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UH professors list cancer risk factors in new book

“The Cancer Prevention Handbook” collects interviews from experts across the county, including from several UH professors. | Courtesy of Steve Riczo

In a new book about cancer risk factors and prevention, four UH professors contributed knowledge and background information about research and lifestyle.

Containing commentary from over 100 experts, “The Cancer Prevention Handbook” offers insight into numerous health topics. The contributors gave advice on known cancer risk factors and explained how to avoid them.

Author Steve Riczo was eager to draw information from UH professors.

“The University of Houston has an excellent reputation for research and academic excellence, so it was on the top of my list of top-tier U.S. universities to tap for this important subject,” Riczo said in a UH press release.

The book addresses the potential cancer risk factors and seeks background knowledge from researchers about how to manage and change lifestyle habits that may affect those factors. Assistant Professor of Biotechnology Cecilia Williams discussed how certain hormones may increase risk.

“(We) discuss(ed) endocrine disrupters, which are hormone-like compounds that are common in our environment,” Williams said. “BPA is the most well-known one, which is used in the manufacturing of plastics. In fact, nearly all Americans have measurable levels in their blood. The research of how this affects us is not conclusive. The levels may be low enough to not cause significant adverse effects in adults, but developing fetuses and children appear to be at higher risk.”

Williams also gives advice on how to avoid dangerous environmental chemicals.

“In the case of endocrine disrupters, it is good to reduce your use of plastic bags and bottles,” Williams said. “Also reduce use of canned food … and avoid microwaving plastic containers with food or drinks in them.”

Assistant professor of nutrition Tracey Ledoux, Graduate College of Social Work Associate Dean of Research and associate professor Patrick Bordnick also contributed to the book. Ledoux is featured in the section on obesity and nutrition, while Bordnick appears in the behavior and lifestyle chapter.

More than 70 institutions were interviewed for “The Cancer Prevention Book,” which is now available online.

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