Mammograms Save Lives in Women with Family History of Breast Cancer

 

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“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”




MAMMOGRAMS SAVE LIVES IN WOMEN WITH

FAMILY HISTORY OF BREAST CANCER

 

While the debate about whether or not routine screening mammograms can save lives continues in some circles, the clinical research evidence supporting mammograms as a lifesaving cancer screening exam continues to accumulate.  Now, a newly published public health study, which appears in The Lancet Oncology, examines the survival benefit associated with routine screening mammograms in women who have a family history of breast cancer.

In this large multicenter prospective clinical research study, which was performed in the UK, 6,710 women between the ages of 40 and 42 were enrolled in this study, and were followed for an average of about 4 years.  These women, who had at least some family history of breast cancer, underwent annual screening mammograms as part of this clinical research study.  This study used two important control groups to assess the impact of regular annual screening mammograms on the risk of mortality in these young women.  The first control group consisted of women who were at average risk for breast cancer (these women, themselves, served as the control group for the enormous UK Age Trial, which included more than 106,000 patient volunteers, and which recently reported a 10-year follow-up of its results).  The second control group, against which these 6,710 women with an intermediate familial risk of breast cancer were compared, included young women from another large public health study that was performed in the Netherlands.

Among the 136 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer during the relatively brief course of this ongoing study, 77 percent were diagnosed by screening mammography, while 21 percent were diagnosed when they presented with a new breast lump (or with other clinical signs or symptoms of breast cancer).  (Another 2 percent of patients failed to attend their scheduled screening mammograms, and subsequently developed clinical signs or symptoms of breast cancer.)

In this study (and as other studies have shown, even among women who are at average risk of developing breast cancer), breast cancers that were detected by annual screening mammograms were significantly smaller in size, and significantly less likely to be associated with the spread of cancer to the lymph nodes.  In addition to these very important breast cancer prognostic factors, women who were diagnosed with breast cancer as a result of annual screening mammograms had much less aggressive appearing tumors under the microscope when compared to women who were diagnosed with breast cancer only after a lump, or other signs of breast cancer, appeared.

Based upon the findings of this newly published study, young women with even an intermediate risk of breast cancer, based upon having one or more relatives with breast cancer, were 20 percent less likely to die within 10 years when compared with a poorly screened, or unscreened, average-risk population of young women.  Moreover, this survival advantage appeared to be directly related to annual screening mammograms, once all other breast cancer risk factors among these three populations of women had been considered.

 

For a complete discussion of the compelling scientific evidence linking routine screening mammograms with a decreased risk of death due to breast cancer, please see the extended clinical section on breast cancer in my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.

  

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GIVE THE GIFT OF HEALTH THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!  For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores! 

On Thanksgiving Day, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com Top 100 Bestseller’s List for Kindle e-books!



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


 

Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

Texas Blues Jam


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 

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Low Dose Aspirin Reduces Colorectal Cancer Risk

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



LOW DOSE ASPIRIN REDUCES COLORECTAL CANCER RISK

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cause of cancer-associated death in the United States (and in many other countries around the world).  Diet, obesity, and other lifestyle factors are known to play a significant role in colorectal cancer risk, as I discuss in detail in my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race. 

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin, have been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.  Unfortunately, the majority of non-aspirin NSAIDs have been shown to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and so these drugs are seldom used, today, for colorectal cancer prevention.  (In most cases, their use for this purpose has become largely restricted to patients with inherited gene mutations that place them at extremely high risk for developing colorectal cancer.)

While high daily doses of aspirin have been shown to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, this form of cancer prevention therapy also has significant risks, including serious GI tract bleeding and kidney damage.  Until very recently, there has been very little high quality research data available regarding the effectiveness of low-dose aspirin therapy on colorectal cancer risk.  Now, a newly published study in the prestigious journal, The Lancet, indicates that low-dose aspirin therapy can, indeed, significantly reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

This report actually combines the long-term results from four large prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical research studies (the Swedish Aspirin Low Dose Trial, UK-TIA Aspirin Trial, the Thrombosis Prevention Trial, and the British Doctors Aspirin Trial).  Altogether, a whopping 14,033 patient volunteers were studied in these research trials, and the average duration of patient follow-up was a very impressive 18.3 years.

Overall, the use of 75 milligrams (mg) of aspirin per day, for 5 years or longer, dramatically reduced the risk of cancer in the upper colon, by about 70 percent.  While the incidence of lower colon cancer was not significantly reduced by low-dose aspirin therapy, the risk of rectal cancer was reduced by a very significant 42 percent.  Moreover, increased daily doses of aspirin (above 75 mg) did not result in any further decrease in the risk of colon cancer or rectal cancer.

The findings of this very large clinical research study represent a very significant breakthrough in our understanding of the role of aspirin in colorectal cancer prevention and, especially, in the optimization of daily aspirin dosing to maximize this drug’s cancer prevention benefit while simultaneously reducing the known (and sometimes serious) adverse side effects of chronic aspirin therapy.

As always, I must remind readers that they should first consult with their doctor prior to beginning aspirin therapy, as some health conditions may be associated with an increased risk of severe side effects when taking aspirin.

 

 

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GIVE THE GIFT OF HEALTH THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.  For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!



