Fish Oil May Lower Breast Cancer Risk



A new study suggests that fish oil supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids may significantly lower breast cancer risk.


 

 

FISH OIL MAY LOWER BREAST CANCER RISK

As I discuss in my book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, there is research evidence available suggesting that omega-3 fatty acids, which are abundant in fatty fishes and fish oil supplements, may potentially decrease the risk of breast cancer and other types of cancer. Now, a newly published research study, a meta-analysis, further suggests that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil may decrease breast cancer risk. This new study appears in the current issue of the British Medical Journal.

In this meta-analysis study, 21 previously published prospective clinical research studies were analyzed. Together, these 21 clinical studies included 883,585 participants and 20,905 breast cancer cases.

Based upon the findings of this meta-analysis, both increased fish oil intake (as a dietary supplement) and high blood levels of fish oil-derived omega-3 fatty acids were associated with an identical 14 percent lower incidence of breast cancer.(Interestingly, there did not appear to be any protective effects against breast cancer associated with omega-3 fatty acids derived from plant sources.)

Meta-analysis is commonly used to combine multiple small individual studies, thereby increasing the power of their scientific findings. In the case of this particular meta-analysis, the hypothesis being studied is the association, if any, between omega-3 fatty acids and breast cancer risk. In the case of fish oil supplement consumption, and increased blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids derived from fish oil, this meta-analysis strongly suggests that fish oil supplements may significantly reduce breast cancer risk

For more information on evidence-based approaches to breast cancer reduction (and other types of cancer as well), please read more on this important health topic in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.

 

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.com Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.

 

Join Dr. Wascher on Facebook


Additional Links for Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

New Facebook Page for A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race

CNN Story on CTCA’s Organic Farm in the Phoenix Area

Dr. Wascher Discusses Signs & Symptoms of Skin Cancer

Profile of Dr. Wascher by Oncology Times

Bio of Dr. Wascher at Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Dr. Wascher Discusses Predictions of Decreased Cancer Risk on azfamily.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Environmental Risk Factors for Breast Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Answers Questions About Cancer on talkabouthealth.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Cancer Prevention Strategies on LIVESTRONG

Dr. Wascher Discusses Cancer Prevention on Newsmax

Dr. Wascher Answers Questions About Cancer Risk & Cancer Prevention on The Doctors Radio Show

Dr. Wascher Discusses Lymphedema After Breast Surgery on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Hormone Replacement Therapy & Breast Cancer Risk on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Chronic Pain After Mastectomy for Breast Cancer on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Cancer on cancersupportivecare.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Role of Exercise in Cancer Prevention on Open Salon

Dr. Wascher Discusses Aspirin as a Potential Preventive Agent for Pancreatic Cancer on eHealth Forum

Dr. Wascher Discusses Obesity & Cancer Risk on eHealth Forum

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Role of Radiation Therapy in the Treatment of Breast Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Treatment of Stomach Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Management of Metastatic Cancer of the Liver on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses Obesity & Cancer Risk on hopenavigators.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Hormone Replacement Therapy & Breast Cancer Risk on interactmd.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Thyroid Cancer on health2fit.com

 

 

Links to Other Breaking Health News

Epidemic of Drug Overdose Deaths Among Middle-Aged Women

Man Loses 155 Pounds

Naked Mole Rat May Provide Important Cancer Prevention Clue

The Effects of Poverty on the Brain

Half of Us Will Develop Cancer in Our Lifetimes

Protein Critical for Long-Term Memory Identified

HPV Virus and Cancer Risk

Probiotics May Decrease Antibiotic-Associated Diarrhea caused by C. difficile

3-D Printer Helps to Save Baby’s Life

Experimental Drug May Reduce Heart Damage after Heart Attack

Vitamin D May Improve Asthma Symptoms

Doctor Provides Patients with Own Feces for Fecal Transplants

Rising Arsenic Levels in Chicken

Dramatic Increase in Suicide Rate Among Middle Aged Americans Over the Past Decade

