Infographic: Indoor Tanning in Missouri

Can preteen kids tan indoors?  The surprising answer in Missouri is most often “yes,” found a new study that surveyed indoor tanning facilities in the state (study; media release).  This infographic highlights that and other disturbing findings that paint an unattractive picture in one of 17 states nationwide that don’t regulate the practice of indoor […]

Hey, Mom & Dad, Early Life Can Be Important for Breast Cancer Risk

A little while back we developed a brief card focusing on the importance of early life exposures in determining breast cancer risk.  With this week marked by a new NIH report pushing for greater emphasis on breast cancer prevention (report) and the launch of our newest 8 Ways brochure, 8IGHT WAYS to Prevent Breast Cancer […]

8IGHT WAYS to Prevent Breast Cancer: The Extended “+plus” Version

As part of the launch of our new brochure 8IGHT WAYS to Prevent Breast Cancer, we’ve also posted an online version with more details on the science and causal mechanisms behind each “way.” Still written in accessible language the “+plus” version simply provides more information for professionals and the public alike who want to delve […]

New NIH Report on Breast Cancer Prevention and a New 8IGHT WAYS

A new report from NIH’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences emphasizes the importance of cross-discipinary efforts to prevent breast cancer (report). As a complement to the findings of the report – Breast Cancer and the Environment: Prioritizing Prevention – we’re excited to launch our latest publication in our 8IGHT WAYS series:  8IGHT WAYS to […]

Coke, Calories, and Obesity: Junk Food Greenwashing?

The new two minute Coca Cola video (“Coming Together”)  touting the company’s efforts to combat weight gain while urging everyone to “come together” to work against the rising tide of obesity is at once daring and laughable.  There is a great deal to critique in the well-produced ad (seeking praise for developing new artificial sweeteners, for one), […]

Smoking kills, half die

Again last week we had updated data reported in the New England Journal of Medicine showing more that half of deaths among smokers are due to smoking related diseases that are in fact caused by smoking. These cancer heart disease and vascular conditions could be avoided by stopping smoking. Life expectancy is substantially reduced among […]

More Walking, Less Sitting Extend Survival in Colon Cancer Patients

A new study by the American Cancer Society (ACS) finds that putting on the walking shoes and staying off the couch can extend the lives of colon cancer survivors.  The findings reinforce the latest recommendations from the American College of Sports Medicine that cancer patients should – whenever possible – be regularly active as well as […]

New Analysis Adds Solid Evidence Linking Sugary Soda and Weight

Photo courtesy of bardgabbard  Adding even more weight to the evidence that sugary drinks play an important role in weight is a new analysis showing that even short term increases in soda intake can lead to weight gain.  In the analysis, which appears online in the British Medical Journal, researchers from New Zealand combined the results from […]

Tanning Industry Fights the Blistering Truth: That Tanning Beds Raise the Risk of Melanoma and Other Skin Cancers

A recent article in MedPage Today highlighted the birth of a new tanning salon industry-sponsored group that has the sole intent of refuting well-established and peer-reviewed science showing the dangers of tanning bed use. The new group – the American Suntanning Association (ASA) – which, intentionally or not, seemed to receive cozy treatment in the article, has […]

Glycemic Load, Overall Health, and a New Study on Colon Cancer Survival

“Glycemic index.”  It’s a term that likely rings a bell, but unless you’re a dietician or research scientist, you can certainly be excused for not knowing exactly what it is and why it’s even important.  But, like a lot of similar concepts, it’s really not that complicated once you look into it a little bit. […]

Going for the gold: Olympic medalists live longer than the rest of us

The Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) is always high in entertainment value, containing as it does a number of off-kilter papers that still manage to inform.  The 2012 issue is marked by papers like, Why Rudolph’s nose is red and The tooth fairy and malpractice.  One of the more straightforward pieces, which still managed […]

AHA’s 2012 Heart Disease Advances and What They Mean for Cancer

The American Heart Association (AHA) just released its top 10 list of research accomplishments for 2012.  Most are quite heart-specific (unsurprisingly), but two of the ten highlight something we’ve often highlighted on this blog and in our risk assessment app and websites: that major chronic diseases share many of the same risk factors. “6. Why […]

Dept. of Diversity: Cancer-Related Risk Factors in Hispanics

A report last month in the American Cancer Society’s journal CA detailed the rates of cancer-related risk factors in US Hispanics/Latinos (report), and one of the parts of the report that stood out to us were the rates of certain behaviors in adolescents that could have implications for cancer risk later in life. As we’ve […]

Go Ahead, Enjoy that Java: Coffee and Health

Maybe it’s the devotion it garners; or that it can cause the jitters; or simply that so many people enjoy it so much.  But for a very long time, coffee’s been assumed to be on the healthy lifestyle black list.  And even as more and more evidence comes out that it has very few, if […]

Researchers ask “Is everything we eat linked with cancer?”

