NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - New research from Canada suggests that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables may help prevent pancreatic cancer, a particularly deadly type of tumor.
The findings, based on a comparison of 585 pancreatic cancer patients and about 4,779 adults without the disease, suggest that the risk of the cancer declines as fruit and vegetable intake increases. Among cancers, pancreatic tumors have one of the most dismal survival rates, with less than 5 percent of patients still alive 5 years after diagnosis. The poor prognosis is in large part due to the fact that the disease is rarely caught early.
Because of this, uncovering the modifiable risk factors for the disease is vital, according to Dr. Parviz Ghadirian of the University of Montreal, one of the authors of the new study. Using data from a large study of Canadians diagnosed with cancer between 1994 and 1997, Ghadirian and his colleagues found that higher intakes of fresh fruit and cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, were associated with a lower risk of pancreatic cancer.
For reasons that are unclear, the relationship was confined to men; those with the highest fruit and vegetable intakes were about half as likely to develop pancreatic cancer as those with the lowest intakes. There was no clear association between diet and pancreatic cancer risk among women