 

Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


 

Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

Texas Blues Jam


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 

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Coffee, Tea, Caffeine and Brain Cancer Risk

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



 

COFFEE, TEA, CAFFEINE AND BRAIN CANCER RISK

 

Coffee and tea are widely enjoyed around the world, and both have been the subject of numerous health claims (most of them unproven).  Tea, and green tea in particular, has been the focus of extensive research, with many prior studies suggesting that tea may improve cardiovascular health and, to a much lesser extent, may decrease the risk of some cancers.  Much of the published research regarding coffee has, on the other hand, been focused on trying to disprove purported links between coffee consumption and a potential increase in the risk of some cancers.  (Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of such research has not identified a strong link between moderate coffee consumption and an increased risk of cancer.)

 

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study is a huge ongoing prospective multinational public health study, and several of this enormous study’s preliminary results have already been published.  The EPIC study is focused on potential links between diet, nutritional status, lifestyle, and environmental factors and the incidence of cancer (among other chronic diseases). (EPIC is one of the largest studies of diet and health ever undertaken, and has already recruited 520,000 research volunteers in Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.)  Now, a new update from this historic public health study suggests that increased coffee and tea consumption may be associated with a decreased incidence of malignant brain tumors.  This new update from the EPIC study appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

 

Following an average duration of follow-up of nearly 9 years, 588 new cases of brain tumors were diagnosed among the EPIC research volunteers.  Gliomas, the most common and most aggressive type of brain tumors that occur in adults, were found to be 34 percent less common among people who drank at least 100 milliliters (3.4 ounces) of coffee or tea per day.  (Although not statistically significant, this association was also noted to be stronger in men, with a 41 percent lower risk of gliomas in men, as compared to a 26 percent reduction in glioma incidence in women.)

 

Although it is not clear what causes gliomas of the brain, prior public health studies have at least suggested a link between glioma brain tumors and chronic occupational exposure to high-intensity electrical and magnetic fields, and to rubber and plastics manufacturing.  (As I discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, there is also some data linking prolonged cell phone use with an increased incidence of gliomas and other brain tumors.) 

 

Other smaller public health studies have also identified an apparent link between increased caffeine intake and a decreased incidence of gliomas, and there is laboratory evidence available suggesting that caffeine may reduce the growth of malignant glioma cells growing in culture dishes.  Thus, these new findings from the giant EPIC study further suggest the possibility that coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages might be able to reduce the risk of gliomas of the brain.

 

 

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GIVE THE GIFT OF HEALTH THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.  For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!



 

Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


 

Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

Texas Blues Jam


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 

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Diet and Lifestyle Habits that Decrease Colorectal Cancer Risk

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



DIET AND LIFESTYLE HABITS THAT

DECREASE COLORECTAL CANCER RISK

In the United States, approximately 106,000 people will be newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer in 2010, and nearly 50,000 people will die of this disease.  Colorectal cancer remains the third most common cancer (excluding skin cancer) in both men and women, and the third most common cause of cancer death in men and women.  Unlike many other types of cancer, an effective method of screening for colorectal cancer is available, in the form of colonoscopy.  Fortunately, the incidence of this cancer has been gradually declining over the past 20 years, due in great part to the early detection, and removal, of precancerous polyps from the colon and rectum at the time of colonoscopy.

The links between specific lifestyle choices and the risk of developing certain types of cancer forms much of the basis of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.”  The risk of developing colorectal cancer, in particular, has been strongly linked to multiple dietary and other lifestyle factors.  Now, a newly published public health research study from Denmark puts a number on the effectiveness of commonly recommended cancer prevention lifestyle strategies in preventing colorectal cancer.

In this study, which appears in the current issue of the British Medical Journal, 55,487 men and women between the ages of 50 and 64 were prospectively followed for an average of 10 years.  Each of these Diet, Cancer and Health Cohort Study volunteers completed validated surveys regarding their social status, health status, reproductive history, and daily lifestyle habits.  They also completed a food frequency questionnaire that included, among its 193 items, foods known to be associated with colorectal cancer risk (including alcohol).  All study participants also underwent physical examinations that included measurements of their height, weight, and waist circumference.  During the course of this large prospective public health study, 678 participants were newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

All study volunteers were assessed in terms of 5 modifiable lifestyle and dietary factors that have repeatedly been linked to a reduction in colorectal cancer risk:  Increased levels of regular physical activity, avoidance of obesity, abstention from tobacco use, minimal intake of alcohol, and the observance of healthy diet habits (including increased fiber intake, decreased dietary fat content, decreased red meat and processed meat consumption, and increased fresh fruit and vegetable intake).  Based upon only these 5 simple colorectal cancer risk factors, the adoption of any one of these 5 colorectal cancer prevention factors was associated with a 13 percent decrease in the risk of developing colorectal cancer.  Among participants who generally observed all 5 lifestyle and dietary prevention factors, the risk of developing colorectal cancer was reduced by 23 percent.  (Of note, while this observed reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer was noted for both colon cancer and rectal cancer, this finding was only statistically significant for cancer of the colon, specifically.)

The results of this large prospectively conducted public health study reaffirm the findings of previous studies, in that the risk of colorectal cancer can be significantly reduced by: Engaging in regular moderate exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight, avoiding tobacco use, minimizing alcohol consumption, and by reducing the intake of red meat and processed meats and fat, while simultaneously increasing the consumption of fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and whole grain foods.  For a more detailed evidence-based guide to colorectal cancer prevention, order or download your copy of “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race” now.  

 

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For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing colorectal cancer, and other types of cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 

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