Pancreas carcinoma remains one of the most deadliest of all cancers. I personally lost a very loved grandmother to this terrible disease. I hope to bring insight in this section in dedication to her love for me as a child. Eighty percent of all those inflicted with pancreatic carcinoma are between the ages of 60 and 80. Blacks and men seem more susceptible. The United States and Western Europe have some of the highest rates. Less than 10 percent of this disease is thought to be family or genetic related. Smoking, cholesterol, meats, and high intake of dietary fat seem to increase risk. Vegetables, fruits, Vitamin C and fiber have shown to decrease risk. Interestingly, coffee, tea, and alcohol showed no relationship.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in both men and women. Smoking is the number one risk factor by far. The type of cell cancers in the lung tissue has been changing from squamous to basal cell. This is probably due to changes to menthol cigarettes. There is strong support that fruits and vegetables are protective against lung cancer. Green vegetables seem to be the most beneficial. Tomatoes, green tea, garlic, broccoli, carrots, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have strong support behind them to show protective value. One interesting point was two studies in smokers with 25,000 IU’s of beta-carotene supplementation showed increased risk in lung tumor development. This was in total contrast to what researchers expected. Several explanations could explain this result. The first was that they didn’t use mix carotenoids of which there are over 600. Research showed alpha-carotenoids are more protective than beta-carotene.
Some biologists preach about using the whole herb because of synergistic or combined effect of nutrients working together. This same theory could, and probably does, hold true for some conditions of the carotene family. I guess what I am saying is that they may work better together instead of being separated. Other explanations are that beta-carotene can act as an oxidizing agent in an increased oxygen environment. Oxidation is the opposite effect you want to protect the smoker. Oxidation causes more free radicals. Smoking is taken up in another section.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories interestingly also have shown to decrease risk of lung cancer. It probably does this by its anti-inflammatory effect. It inhibits prostaglandins, a hormone that stimulates inflammation. Inflammation has a growth effect on cells. Anything that has a long-term growth effect increases cancer risk. By inhibiting this roundabout growth effect, you decrease your risk of cancer. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are not recommended due to their increased risk of osteoarthritis, increased kidney and liver damage, and GI ulcer formation. Decreases in N-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids and increases in fish oil has the same effect on the body, with the less toxic effects. I know of no study that tried this.