Oncology Central

Linking lifestyle factors and esophageal cancer risk – interview with Susannah Brown

Within recent weeks, our colleagues at the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) have released the latest report from their Continuous Update Project, which analyzed worldwide research into the link between various lifestyle factors and the development of esophageal cancer.

WCRF describe this report as “the most rigorous, systematic, global analysis of the scientific research currently available on diet, weight, physical activity and esophageal cancer, and which of these factors increase or decrease the risk of developing the disease.”

Following this release, we spoke with Susannah Brown (Scientific Programme Manager – Research Evidence at WCRF) about esophageal cancer, the work the WCRF independent panel carried out for this CUP report and what the main findings were.

OC: For those of our audience who are not aware, please could you give us a quick introduction to WCRF and the work you have been carrying out in the Continuous Update Project?

SB: World Cancer Research Fund is the world’s leading authority on cancer prevention research related to diet, weight and physical activity. Since it started in 1982, World Cancer Research Fund has been a pioneer in research and health information on the link between food, nutrition, physical activity and the prevention of cancer.

The Continuous Update Project is our ongoing programme to analyze global research on how diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight affect cancer risk and survival. Among experts worldwide it is a trusted, authoritative scientific resource, which underpins current guidelines and policy for cancer prevention.

The findings from the Continuous Update Project will be used to update our recommendations for cancer prevention, which are at the core of all our health promotion and policy activities, ensuring that everyone – from policy makers to members of the public – has access to the most up-to-date information on how to minimize the risk of developing cancer.

OC: You have just released your latest CUP report, looking into how diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight affect risk and survival in esophageal cancer – what work was involved in the completion of this report? Who was involved?

SB: As part of the Continuous Update Project, scientific research from around the world is collated and added to a database on an ongoing basis and systematically reviewed by a team at Imperial College London (UK). For this report, 46 studies were looked at, covering 15 million adults of whom 31,000 were diagnosed with esophageal cancer. An independent panel of experts then evaluated and interpreted the evidence to make conclusions based on the body of scientific evidence. Their conclusions will form the basis for reviewing our Cancer Prevention Recommendations in 2017.

OC: What were the main findings of the report?

The main findings of this report included the following:

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