Lifestyle and cancer: Questions answered, myths debunked

April 12, 2015 | by Valerie Zapanta

Sure, a healthy lifestyle can lower a person’s risk, but the impact of specific actions is harder to tease out. Diet, exercise, tobacco use, nutritional supplements, alcohol consumption ... How important are each of these factors, individually? Does strict adherence to (or rejection of) one get you a pass on the others?

Hold off on the binge. Amid so much confusion about lifestyle and cancer, why not ask the experts at City of Hope? They can debunk misconceptions about cancer while sharing cancer facts that matter, such as the reality of risk factors, prevention measures and the research underway at City of Hope.

Join us on April 25 in Simi Valley, California, for Ask the Experts "Cancer Urban Legends: Lifestyle" and hear physicians explain the connection between lifestyle and cancer, specifically the underlying facts of how our choices impact our health.

Moderator Vijay Trisal M.D., medical director of City of Hope's community practices and an associate clinical professor of surgical oncology, will lead the discussion. The featured panelists are Suzy Melkonian, M.D., assistant clinical professor at City of Hope | Santa Clarita and Mission Hills; Elizabeth Lynn Meyering, M.D., assistant clinical professor at City of Hope | Simi Valley; and Wei-Chien Michael Lin, M.D. , associate clinical professor at City of Hope | Mission Hills.

Below, Melkonian, Meyering, Lin and Trisal offer a preview of their event, listing some common cancer questions and concerns they hear from patients. (Watch the April 25 live stream or R.S.V.P. to attend, and to find out why these statements are true or false.)

Vijay Trisal:

“If surgery is part of my cancer treatment plan, will exposing cancer to air make my cancer grow faster?” (No.)

Suzy Melkonian:

“Does heavy alcohol consumption increase one’s risk for breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, head and neck cancer or liver cancer?” (Yes.)

“Do testosterone injections increase the risk of prostate cancer?” (It's possible.)

Elizabeth Meyering:

“Alkalinized water, as well as sugar, is helpful for preventing the growth of cancer.” (No.)

Weih-Chian Michael Lin:

“How will my sex life be affected now that I was diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer?” (This is too complex for a simple answer.)

“Do hormone replacements, after a diagnosis of gynecologic cancer, stimulate cancer recurrence?” (Ditto the complexity.)

 Have a question for our panel? Let us know in the comments.

** Seats are limited, so reserve your seat today by signing up now for the April 25 Ask the Experts program, "Cancer Urban Legends: Lifestyle" in Simi Valley, California. The program will be held at Lost Canyons Golf Club, 3301 Lost Canyons Drive, Simi Valley.

You can also watch the program LIVE on our YouTube channel.

**

Learn more about becoming a patient or getting a second opinion by visiting our website or by calling 800-826-HOPE (4673). You may also request a new patient appointment online. City of Hope staff will explain what's required for a consult at City of Hope and help you determine, before you come in, whether or not your insurance will pay for the appointment.

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