost both of my parents to fairly unpleasant cancers I tend to view a heart attack as a benign end. At the moment the difference seems to be that the heart attack seems to be somehow avoidable and cancer, once established, seems inexorable (with one or two exceptions). I would agree whole heartedly that a heart attack combined with years of peripheral vascular disease or dementia is not a benign disease process, here it might be a relief in the same way as pneumonia might be at the end stages of lung cancer.


Unknown said...

I can define cancer in my own term. It is as "like a worm" that'll eat you completely in a slight way. Its not only a sickness but an intolerable in all aspect.

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