Cutting Umbilical Cord Too Soon May Cause Anemia in Newborns

Spiny New Bandage May Speed Healing of Skin Wounds

Study Confirms that Men Really Do Have Trouble Reading the Thoughts of Women

Deadly new Bird Flu Strain Cases Continue to Rise

Abdominal Fat Increases Kidney Disease Risk

Increasing Dietary Potassium & Decreasing Salt Intake Reduces Stroke Risk

A New Explanation for the Link Between Red Meat & Cardiovascular Disease

Deadly New Bird Flu Identified in China

Infection Risk: Keeping an Eye on Your Dentist

Couple Loses 500 Pounds in Two Years

Coffee May Reduce Crash Risk for Long-Distance Drivers

Tiny Implant Tells Your Smart Phone When You Are Having A Heart Attack

Transplanted Kidney Causes Death Due to Rabies

Eating While Distracted Increases Calorie Intake

Resistant Bacteria are on the Rise

High Levels of Stress Linked to an Increase in Heart Disease Risk

Small Snacks Cut Hunger as Well as Big Snacks

Poor Sleep May Increase the Risk of Heart Failure

Ancient Mummies Found to Have Heart Disease by CT Scan

Physically Fit Kids Do Better on Math & Reading Tests

How Melanoma Skin Cancer Evades the Immune System

Possible Link Between BPA and Asthma

Baby Boomers Appear Less Healthy Than Their Parents

The Biology of Love in the Brain

Millennials May be the Most Stressed-Out Generation

Even Modest Alcohol Intake Raises Cancer Risk

Why Do Boys Receive Lower Grades than Girls?

Negative Emotions and Feelings Can Damage Your Health

Canker Sore Drug Cures Obesity (At Least in Mice…)

How Technology is Changing the Practice of Medicine

New Salt Intake Guidelines for Children

High Levels of Distress in Childhood May Increase Risk of Heart Disease in Adulthood

Quitting Tobacco by Age 40 Restores a Normal Lifespan in Smokers

Cancer Death Rates Continue to Fall

Self-Help Books Improve Depression

Marines Try Mindfulness and Meditation to Reduce PTSD

Dying Nurse Volunteers Herself to Teach Nursing Students about the Dying

Regular Walks Cut Stroke Risk

Falling Asleep While Driving More Common than Previously Thought

Celebrity Health Fads Debunked

Obesity Among Young Children May Be Declining

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Satisfaction with Life May Actually Increase with Age

Brain Changes in the Elderly May Increase Susceptibility to Being Scammed

 


Dr. Wascher’s Home Page



According to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is 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.


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.  Over the past 12 months, 3.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious readers.  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.


 


Bookmark and Share





































Post to Twitter

Diabetes Significantly Increases Breast Cancer Risk






 

A new clinical study finds that adult-onset diabetes increases breast cancer risk by almost 30 percent.


 

DIABETES SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASES BREAST CANCER RISK

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, both obesity and diabetes are underappreciated risk factors for a variety of cancers, including some of the most deadly forms of cancer.  I also note in my book that breast cancer is associated with a greater number of preventable risk factors than any other type of cancer.  Now, a newly published research study, which appears in the current issue of the British Journal of Cancer, suggests that diabetes may significantly increase the risk of developing breast cancer.

This new study is based upon an exhaustive analysis of the findings of 40 separate research studies that evaluated potential links between diabetes and breast cancer.  In reviewing the cases of 56,000 women with breast cancer, the authors of this new study found that adult-onset diabetes (also known as type II diabetes) increased breast cancer risk significantly, by almost 30 percent.

