Fats and Cancer

Last week in WSU Today there was this story. Until I read it I had no idea that bowel cancer was the second most common cancer worldwide and the second leading cause of death in the US.

It seems that using new screening technology scientists can identify possible colon cancer from the poop of mice.  This is very early research and the next phase of trials is to see if this screening will work on humans. If it dose work we might be able to give a poop sample instead of  having to do colonoscopies to tell if we have cancer in our bowels. Which would certainly make me more inclined to get screened.

Interestingly, it is a class of fats called lysophospholipids that the screening looks for to detect cancer in the rats poop. According to the article “Cancer causes significant changes in fat metabolism.” I had no idea that certain fats are known to be important in the development of colon cancer, but it interests me because although cancer has been around forever, I’m fairly sure it was not a huge killer until modern times. If fat metabolism plays a critical roll in cancer development and industrial oils are utilized in the human body differently than traditional fats, could oils be part of the huge rise we are seeing in cancer rates today?

 

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