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Reuters Health Information (2007-01-02): Diet seen to affect hepatocellular cancer risk


Diet seen to affect hepatocellular cancer risk

Last Updated: 2007-01-02 11:45:43 -0400 (Reuters Health)

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Certain foods, among them milk and fruit, appear to reduce the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), according to Italian researchers.

Their study, Dr. Renato Talamini told Reuters Health, "indicated that diet has a relevant role in the risk of this cancer. As for other types of cancer, particularly fruits and vegetables seem to confer a protective effect."

As reported in the December 15th issue of the International Journal of Cancer, Dr. Talamini of Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Aviano and colleagues conducted a hospital-based study of 185 HCC patients and 412 controls without neoplastic disease.

Responses to dietary questionnaires showed a significant inverse correlation between intake of various foods and HCC risk. After adjustment, the odds ratio with high intakes of milk and yoghurt was 0.28. For white meat, it was 0.44, for eggs, the corresponding value was 0.31 and for fruit, it was 0.48. However, overall the apparently protective effects of vegetables did not reach significance.

The researchers observe that the findings held good for patients with hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infection.

Summing up, Dr. Talamini added that from an HCC prevention point of view one should "adopt a correct diet, rich in fruits and vegetables." Also important, he added, "is limiting consumption of alcohol beverages and avoiding HCV infection by practicing safe sex and eliminating needle sharing."

Int J Cancer 2006;119:2916-2921.

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