While this particular study was not designed to identify an actual “cause and effect” relationship between diabetes and breast cancer risk, the finding that type II diabetes increased the risk of breast cancer only in postmenopausal women offers an important clue, as the exact same association has previously been noted between obesity and breast cancer risk (i.e., obesity appears to increase breast cancer risk primarily in postmenopausal women).  Since type II diabetes is strongly associated with obesity, it is not surprising, in my view, that this new study has uncovered a link between type II diabetes and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women.  However, it is possible that there are more factors at work here than obesity alone, as some of the biochemical abnormalities that accompany diabetes are, themselves, suspected to be risk factors for cancer as well.

The findings of this important study add further weight to previous studies that have linked both diabetes and obesity to an increased risk of developing cancer (in addition to cardiovascular disease and other serious chronic illnesses, I might add).  Overall, the data linking obesity, and obesity-related diseases like diabetes, to an increased risk of chronic serious illnesses, including cancer, and premature death is overwhelming and beyond debate.

A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race is now available in both printed and digital formats from all major bookstores.  Get your copy now, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle now!


 

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.


 








Bookmark and Share





































Post to Twitter

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.


 





Bookmark and Share





































Post to Twitter

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.


 





Bookmark and Share





































Post to Twitter

Even Modest Levels of Physical Activity Decrease Breast Cancer Risk






 

New research suggests that only 10 to 19 hours of low-level physical activity per week may cut breast cancer risk by 30%.


 

EVEN MODEST LEVELS OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DECREASE BREAST CANCER RISK

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, obesity and decreased levels of physical activity have both been linked to an increased risk of several types of cancer.  Among all major types of cancer, the links between excessive body weight and sedentary lifestyle are arguably the strongest for breast cancer, the second greatest cancer killer of women.

I have written extensively about physical activity, obesity, diet and other modifiable lifestyle risk factors as they pertain to cancer risk.  Now, a newly published clinical research study in the journal Cancer adds further important information regarding breast cancer risk related to physical activity levels and obesity.

The Long Island Breast Cancer Study Project assessed 1,504 women with breast cancer and 1,555 women without breast cancer.  Specific factors that were evaluated in this study included levels of physical activity, weight gain, and body size.  The women involved in this public health study ranged from 20 to 98 years of age.

The findings of this study offer women very important information regarding the amount and frequency of physical activity necessary to significantly reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.  Based upon the findings of this important study, moderate physical activity, when performed 10 to 19 hours per week, was associated with a 30 percent reduction in the risk of developing breast cancer among adult women.  It is important to note that even relatively modest levels of physical activity still appeared to provide this same level of breast cancer risk reduction benefit, including walking, jogging, riding a bicycle, and other relatively non-strenuous sports-related activities.  Taking the stairs instead of using elevators, and even actively working in one’s garden, also appeared to significantly reduce breast cancer risk.

There is an important caveat to this good news, however.  Gaining significant weight after menopause appeared to abolish the cancer risk reduction benefit of moderate physical activity, even among women who reported high levels of physical activity.  (Obesity is a well known risk factor for breast cancer, particularly when excess weight is gained after the onset of menopause.  Obesity is also known to increase the risk of cancer recurrence in women previously diagnosed with breast cancer.)

While the findings of this important study linking breast cancer risk with obesity and low levels of physical activity are not new, this study does provide women with new, specific physical activity recommendations with which to lower their risk of developing breast cancer.  Moreover, women do not have to become professional athletes in order to cut their breast cancer risk by nearly one-third, based upon the findings of this clinical study.  Instead, just 10 to 19 hours of relatively modest physical activity per week may be enough to significantly decrease one’s risk of developing breast cancer!


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 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.


 






Bookmark and Share





































Post to Twitter

New Drug Dramatically Reduces Breast Cancer Risk

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


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




NEW DRUG DRAMATICALLY REDUCES BREAST CANCER RISK

Known risk factors for breast cancer include: (1) age greater than 60, (2) a previous personal history of breast cancer or precancerous conditions of the breast (such as atypical lobular hyperplasia, lobular carcinoma in situ, atypical ductal hyperplasia, or ductal carcinoma in situ), (3) one or more first degree relatives with breast cancer, (4) A personal history or family history of BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 hereditary breast and ovarian cancer gene mutations, (5) not having children, or having children after age 35, (6) multiple prior breast biopsies for non-cancer lumps, and (7) early-onset of menstruation, or late onset of menopause, as well as other less powerful breast cancer risk factors.

