Clean living could cut third of many cancers
By Michael Kahn
LONDON (Reuters) – Healthier living could prevent about a third of the most common cancers in rich countries and about a quarter in poorer ones, international researchers said on Thursday.
Better diets, more exercise and controlling weight could also prevent more than 40 percent of colon and breast cancer cases in some countries, according to the study which urged governments and individuals to do more to cut the number of global cancer deaths each year.
"At the time of publication, roughly 11 million people worldwide are diagnosed with cancer and nearly eight million people die from cancer each year," said Michael Marmot, who led the study from the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research.
"However, cancer is mostly preventable."
The study involved 23 experts who analyzed both the incidence of 12 common cancers across the world and data on diet, exercise and weight to see how these factors contributed to kidney, mouth, lung, gallbladder and the other cancers.
The researchers found that healthier living would prevent 43 percent of colon cancer cases and 42 percent of breast cancer cases in Britain, and 45 percent of bowel cancer and 38 percent of breast cancer cases in the United States.
The findings follow the same groups' study in 2007 that showed how quickly people grow and what they eat are both significant causes of cancer.
They recommended -- in line with what health experts, including governments and the U.N. World Health Organization, have long been advising -- that people follow diets based on fruits, vegetables and whole grains and go easy on red meats, dairy products and fats.
The team also looked at China and Brazil as representatives of low- and middle-income countries, respectively.
Overall improving diet, exercise and weight would in the United States prevent more than a third of the 12 most common cancers -- which also included stomach, womb (uterus), prostate, pancreas and esophagus tumors.
This amounted to 39 percent of the cancers in Britain, 30 percent in Brazil and 27 percent in China.
"This report shows that by making relatively straightforward changes, we could significantly reduce the number of cancer cases around the world," Marmot said in a statement.
"On a global level every year, there are millions of cancer cases that could have been prevented and this is why we need to act now before the situation gets even worse."
(Reporting by Michael Kahn, Editing by Will Dunham)
Happiness is Sunday Streets
Three years ago, my wife and I got to know an amazing 12 year old girl as a summer host family through www.Kidsave.org . When we traveled to Bogota to complete the adoption, people told us not to miss their Ciclovia. Every Sunday from 7am-2pm over 90 miles of roads are ‘opened’ to the people. Most walk, some jog, many ride bikes or rollerblade. Others simply enjoy watching the river of 700,000 (that's not a misprint) people going by. Every 8 miles or so, we would hear music. As we approached, we saw hundreds of people of all ages dancing along with aerobics instructors. Smiles and laughter abounded. Happiness. Happiness in a city once known only for its’ violence, poverty and despair.
I asked people in Bogota what they would do if Ciclovia were taken away. They always reacted with shock at such a thought. They look at Ciclovia as an essential part of city living. As their mayor, Enrique Penalosa said: “As a bird needs to fly… people need to walk.”
I wondered which cities in the United States provided this great event for all ages, incomes, backgrounds, abilities.. Imagine my surprise to learn that there wasn’t a single one! (Until recently. El Paso, held the first Ciclovia in the US for four Sundays.)
Back in Baltimore, my daughter wondered why there was no Ciclovia here. We now have an opportunity to realize hers, and our mayors, vision of a cleaner, healthier, greener, and safer city with Ciclovia. Baltimore will someday launch Ciclovia, now called Sunday Streets. I envision Sunday Streets as our very own physical internet; An open network of human interactions that allows everyone full access in attaining our inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There’s that word again. Happiness.
The possibilities are limitless: micro entrepreneurs selling their services, community tours, exercise classes , biking and skating classes, matinee performances, and a venue for our hardworking nonprofits to hold special events.
Depending on how much we all participate, we may see it become a city fixture with increasing mileage and different routes into the future. I see many opportunities for my fellow bloggers and their audacious ideas to play a role as well….Now it’s time for us all to get outside and have some fun together!
Although the weather caused school closings in many counties approximately 400 to 500 people attended. Additionally, there were twenty exhibitors displaying projects and engaging the audience. The high attendance indicates that people care deeply about promoting bicycling as a means of alternative transportation. As our population grows it is critical that a safe infrastructure, along with laws protecting bicyclists, are intact.
John Porcari, Maryland Secretary of Transportation, gave an upbeat report on MDOT’s work on Bike Projects in Maryland and Delegate Jon Cardin Chair of the Legislative Bike Caucus gave an overview of the many Bike Bills being considered this session in Annapolis. Jim Swift, Chairman of the Maryland Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (MBPAC), gave a presentation on MBPAC. Presenters Charlie Denney of Alta Planning + Design, Stephanie Yanovitz of VHB, and Bill Schultheiss of Toole Design kept all the audience in their seats before lunch by educating the attendees on bicycle safety and answering questions.
Senator Jim Rosapepe presented Senator Brian Frosh with an outstanding Bike Accomplishment award from Bike Maryland and Jim and Jane Hudnall received a special Bike Maryland Award for all their many years of making these Symposia successful. Bill Kelly was presented a Senate Proclamation by Senator Rosapepe for his many years of Bike Service to the Maryland. The symposium takes place because of the many hours of volunteer service Bill and Jim dedicate to the coordination of the event. The awards were followed by interesting and informative talks from Eric Gilliland of WABA, Sergeant Chris Davala of the Maryland State Police and the International Police Mountain Bike Association, and Caron Whitaker of America Bikes.
The symposium was taped by John Wetmore and the recording will be linked to the Bike Maryland website. Bike Maryland’s new website will be up by month’s end with exciting opportunities for interacting with you through a blog, action alerts and more!
Bike Maryland is a non-profit organization that really needs your help during this tough period to continue to advocate and produce events like the Symposium that are free to the public. To make a donation by check please make the check payable to Bike Maryland and mail to: Bike Maryland, 1209 North Calvert Street, Baltimore, MD 21202. To donate via credit card visit https://www.z2systems.com/np/clients/onelesscar/donation.jsp.
Save the date of October 4th 2009 for this year’s Tour du Port - Baltimore’s Premier Bicycling Event! There will be rides from 14 to 40 miles and we are working to develop a 63-mile metric century as well. All proceeds go to Bike Maryland to promote bicycle use and safety. On the day after Tour Du Port, (Monday Oct, 5, 2009) the Fall Bike Forum will take place at John Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, MD from 6 to 9 p.m.
Thank you all!
Carol Silldorff, M.P.A.
1209 North Calvert Street
Baltimore, MD 21202
carol at onelesscar dot org