More Fruit, Veggies, Less Sugar, Red Meat
The recent loss of beloved actor Patrick Swayze to pancreatic cancer at age 57 is a sad but compelling prologue to November's Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Swayze lived a year and a half after diagnosis -- about three times the six month median survival time.Called the "stealth cancer," pancreatic cancer accounts for just 2% of new U.S.cancer cases -- yet is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths, in part because the cancer is so difficult to detect (tucked behind the small intestine, the pancreas is a small organ which produces insulin and releases enzymes that help aid digestion).As prevention is key, here are a few things you can do to minimize your risk:
- Eat more tomatoes, watermelon and guava -- all top sources of lycopene, which can help protect the pancreas, according to a University of Montreal study.
- Eat more Portobello Mushrooms -- a top source of vitamin D.A study by Northwestern University shows 400 IU of vitamin D daily can cut pancreatic cancer risk by 43%
- Eat at least two cups of vegetables a day -- yams, carrots, onions and dark leafy greens - to halve your pancreatic cancer risk, according to a study funded by the National Cancer Institute.Other research suggests a protective benefit from spinach, onions and cabbage, which respectively contain antioxidants kaempferol, quercetin and myricetin
- Load up on beans, artichokes and beets, which are among the top whole-food sources of folate, linked to lower pancreatic cancer risk.Supplements do not have the same benefit