Broccoli (Isothiocyanates) May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk





 

A new laboratory study suggests that isothiocyanates in broccoli, and other cruciferous vegetables, may significantly decrease breast cancer risk.


 

 

BROCCOLI (ISOTHIOCYANATES) MAY REDUCE BREAST CANCER RISK

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, cruciferous (brassica) vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage, are rich in compounds known as isothiocyanates.  These compounds have been shown to have several different anti-cancer effects in laboratory studies, and against multiple different types of cancer.   A newly published laboratory research study, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, suggests that dietary isothiocyanates may be particularly active against breast cancer.

In this new study, laboratory mice prone to developing breast cancer similar to human breast cancers were divided into two groups.  One group (the “experimental” group) received phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC) as a dietary supplement, while the other group of mice (the “control” group) did not receive this supplement.  The results of this study were rather dramatic.

In the group of mice that received the PEITC supplement, only 19 percent developed breast cancer, whereas 40 percent of the mice in the control group developed breast cancer.  Among all mice that did go on to develop breast cancer, dietary supplementation with PEITC was associated with a 56 percent reduction in the size of breast tumors, as measured under a microscope.  Moreover, dietary isothiocyanates appeared to reduce the risk of breast cancer, and the size of breast tumors, through multiple different biological mechanisms, including decreased growth and reproduction of tumor cells, decreased growth of new blood vessels necessary to support growing tumors, and increased cancer cell death through a mechanism known as apoptosis.

The findings of this laboratory study revealed multiple and rather profound actions of isothiocyanate against cancer cells and tumors in mice prone to developing human-like breast cancers.  Of course, what works in laboratory mice does not always work in human beings, unfortunately.  At this time, however, there are 7 active human clinical trials looking at isothiocyanates in the prevention and treatment of various types of cancer.  Meanwhile, Mom’s advice to eat your broccoli may turn out to have been very good advice indeed!

 

At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!


Within one week of publication, 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. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.




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, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

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.  (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  As always, we 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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Obesity Linked to Deadly Form of Esophagus and Upper Stomach Cancer



 

A large new study reveals that obesity around the stomach area sharply increases the risk of cancer of the esophagus and upper stomach.


 

OBESITY LINKED TO DEADLY FORM OF ESOPHAGUS AND UPPER STOMACH CANCER

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, obesity remains an underappreciated risk factor for cancer, including some of the most deadly forms of cancer.  As I also specifically discuss in my book, the rising incidence of a formerly rare form of cancer, adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and the gastroesophageal junction (the area where the esophagus and stomach join together), has been directly linked to steadily increasing levels of obesity in the United States and around the world by previous studies.  Now, newly reported data from a huge prospective public health study, the National Institutes of Health-American Association of Retired Persons (NIH-AARP) study, provides further insight into the serious impact of obesity on the risk of these formerly rare types of cancer.  This update of the NIH-AARP study appears in the current issue of the journal Gut.

The massive NIH-AARP study currently includes a whopping 218,854 volunteers, making it one of the largest ongoing prospective public health studies in the world.  Because of the enormous size of this clinical study, its findings are very likely to be highly significant.

During the course of this public health study so far, 253 cases of esophageal adenocarcinoma and 191 cases of upper stomach (gastroesophageal junction) adenocarcinoma have been diagnosed among the study’s volunteers.  After analyzing the known risk factors (including obesity) for esophageal and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma in this huge group of research study volunteers, obesity, by itself, was found to double the risk of developing this deadly form of cancer.  Similarly, obesity, alone, nearly quadrupled the risk of gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma.  Moreover, among study volunteers with normal body weight, but with increased fat in the abdominal area, esophageal adenocarcinoma was nearly two times more likely when compared to normal-weight adults without abdominal obesity.

The findings of this new study reinforce the conclusions of similar, earlier studies that I discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, and confirm that obesity, and especially obesity in the abdominal area, significantly increases the risk of these two formerly uncommon (and highly lethal) types of cancer.

At the present time, nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight or obese, and this still growing epidemic of increasing body weight shows no signs of slowing down.  As I discuss in my bestselling book, even conservative evidence-based estimates suggest that at least 15 percent of all cancer cases are directly linked to obesity, including several of the most dangerous forms of cancer.  If the incidence of obesity does indeed continue to rise from its already very high current level, obesity could, in time, overtake all other known modifiable risk factors for cancer.

If you are overweight or obese, please see your doctor about starting a sensible weight loss program, including healthy dieting and physical exercise.

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, 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. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.




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, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

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.  (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  As always, we 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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Foods that Decrease and Increase Breast Cancer Risk





 

A new study finds that breast cancer risk is significantly affected by specific foods.


 

 

FOODS THAT DECREASE AND INCREASE BREAST CANCER RISK

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, breast cancer is associated with more modifiable risk factors than any other type of cancer.  Among the many known modifiable risk factors for breast cancer, diet is currently thought to play a relatively minor but still important role.  Now, a newly published research study adds important new information regarding potential links between diet and breast cancer risk.  This new public health study appears in the current issue of the journal Nutrition & Cancer.