The answer’s “No,” but here’s why it can seem that way In the early 80’s, the singer/songwriter Joe Jackson captured in the refrain of his song “Cancer” a frustrated sentiment many people were feeling back then – and not surprisingly still do now – that: “Everything gives you cancer.” Even in the 80’s – at the cusp of […]

Taking the Stairs – For Fun

Yesterday, we wrote a post about the growing use of stand-up desks as a way to cut down on the amount of time workers sit throughout the day.   That an everyday item, like a desk, could help affect a key health behavior, made the trend a good example of how important our environment (those […]

Born Between 1945 – 1965? It May Be Time to Add a Blood Test to Your To-Do List

Update: Final published recommendation: The USPSTF recommends screening for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in persons at high risk for infection. The USPSTF also recommends offering 1-time screening for HCV infection to adults born between 1945 and 1965. (Grade: B) It seems it’s time to add one more item to the list of effective screening tests […]

Exercise Lessens Fatigue and Raises Quality of Life in Cancer Survivors

Going through cancer diagnosis and treatment is a draining experience – both physically and mentally – so it’s only natural that many survivors may want to just take a load off and not expend too much extra energy during their days.  Yet, a new report out of the Cochrane Collaboration suggests survivors may be denying […]

Lessons for Prevention and Public Health from Hurricane Sandy

The magnitude of spending to repair damage from the mega-storm Hurricane Sandy is a useful reminder of how we allocate resources for health. We spend far more on repair or treatment of disease than on prevention. Population health focuses on improving the health of the entire population and reducing inequalities in health between populations. In […]

Early Life and Later Breast Cancer Risk: “Hey, Mom & Dad”

“Breast cancer” and “youth” are two terms not often linked together.  But there’s a growing body of evidence showing that certain factors early in life – like diet, activity, and weight – can have an important impact on a woman’s breast cancer risk later in life.  To help parents guide their daughters toward optimal breast health […]

Breast cancer prevention

Overwhelming evidence indicates that the majority of breast cancer can be prevented with what we know now (see slide show: “Integrating Risk Across the Lifespan: The Case of Breast Cancer Prevention“). Let me review some of the justification for this statement. We know that we know from migrant studies that the rates of breast cancer vary […]

Two Tools for Estimating Breast Cancer Risk: Your Disease Risk & Zuum

It’s National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so what better time to post about our two tools that can estimate a woman’s risk of the disease and provide personalized tips for prevention?   Our long-running website Your Disease Risk is a scientifically validated tool that provides a detailed look at the factors that can increase and […]

Quiet the din to cut calories at dinner

The New York Times ran a piece (story) this morning on a new study providing further evidence that our surroundings can have an important impact on how much we eat.  In the study (study), researchers Brian Wansink and Koert van Ittersum created a quiet, soothing dining area in a fast food restaurant and analyzed whether […]

Advancing biology of “normal DNA” and understanding of tumors all point to prevention

At UICC, World Cancer Congress (August 28, 2012), Dr. Blackburn ( emphasizes that telomere length reflects accumulated stresses and that shortening telomeres are related to increased risk of cancer and other chronic diseases typically associated with aging. Importantly, shortening accumulates across the life course. The growing biologic understanding of this measure of DNA stability turns […]

Healthy Eating: Balance and Moderation

Healthy eating gets a bad rap.  It’s difficult to know exactly where things went awry, but it’s hard to deny that a lot of people these days associate healthy eating with a too-restrictive, tasteless collection of food rules.  Veer too far from bran fiber and distilled water and people half expect a stern dietician to […]

Spring Toward Cancer Prevention: CNiC in the News

It’s been an active spring for Cancer News in Context staff, particularly so for its executive editor, Graham Colditz, who has had a number of events and published pieces which have grabbed positive media attention. Most recent was a journal article – co-authored with Sarah Gehlert and CNiC contributor Kate Wolin – in Science Translational Medicine, […]

Population Health Sciences. Washington University School of Medicine.

Schroeder has argued that much of our health and wellness is within our reach, and that behavior may account for 30 to 40% of our disease burden. He notes that we can improve our international ranking on many measures of health through simply implementing things we already know. Likewise we recently made the case for vastly […]

Further evidence that alcohol causes breast cancer

The development of breast cancer spans decades. Wellings set forth a model of cellular changes in his seminal papers describing cell changes in normal breast tissue and the progression to advanced benign lesions, ductal carcinoma in situ, and invasive breast cancer 1. Our previous work on adolescent and early adult alcohol intake and breast cancer […]

Risk, Benefits, and Low Use of Chemoprevention for Breast Cancer

Medications proven to prevent breast cancers in women at high risk of the disease have been approved for use in the United States since 1998, but only a surprisingly small percentage of women actually choose to use these drugs.   A new Susan G. Komen Perscpectives article – co-written by CNiC staff – explores this […]

The Titanic and The Health Divide

by Hank Dart While tragic events can bring the issue of inequality to the headlines every once in a while, it’s more often a problem that lives under the radar of most people.  Yet, as the gaps between rich and poor continue to grow wider and wider and health care coverage remains an important issue, […]

