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Diet & Health : Cancer Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

Some basics about breast cancer prevention
By Sue Mueller
Oct 13, 2008 - 7:15:33 AM

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In the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we'd like women to be aware that breast cancer is largely a preventable disease and they can avoid the disease by simply following a healthy lifestyle including healthy diet.


Below is a summary of reports we reported on diet and lifestyle and risk of breast cancer to give readers some basic ideas as to what they can do to lower their risk.


1)       A new study published   online on August 27, 2008 in American Journal of Epidemiology Advance Access   suggests increased intake of dietary vitamin D such as taking vitamin D supplements and exposure to sunlight may reduce the risk for breast cancer by more than 20 percent.   Another study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and other organizations suggests that taking vitamin D supplements may help breast cancer patients.   The study led by Dr. Nancy Davidson, director of the breast cancer program and colleagues showed women with breast cancer who had a vitamin D deficiency at the time diagnosis had a higher risk of recurrence or death from the disease.   Davidson and team found only 24 percent of the patients had adequate levels of vitamin D in their blood when the disease was diagnosed, which the researchers said suggests that vitamin D deficiency is linked to poorer outcomes in breast cancer patients.


2)       A new study in the journal Breast Cancer Research indicates that women with a mutation in the gene BRCA1, which predisposes women to breast cancer, should avoid putting weight in early adulthood, especially if they plan to have children.   The study found that women with a mutation in BRCA1 were 65 percent less likely to develop breast cancer if they lost weight between 18 and 30 years of age.


3)       Radiation therapy often used in breast cancer patients can lead to angiosarcoma, an uncommon yet very aggressive malignant neoplasm in the breast, according to a case report authored by Kunkel T and colleagues at Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich in Munich, Germany.   The report titled "Recurrence of secondary angiosarcoma in a patient with post-radiated breast for breast cancer" was published in the Nov, 2008 issue of Archives of gynecology and obstetrics.


4)        A recent study published in the August 18, 2008 issue of Carcinogenesis suggests that diet and lifestyle make a huge difference. The study showed that high fiber bread was significantly associated with a 25 percent decreased breast cancer risk.   High fiber bread was also linked to reduced risk of both estrogen receptor alpha positive and estrogen receptor beta positive breast cancer.


5)       One study released in the April-June, 2008 issue of Asian Pacific journal of cancer prevention showed poor antioxidant status was associated with increased risk of breast cancer.   Specially, low intake of vitamin A was linked with 200 percent higher risk of the disease while low intake of vitamin E was associated with a nearly 300 percent higher risk compared to those who had high intake of these antioxidants.   The study was conducted by Sharhar S and colleagues at National University of Malaysia.


6)       A UK study reported in British Journal of Cancer (2007) 96, 1139-1146 suggests that eating processed meat can drastically increase risk for breast cancer. The study led by E. F. Taylor at the University of Leeds in the UK and colleagues found those who ate the highest amounts of processed meat were 64 percent more likely to have breast cancer than those who did not eat any.


7)       The latest report on diet and cancer risk published by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) shows convincing evidence that alcohol intake raises risk for breast cancer. For every 3 ounces of wine, 9 ounces of beer or 1 ounce of 80-proof liquor consumed each day, the risk can be increased by 6 to 10 percent.


8)       A study in the October 1, 2008 issue of the International Journal of Cancer showed high omega 6 fatty acids in the diet could raise risk of breast cancer.    And good news is that heterocyclic amines commonly formed in protein-rich foods such as meat and fish prepared at high temperature do not appear to increase the risk.


9)       Overweight women may be more likely to be diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, according to a new study presented at the Population Health 2008 Conference in Brisbane.


10)    A study by Dr. Theodore Widlanski and colleagues from Indiana University and the University of California and published in the journal Chemistry & Biology showedbreast cancer cells can pick up bisphenol A indicating that this chemical may have something to do with the development of breast cancer.   A study published Dec. 8 in the online edition of Reproductive Toxicology suggests that exposure of female fetuses to bisphenol A or BPA may likely increase their risk of breast cancer in adulthood.


11)    Eating too much meat and sweets may increase risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women, particularly those with heavy weight, a new study suggests.   The Shanghai Breast Cancer Study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found women who followed a Western-style diet full of meat; sugar, and refined grain were at a much higher risk of breast cancer compared to those who ate large amounts of vegetables, soy and freshwater fish.


12)    Long term daily use of ibuprofen was linked to an increased risk of breast cancer and long term daily use of aspirin was linked to an increased risk of estrogen receptor /progesterone receptor (ER/PR)-negative breast cancer, according to a new study in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.


13)     Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases risk of recurrence of breast cancer, according to a new study in the journal of the National Cancer Institute.   The study showed that women with breast cancer who used hormone replacement therapy were twice as likely as those who did not to have recurrence of the disease.


Breast cancer is expected to be diagnosed in more than 185,000 women and to kill 45,000 each year in the United States.   No significant progress has been made to reduce the risk ever since the cancer war was declared in 1971.   Each year, the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign supported by medical organizations and a drug company seems only interested in rounding up women for screenings and early detection.   While early diagnosis and treatment are important, prevention is even more important.  Luckily for those who want to control the fate of their lives, there is something they can do to help prevent the disease.

© 2004-2008 by unless otherwise specified

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