The President's Cancer Panel Report

Between September 2008 and January 2009, the President’s Cancer Panel convened four meetings to assess the state of environmental cancer research, policy, and programs addressing known and potential effects of environmental exposures on cancer. The Panel received testimony from 45 invited experts from academia, government, industry, the environmental and cancer advocacy communities, and the public. This report summarizes the Panel’s findings and conclusions.

The incidence of some cancers, including some most common among children, is increasing for unexplained reasons.

Our nation still has much work ahead to identify the many existing but unrecognized environmental carcinogens and eliminate those that are known from our workplaces, schools, and homes.

While BPA has received considerable media coverage, the public remains unaware of many common environmental carcinogens such as naturally occurring radon and manufacturing and combustion by-products such as formaldehyde and benzene. Most also are unaware that children are far more vulnerable to environmental toxins and radiation than adults.

Efforts to inform the public of such harmful exposures and how to prevent them must be increased. All levels of government, from federal to local, must work to protect every American from needless disease through rigorous regulation of environmental pollutants.

American Cancer Society
Why good nutrition is important

From the American Cancer Society guide: Nutrition For Children With Cancer

Good nutrition is especially important when a child has cancer. Eating the right kinds of foods before, during, and after treatment can help a child feel better and stay stronger.

Eating well during cancer treatment might help your child:

  • Better tolerate treatment and treatment side effects

  • Stay closer to the treatment plan schedule

  • Heal and recover faster

  • Have less risk of infection during treatment

  • Have better strength and energy

  • Keep up their weight and their body’s store of nutrients

  • Do better at keeping up normal growth and development

  • Feel better and have a better quality of life – they are less irritable, sleep better, and work better with the health care team

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

It is estimated that as many as two-thirds of all cancer cases are linked to environmental causes, and this number may even be higher. Children are highly vulnerable to the negative health consequences associated with many environmental exposures. Children receive proportionately larger doses of environmental toxicants than adults, and the fact that their organs and tissues are rapidly developing makes them particularly susceptible.

The Dana Farber Cancer Institute

A healthful diet can help rebuild your body’s cells and energy level, especially if you are receiving chemotherapy or radiation treatment. We recommend that all our patients follow the Optimal Diet Plan for cancer, and eat a primarily plant-based diet. The Optimal Diet for cancer patients and survivors emphasizes fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, foods rich in healthy fats like omega-3 and mono-unsaturated fats and lean protein sources.

Harvard Health Publications
Healthy Eating: A guide to the new nutrition

Prepared by the editors of Harvard Health Publications with nutrition editor Teresa Fung, Sc.D., R.D., L.D.N., Nutrition Department, Harvard School of Public Health. 48 pages. (2011)

Healthy eating is easier than ever. That’s because we know so much more about what a healthy diet looks like than we did even five years ago. Choosing healthy foods based on good science remains the best known way to reduce your chances of developing heart disease and diabetes and to help ward off hypertension, osteoporosis, and some forms of cancer.

We’ve known for many years that certain foods promote good health — especially fruits, vegetables, fiber, plant oils, and whole grains. Eating more whole foods — unprocessed foods with few ingredients listed on the label, isn’t all that difficult. It takes a little organizing to have the ingredients on hand and the right equipment, but actually putting it all together takes just minutes. There are many ways to get away from factory-processed foods laden with fat, sugar, and salt.