In this case-control study, the dietary habits of 3,443 women with breast cancer were compared to those of 3,474 women without breast cancer.  As with previous studies, this new study found that increased vegetable intake decreased breast cancer risk.  Specifically, frequent vegetable intake was associated with a 20 percent overall decrease in breast cancer risk.  Increased intake of the so-called allium vegetables, including onions, garlic, chives, leeks and scallions, appeared to be especially protective against breast cancer in this study.  Although increased fruit intake, overall, did not appear to reduce breast cancer risk, this study did find that certain individual types of fruits appeared to reduce breast cancer risk, including citrus fruits and the so-called rosaceae fruits (apples, pears, peaches, apricots, plums, raspberries and strawberries).  On the other hand, both meat and fish appeared to increase breast cancer risk in this study (as I also discuss in my book).

While questionnaire-based public health studies such as this study provide weaker levels of clinical evidence than prospective, randomized, controlled studies, the findings of this study are largely consistent with similar previous studies, with the exception of the favorable association between specific types of fruit and breast cancer risk.  As an added bonus, most of the foods that were found to decrease breast cancer risk in this public health study are also known to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, and other serious illnesses as well.

 

At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, 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. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.




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, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

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.  (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  As always, we 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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Depression After Childhood Abuse May Be Linked To A Specific Gene







 

A new study suggests that a variant of a recently discovered gene may double the risk of lifelong depression after childhood abuse.


 

 

CHRONIC DEPRESSION AFTER CHILDHOOD ABUSE MAY BE LINKED TO A NEW GENE

The age-old debate about “nature versus nurture” has become increasingly complicated as we continue to learn more about the impact of individual genes on our risk for various illnesses.  While it has become widely accepted that specific genetic patterns may predispose some of us to a very high risk of certain physical illnesses, such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, the potential linkage between specific genes and the risk of mental illness has been less clear.  At the same time, however, it has long been known that some mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, tend to run in families, which suggests that there may be at least some genetic component to these illnesses.

Over the past 5 years, fundamental new research has begun to suggest that certain genes may indeed be associated with an increased risk of specific mental illnesses.  However, most mental health experts believe that having a specific form of a gene linked to mental illness does not, by itself, mean that an affected individual faces a 100 percent risk of developing a mental illness.  Getting back to that “nature versus nurture” debate once again, it appears that having a genetic variant associated with a specific mental health illness probably predisposes an affected person to develop that particular mental health disorder, but does not guarantee that this will happen.  More specifically, an individual person’s experiences and environment during early life (i.e., the “nurture”) appear to have a significant impact on whether or not genes associated with an increased risk of mental illness (i.e., the “nature”) will actually lead to the development of mental illness.

Now, a newly published clinical study provides strong evidence that a specific form of a single gene can significantly increase the likelihood of major depression in adults following physical abuse during childhood, while another variant of this same gene appears to decrease the risk of chronic depression in similarly abused adults.  This intriguing research study appears in the current issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

This new research study was inspired by previous research with laboratory animals that identified a network of neurons in the brain that use chemicals called endocannabinoids to communicate with each other.  (If the word “endocannabinoid” sounds vaguely familiar, it is because these naturally occurring neurotransmitters in the brain also have counterparts in the plant world, most notably in cannabis, or marijuana, plants!)  Previous research has also suggested that the endocannabinoid system in the brain may play an important role in adaptation to stress, including the moderation of our mood following stressful events.

In this new study, two groups of patient-volunteers were included.  The first group consisted of 1,041 young adult female twins in the United States, while the second group consisted of 1,428 Australian adults known to be addicted to heroin. (An additional 506 Australian volunteers without heroin addiction participated in this study as the control group for the heroin-addicted volunteers.)  The presence of depression, and in particular, depression with anhedonia (a term that indicates the inability to enjoy experiences that most of us find pleasurable), was assessed among all of these patient-volunteers.  The absence or presence of a history of physical abuse, by a parent or caregiver, during childhood was also evaluated.  Testing of the gene which codes for the human endocannabinoid receptor in the brain was performed on all of these research volunteers, as well.

The findings of this study were highly significant.  Not surprisingly, the study volunteers who reported having experienced significant childhood physical abuse had a much higher incidence of depression when compared to those volunteers who did not experience physical abuse as children.  Among the volunteers who had experienced significant physical abuse during childhood, a single, specific variant of the endocannabinoid receptor gene appeared to be highly protective against anhedonic depression when compared to volunteers who possessed the more common variant of this gene.  Specifically, only 29 percent of abused volunteers with this less common variant of the endocannabinoid receptor gene experienced anhedonic symptoms, while 57 percent of the previously abused volunteers with the most common form of this same gene were found to have symptoms of anhedonic depression.

The findings of this study strongly suggest that certain naturally occurring variants of specific genes may either increase or decrease the risk of mental illness (and in the case of this clinical study, major depression with anhedonia) following stressful experiences earlier in life.  Not only do this study’s findings suggest a method of screening patients who might be at significantly increased risk for major depression following stressful events in their early lives, but the linkage of a specific gene within the brain’s endocannabinoid system with depression following traumatic childhood experiences may someday allow for a more effective treatment for post-traumatic major depression, using medications targeted at the specific genetic variation that leads to this increased risk of depression following childhood trauma.


At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, 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. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.




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, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

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.  (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  As always, we 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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