There are very few prescription medications available that significantly reduce the risk of developing cancer. However, for women who are at increased risk of developing breast cancer, the so-called SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators) can significantly reduce breast cancer risk. The most widely prescribed SERM is tamoxifen, which has been shown to decrease the risk of developing breast cancer, in high-risk women, by nearly 50 percent. However, while tamoxifen is commonly prescribed for women who have hormone-sensitive breast cancer (because this drug also reduces the risk of breast cancer recurrence in such cases), it is not widely prescribed for cancer prevention purposes.

There are several reasons why tamoxifen is not frequently prescribed as a breast cancer prevention medication. First of all, tamoxifen is most commonly prescribed by Oncologists, and so most primary care physicians are not comfortable enough with this medication to prescribe it. Secondly, tamoxifen has been associated with potentially serious side effects, including an increased risk of uterine cancer, blood clots in the veins and lungs, and cataracts. (Another SERM, raloxifene, does not appear to significantly increase the risk of uterine cancer, but this medication otherwise has the same potential side effects as tamoxifen.)

A new class of estrogen-blocking medications, aromatase inhibitors, is now commonly used in place of tamoxifen as hormone-blocking therapy in postmenopausal patients with breast cancer. Although aromatase inhibitors, like virtually all medications, have side effects of their own, they are not known to be associated with an increased risk of cancer or potentially life-threatening blood clots, like tamoxifen, and they appear to be even more effective in reducing the risk of breast cancer recurrence than tamoxifen and other SERMs.

Now, a newly published clinical research study, which appears in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, has revealed that exemestane, an aromatase inhibitor, appears to be even more effective in preventing breast cancer than tamoxifen (as well as being safer, in terms of side effects, than tamoxifen).

This clinical research trial was a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded study (which is the “gold standard” method of performing clinical research). A total of 4,560 women, ages 35 and older (the average age was 63 years), were enrolled in this clinical research study, and were secretly and randomly assigned to receive either exemestane or an identical-appearing placebo (“sugar pill”). These patient volunteers, all of whom were at increased risk of developing breast cancer, were then followed for an average of about 3 years.

By the end of the study, 11 women in the exemestane (treatment) group had developed breast cancer, while 32 women in the placebo (control) group were diagnosed with breast cancer. These findings translated into a 65 percent reduction in the risk of developing breast cancer associated with the use of exemestane in these high-risk women.

Although the prolonged use of aromatase inhibitors can lead to osteoporosis (“thinning” of the bones), there was no increase in the incidence of bone fractures or other skeletal complications noted among the women who took exemestane during the course of this research study. (Aromatase inhibitors can also cause significant bone and joint pain.) Indeed, during the course of this clinical study, there were no significant differences between the exemestane group and the placebo group in terms of side effects or complications.

Therefore, this breakthrough clinical research study showed that an aromatase inhibitor, exemestane, was more effective in preventing breast cancer in high risk women than tamoxifen and other SERMs; and unlike tamoxifen, exemestane did not appear to be associated with any significant side effects or complications following three years of treatment. Because of this clinically important combination of greater effectiveness and fewer side effects, this study’s findings are highly likely to change recommendations for the “chemoprevention” of breast cancer in women who are at an elevated risk of developing this most common of cancers in women. (One important caveat to note is that aromatase inhibitors, unlike tamoxifen and other SERMS, can only be used in postmenopausal women.)



 

For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

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, 2010, 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! On Christmas Day, 2010, 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



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. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) 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.





Bookmark and Share



 

 

Post to Twitter

Better Tag Cloud