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Epidemiology of IGF-1 and Cancer

  • Katharina Nimptsch
  • Edward GiovannucciEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Cancer Drug Discovery and Development book series (CDD&D)

Abstract

The incidence rates of cancer have been increasing steadily during the last 20 years in industrially developed parts of the world, notably Western Europe and North America (IARC 2008). The wide variation in cancer rates across the world as well as the observed increase in cancer risk among migrants moving from low-risk to ­high-risk countries convincingly suggest that environmental factors associated with a Western lifestyle may be major determinants of cancer risk. Western lifestyle is characterized by a diet high in total and saturated fat, refined sugars, and animal protein accompanied by physical inactivity. These lifestyle factors and overweight, which is most commonly related to Western diet and lifestyle, have been associated with insulin resistance and postprandial hyperinsulinemia, and many of them have been positively associated with different types of cancer in epidemiological studies. Both insulin and IGF-1 can enhance tumor development by stimulating cell proliferation and by inhibiting apoptosis. It has been hypothesized that variations in the insulin and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) pathways could account for the nutritional and lifestyle risk factors and the high cancer incidence in Western countries.

Keywords

Breast Cancer Prostate Cancer Breast Cancer Risk Prostate Cancer Risk Postmenopausal Breast Cancer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NutritionHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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