Decades of research to improve cancer treatments

Posted at 7:55 PM, Mar 22, 2016

Dr. Michael Kasper with Boca Raton Regional Hospital is a radiation oncologist. He says he knows the importance of eating well and exercising.

"I do notice that I have more energy. I'm not sluggish when I'm not having that cookie after lunch, or having that extra piece of cake," Kasper says.

Kasper is used to checking up on patients, but now a national study is checking up on him. "It's now examining environmental factors, genetic factors, and lifestyle factors, so we will know about supplements for instance, and know about obesity and its affects on cancer," Kasper said.

The American Cancer Society is doing the research. They're following 300,000 participants for the next 20 to 30 years.

The study was started in 2006. Participants ages 30 to 65 from all walks of life who don't have cancer are the subjects of the study. The goal is to learn what they're eating, if they're exercising and details on their living environment.

Maureen Mann, Executive Director of the Lynn Cancer Institute, is also part of the decades-long study.

"Does diet make a difference if you change your diet at a different point in your life? Maybe you always haven't eaten healthy but you do now. Maybe you haven't always exercised, but you are starting to now. Maybe you did not protect your skin when you were younger, but you wear sunscreen now," Mann said.

Researchers are hoping the study will yield answers to reveal the cause or ways to prevent cancer. Participants are hopeful.

"I'm a volunteer with the American Cancer Society so volunteers are doing this because we want to help we have lost family members," Mann said.

"We've decreased the cancer rate the death rate of cancer by 20 percent, so we are moving the ball forward and we are winning the fight," said Kasper.

For more information about nutrition for cancer patients, contact Oncology Certified Dietitian Marie Morande at the Lynn Cancer Institute - 561-955-5637.