(Its been a while since I’ve been able to post anything here due to injuries, sickness and other life issues getting in the way.
I decided to start posting again with short reviews of news stories on different topics since I last posted about them. I’ll start with breast cancer.)
On the topic of prevention it was discovered that when girls eat soy on a regular basis from ages 5 to 11 they have a 58% lower chance of developing breast cancer as adults. A possible connection between soy intake and cancer isn’t new, but if I remember right – some studies show conflicting data. It is interesting that in this study by Dr. Larissa Korde only Asia women were included.
On the other hand it was found that folate, one of the B vitamins, does not seem to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Some researchers at the University of Bristol gathered the results of 22 other previous studies to and came to the conclusion folate does not affect the risk of developing breast cancer.
A study with rats showed that when pregnant rats ate lots of whole wheat their daughters were less likely to get breast cancer. This research by Dr. Leena Hilakivi-Clarke of Georgetown University in Washington, DC also indicates that a high-fat diet in pregnant rats also results in a greater change of the daughters developing breast cancer. Her research was published in the November issue of the International Journal of Cancer.
Testing and Screening
Research published in The Lancet recently suggests that the benefits of mammograms for women under 50 may not out weigh the risks of the increased radiation exposure.
A review by Drs. Peter C. Gotzsche and M. Nielsen of the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen points out that while mammography can save lives it also results in many women being diagnosed and treated for a benign cancer.
Advances in detecting breast cancer include a new type of ultrasound that can distinguish between lumps which are cancerous and those that are harmless. A small study was conducted by Richard Barr, a radiologist at Southwoods X-Ray and Open MRI in Youngstown, Ohio which showed that elasticity imaging might help prevent many women from having unnecessary biopsies.
Studies with a new type of CT scan called a Cone Beam Breast Computed Tomography scanner have produced some promising results. It produces 3D images and can also distinguish between benign and cancerous tumors – and tends to be much more comfortable for women. The research was led by Dr. Avice O’Connell of the University of Rochester in New York and was presented at the meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago.
The FDA recently approved the use of Herceptin in women with early stage cancer who have had surgery. Herceptin is already generally used for this purpose. Herceptin is given by an injection and targets tumor cells but not normal cells.
A British medical journal reports that it is not necessary for most women to wait more than 6 months after being treated for breast cancer to get pregnant.
Three recent studies address some issues related to African-American women and breast cancer. Dr. Devra L. Davis, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Epidemiology has suggested that exposure to hormones in some cosmetic products may be involved. Other research suggests that breast cancer in black women may be more aggressive and difficult to treat. They are more likely to have estrogen-receptor negative cancers which are not affected by some cancer drugs such as Herceptin. Recent data suggests that black women are now being screened as often as other women but their cancers are still not being diagnosed at an early stage.
If you like this post please share or vote for it below:
- New drug for HER2/neu breast cancers may be available soon!
- Women’s Health Weekly Review: July 6 – July 12
- Breast cancer update – 7/12/07
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