High-Fat Diet and PFAS May Accelerate Tumor Cell Groth | by Cody Sovis | Less Cancer Journal | Nov, 2021

High-Fat Diet and PFAS May Accelerate Tumor Cell Groth

For a long time, it was the unknown surrounding PFAS and other “forever chemicals” that had medical experts afraid of long-term effects of exposure.

Now, it’s what we know that is increasingly alarming.

While there is a growing number of studies that indicate or confirm the elevated risk of cancer, we have likely only seen the early stages of discovering the real breadth of links. One recent study found that the effects of PFAS exposure and a high-fat diet increased the growth rate of malignant prostate cancer cells.

The connection has long been established between the typical Western diet, which is notably high in fat, and the spread of prostate cancer tumors.We also know that prostate cancer is even more challenging for medical professionals facing alarming rates of PFAS exposure.

Prostate cancer itself is already a tragically common reality in the US. To date, it’s the second most common cancer in males and is now the fourth most common type of cancer overall. In 2018, approximately 1.3 million new cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed.

Alongside what is a high-fat diet, millions of Americans are drinking water contaminated with PFAS. These “forever chemicals” don’t compose, which means that once they’re released into the environment, they are a risk unless expensive and time-consuming clean up is undertaken.

Around the country, there’s a rush to find the considerable funding necessary to undertake the enormous cost of PFAS site clean-up. More than 200 million Americans are likely exposed via contaminated drinking water.

That’s just one way to risk exposure. Food packing also poses a considerable risk, as does the lingering effects of firefighters’ foams and PFAS uses on dozens of military sites across the country.

Researchers still don’t know all of the effects PFAS pose, but there is evidence that shows an elevated risk of cancer, higher levels of cholesterol, immune system problems, and hormone imbalances.

The study focused on male mice injected with malignant prostate cancer cells, with one group of eating a high-fat “Western” diet and one eating a normal diet. Both groups were exposed to PFAS.

After 40 days, the research’s found increased tumor volume in mice that had been exposed to PFAS or a high fat diet. Those mice exposed to high fat diets and PFAS saw the fastest tumor growth.

The rise of popular high fat diets like the ketogenic diet could pose additional risks. The long-term effects of high fast diet alone are proven to increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes. Combined with PFAS, it could lead to even greater challenges in fighting prostate cancers, be it through prevention or through treatment after a positive diagnosis.

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