“Your Disease Risk” to be Featured in NCI Webinar on Risk Assessment Tools

Don’t miss out.  Our award-winning website Your Disease Risk ( will be a featured part of next week’s NCI webinar: “Communication Science and Online Risk Assessment Tools.” Launched in January 2000, Your Disease Risk has been a steady and trust-worthy source of personalized estimates of disease risk and tips for prevention. Drs Graham Colditz and […]

You Can Prevent Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer kills over 50,000 Americans each year. Lung cancer is the only cancer that kills more people. Both men and women can get colorectal cancer, and it usually strikes those over the age of 50. The good news: Colorectal cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. No matter what your age, there is a […]

Cancer capacity building in Guatemala

As part of our current training program at Washington University in St. Louis in collaboration with Instituto Nacional de Cancerología (National Cancer Institute, INCAN, Guatemala) (funded by Fogarty International Center, NIH: 1R24TW008820-01), we have held our third annual scientific meeting in Guatemal. 1,2 Our pilot program trained Washington University and INCAN participants in research methodology, […]

(Video) Eight Ways to Prevent Cancer – Exercise

Next up in the Eight Ways to Prevent Cancer video series: Exercise. CNiC’s Dr. Kate Wolin walks us through the huge benefits we get from exercise, including a lower risk of heart disease and diabetes, on top of the cancer benefits many people may not be aware of. The video also highlights the fantastic progress […]

Doctors Doing Better but Still Avoiding Talks About Overweight Kids

Though doctors are doing better than they used to, the vast majority are still not telling the parents of overweight kids that their kids are overweight. In a new study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (study), researchers asked the parents of close to 5,000 kids aged 2 – 15 years who were […]

(Video) Inequality and Health – Richard Wilkinson on TED

At CNiC, we’re big fans of many of the TED presentations, the way they often communicate complex ideas through the use of effective displays of hard data.   One recent TED post we like is a sixteen minute presentation by Richard Wilkinson on the impact of economic inequality on a wide range of issues that relate […]

Smoking causes bladder cancer

The 2004 report of the Surgeon General on the health consequences of smoking concluded that smoking causes bladder cancer (see details in report). Little surprise then today that another large prospective study following older US adults for approximately 10 years shows smoking is directly related to increased risk of bladder cancer. As women and men […]

The Obesity Epidemic from a Personal Perspective

National Public Radio (NPR) is running a new series of stories over the next few months on the obesity epidemic, called Living Large: Obesity in America.  Monday’s piece in the series featured a woman named Kara Curtis and was an amazing profile that detailed on a very personal level what makes the battle against obesity […]

Effective Ovarian Cancer Screening Still Elusive, New Results Show

A new report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that a combination of screening tests for ovarian cancer had no benefit over the usual medical check-ups most women would have received. The large study – part of the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Randomized Controlled Trial – looked […]

New Study Shows Quick Steps Provide Prostate Cancer Benefits

In our new brochure, Cancer Survivors’ 8 Ways to Stay Healthy After Cancer, we really push the importance of exercise as a way to boost mood, improve overall health, and possibly cut the risk of cancer recurrence. Backing up this latter benefit is a new prostate cancer study that found that regular brisk walking could […]

Vitamin D does not protect against premenopausal breast cancer

In a predominantly premenopausal population, Eliassen and colleagues evaluated plasma vitamin D levels (25-hydroxyvitamin D) and risk of invasive breast cancer (see article).  During up to 10 years of follow-up after blood samples were collected some 613 cases of breast cancer were confirmed in this cohort. In a detailed analysis that accounted for breast cancer […]

(Video) “8 Ways” Campaign Kickoff: Is It Possible to Prevent Cancer?

After toiling for a number of years as a companion piece to our popular Your Disease Risk website, our 8 Ways to Stay Healthy and Prevent Cancer is finally breaking out and into its own spotlight (link; PDF).  For the next ten months, the 8 Ways will be the cornerstone of a health promotion campaign in a partnership […]

Folate protects against colon cancer

The potential for folate to protect against colon cancer remains a question debated in the scientific literature. In part this is fed by short term studies of supplementation and the potential for an adverse effect in this setting where folate may promote the final development of colon cancer. 1 However, across a larger number of […]

Preventing cancer now – environmental causes are a small piece of puzzle

Attention is drawn to the environmental causes of cancer again this week with a perspective written in the New England Journal of Medicine that calls for expanding the resources of the NIH for investigating environmental causes of cancer.   At a time when budgets are being threatened, and in particular prevention efforts “which have no […]

Biomedical research to advance human heath

Recent articles call for speeding the translation from discovery and documentation of the human genome and application to clinical medicine and public health. In addition in the New England Journal of Medicine, Moses and Martin 1 identify gaps and opportunities for biomedical research. They note the need for greater collaboration and new models of collaboration […]

We’re Back – With ENERGY, 8 Ways, and the New Dietary Guidelines

The CNiC team hasn’t gone on a month long vacation (though that sure sounds nice with the snow we’ve had). We’re just been busy with writing grants and papers and gearing up for some other exciting things around here. We’ll be back with real content shortly, but in the meantime, here are some of what’s […]