Tomatoes may reduce kidney cancer risk

Tomatoes may reduce kidney cancer risk

A new study from Wayne State University shows that lycopene-rich foods such as tomatoes may reduce kidney cancer risk, specifically renal cell carcinoma (a type of kidney cancer).

Cathryn Bock, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor of Oncology at Wayne State University’s School of Medicine and her team discovered this after analyzing data from 96,196 women in the U.S. who participated in the Women’s Health Initiative from 1993 to 1998.

We were surprised to observe a protective effect of lycopene, as several previous studies in other populations did not detect a similar relationship,” Bock said.

The research team analyzed the link between kidney cancer risk and lycopene, along with other micronutrients such as vitamin C and E. During the study follow-up, 240 women were diagnosed with kidney cancer. Those who consumed lycopene had a 39 percent lower risk of renal cell carcinoma than those who reported a lower intake of lycopene. None of the other micronutrients studied were linked to a reduction in kidney cancer risk.

According to the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, there were 63,920 new cases of kidney and renal pelvis cancer in the year 2014, which accounted for 3.8 percent of all new cancer cases.

It is the eight-leading diagnosed cancer among women, and is often not discovered until an advanced stage.

Kidney cancer is a relatively rare cancer, and so focusing only on reducing risk of this disease would be short-sighted,” Bock said. “Rather, a diet focused on one’s own personal risk factors, such as family history, would be more beneficial,” she added.

A diet low in salt is recommended for women with a risk for hypertension, which is considered a major risk factor for kidney cancer. Now, women can also add lycopene-rich foods to their diets to aid in kidney cancer prevention.

Lycopene from food sources has also been associated with decreased risk of breast and prostate cancers, and a diet high in vegetables and fruits are generally well-accepted for promoting good health,” Bock said.

Some of the foods highest in lyocopene are guavas, watermelon, tomatoes, grapefruit, and sweet red peppers.

The study showing that lycopene-rich foods like tomatoes may reduce kidney cancer risk was published in the journal Cancer.

Note: None of the information in our website is intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. The content on our website is for educational purposes only.

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1. “Lycopene May Ward off Kidney Cancer in Older Women.” Wayne State University. Wayne State University, 2 Mar. 2015. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.
2. “Antioxidant Micronutrients and the Risk of Renal Cell Carcinoma in the Women’s Health Initiative Cohort.” Wiley Online Library. Cancer, 9 Oct. 2014. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.
3. “NHLBI Women’s Health Initiative (WHI).” National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health, n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.
4. “SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer.” National Cancer Institute. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2015.
5. “Top 10 Foods Highest in Lycopene.”, n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2015.

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