Diet and Breast Cancer: insights from the EPIC study

two hands offering fresh spinach leaves up to the camera

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) [i] study is one of the world’s largest ongoing cohort studies[ii], following over half a million people from ten European countries for almost fifteen years. Among its main objectives is to understand the influence that diet, nutrition, lifestyle and environmental factors have on the incidence of cancer and other chronic illnesses.

The study’s recent findings on breast cancer are particularly revealing, and affect younger and older women in different ways.

by Professor Luis Costa Weight gain may increase risk The EPIC study confirms a strong connection between excess body weight and increased incidence of breast cancer in menopausal women. Moreover, post-surgery weight gain has been found to increase the risk of cancer recurrence. The majority of breast cancers contain hormonal receptors (oestrogens and/or progesterone receptors) and are considered hormone-dependent in some way. However, the increased incidence of breast cancer due to high BMI (body mass index) is observed both in cancers showing hormonal receptors and in those with none at all. The challenge for scientists and doctors is to understand what exactly occurs in Read more

Don’t let your holidays get you down

a man sitting in his office staring sadly at a globe You’re on the last few days of your holiday. You’re lying on the beach, soaking up the sun and enjoying thinking about how nice it’s been to be away from the office…the morning commute, the endless emails… “Don’t think about it”, you tell yourself. But sure enough, as the day goes on, this feeling sets in. An aching sort of pain all over, upset stomach, irritability…maybe it was something you ate? Although it’s known as post-vacation stress syndrome (PVS), the physical and emotional symptoms associated with going back to work or daily routine can begin even before your holiday ends. From Read more

Slow and steady wins the race: an interview with Dr John Mayhew

a young woman jogging, followed in the distance by a young man

Best Doctors asks renowned sports medicine specialist Dr John Mayhew for key advice that everyone should keep in mind before heading out on the road or the treadmill. Whether you are a seasoned athlete or just getting started with a new sport, read on for insight on how you can lessen your risk of injury and reap the greatest fitness benefits.

Dr John Mayhew is an Auckland-based consultant in Sports Medicine who has served as advisor and consultant for a number of New Zealand sports associations and teams, including New Zealand Rugby and New Zealand Squash. Chairman of the Australia and New Zealand Insurance Medical Association, he is currently team doctor for the New Zealand Warriors of the National Rugby League and is the former team doctor and chief medical advisor for the All Blacks, New Zealand’s national rugby team. For how long has jogging been a popular exercise option, in your opinion? Is it something that has only recently become popular? Regular Read more