Cancer, which has long been the second most common cause of mortality in
industrialized nations, is assuming an even more prominent role as the rate of
cardiovascular disease continues to decline.
The ultimate goal of carcinogenesis research is to achieve an understanding of
the processes involved in the induction of human cancer to an extent that will
allow intervention to prevent the disease,
In what was originally considered the Western world, lung cancer is among the
most frequently occurring cancers, particularly in men. In the period 1988–1992,
the incidence in men ranged from 99 per 100,000 per year in US Blacks to 24 per
100,000 per year in Sweden .
Worldwide, tobacco use causes an estimated 3 million deaths per year, and this
number is expected to rise to 10 million deaths annually by 2020. Tobacco smoking
and exposure to environmental (second-hand) tobacco smoke are the most
important risk factors for lung cancer.
Cancer of the prostate gland is the most common malignancy in men in
Europe, North America, and Australia, and its relative incidence is increasing
elsewhere. Little is definitively known regarding the etiology of this disease, however.
Cancer of the colon and rectum is the second most common cause of cancer
mortality in Westernized countries . Incidence rates vary approximately 20-
fold around the world.
Recent reviews in the epidemiologic literature have demonstrated the remarkably
consistent association between the low consumption of fruit and vegetables
and the incidence of cancer [1, 2].
Approximately 790,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the world
each year . Breast cancer is the third leading cancer worldwide. Rates of breast
cancer are generally higher in industrialized countries; these countries account for
close to 60% of cases diagnosed each year.
Epidemiological and experimental laboratory studies on nutrition and cancer
have provided strong evidence that diet, as well as other related variables such as
body mass and physical activity, can influence the risk of developing different
types of cancer.
Cancer of the pancreas, stomach, lung and colon often leads to a pronounced
wasting of body tissues which, if left unchecked, will eventually lead to the death
of the patient.
Approximately two thirds of patients who die with advanced cancer suffer
from cancer cachexia. Indeed, the degree of cachexia is inversely correlated with
the survival time of the patient and it always implies a poor prognosis. This syndrome
is characterized by marked weight loss, anorexia, asthenia and anemia .
Selection of a model is central to the design of an animal study of carcinogenesis
and cancer progression or metastasis. Cancer-associated malnutrition and its
dietary therapy in animals is the subject of literature which is marked by the lack
of a consensus approach to the use of models and dietary design.
Globally, the majority of patients diagnosed with cancer present for treatment
in a palliative rather than a curative therapy setting. This is true whether addressing
cancer in the poorest country or the richest.
Recent estimates of the annual number of hematopoietic stem cell transplants
(HSCTs) performed worldwide exceed 50,000 with the annual rate of increase at
Nutrition is a viable function. 20–50% of all tumor patients present with reduced
nutritional status before any therapy starts. Nevertheless mostly aggressive
multimodal therapy is necessary,
Protein-energy malnutrition is commonly associated with cancer. About 50%
of tumor-bearing patients present with various degrees of weight loss (WL) at the
time of diagnosis.
The limited benefit, if any, of standard parenteral (PN) or enteral nutrition
(EN) in cancer patients has led to the concept that the quantity of nutrients may
not be the only issue, and that qualitative modulation of nutritional substrates
could restore the nutritional and immunological status of the host, without enhancing
Cancer is the second most common cause of death after accidents in children.
The types of malignancies are very different from those in adults. The most prevalent
cancers are leukemia and lymphoma, brain tumor, soft-tissue sarcoma, neuroblastoma,
Wilm’s tumor, and bone cancer.
The process of conducting clinical cancer trials, particularly those dealing with nutritional
chemoprevention, is an extremely difficult one from a logistic perspective. The ideal endpoint
of such a study is the appearance of cancer. Nevertheless, using such an endpoint is
rather difficult and often impossible for several reasons.