Monday, 1 January 2018

31. Breast Cancer Diagnosis Breakthrough


         Recent research led by University College London has identified a cancer signature in DNA changes apparent in blood tests. These signal a possibly fatal breast cancer symptom up to one year earlier than current medical diagnosis techniques which may still test negative in current breast screening.

     “This may enable individualised treatment, which could even begin in the absence of radiological evidence in the breast,’ UCL’s Professor Martin Widschwendler, who co-authored the study, has stated.
     Such early detection and consequent early hormone treatment could mean a difference between life and death. It would also eliminate the possibility of over-diagnosis and subsequent debilitating treatment of slow growing but benign tumours that are frequently detected in mammography screening.  
     Further study and trials are necessary before this early detection process can be made available on the NHS or in USA.
     Latest statistics show that 1 in 8 women in UK and USA will be diagnosed with breast cancer at sometime in their lifetime. Breast and lung cancers are, in fact, the foremost cause of female cancer death in these countries.
     The incidence of breast and lung cancer is in fact increasing, thanks to the growth and ageing of the population, together with an increasing prevalence of risk factors associated with economic growth and urbanisation, such as smoking, obesity, diet, and physical inactivity.
     As with all cancers, the risk of developing breast, (or other), cancer depends on a number of factors that are possibly outside your immediate control.  
     You can however eliminate the breast cancer risk by cutting alcohol out altogether, or at least down to the national guidelines, to ensure that you are not one of the 12,000 new cases of cancer in UK each year caused by alcohol, which include cancers of the mouth, throat, larynx, oesophagus, breast, live and bowel.
     Post-menopausal women who are overweight or obese are also at increased breast cancer risk.  Since both alcohol and obesity significantly increase the risk factor for a large number of cancers for both sexes at any age, you can do yourself a big favour if you over-indulge on the booze and/or are overweight by changing your lifestyle.
1.    Cut down on the booze!
2.  Change your diet to lose weight!
     3.  Get out and stretch those legs! 

Ian MacWatt
Further Reading

     Methylation patterns in serum DNA for early identification of disseminated breast cancer. Report on the UCL Study.
     Lung cancer and breast cancer; the leading cause of female cancer death in developed countries.                                                                                        
     Cancer Prevention
     Obesity and Cancer
     Alcohol and Health.
     Alcohol damages DNA and increases cancer risk

Monday, 11 December 2017

30. Breast Cancer Prevention - New Study

      Overweight women can reduce the risk of contracting breast cancer by losing just 7 pounds, (3.2kilo) according to new study presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium this month. This is a modest weight loss with a significant effect. However if they lose 28 pounds, ((12.7 kilos), that risk is reduced by no less than 33 percent.
     The study tracking 61,335 women aged between 50 and 79 over 14 years was undertaken by the City of Hope Medical Centre, California and Harvard University, Boston.
       It has been known for some time that obesity increases the risk of breast cancer, as it does for cancer of the uterus. as is cancer of the uterus. Obesity in either sex can also lead to other cancers, including esophageal, stomach, liver, gallbladder and pancreatic cancers.
     Lead author of the study findings, Professor Rowan Chlebowski commented: ‘we found that relatively modest weight loss was linked to a statistically significant lower breast cancer incidence. That’s pretty remarkable.’
      The statistics also showed that women who gained excess weight during the study had 54 per cent greater risk of developing difficult to treat Triple-Negative Breast Cancer, which afflicts one in six women of diagnosed with this disease.  
     Statistics show that one in eight women in the UK are likely to develop breast cancer in the course of their lifetime, which equates to some 55,000 cases diagnosed annually. Furthermore, the numbers are rising as the population ages and become overweight or obese.
       Professor Ian Hampson of the University of Manchester Division of Cancer Sciences states: ‘ Together with smoking, obesity is now another well-established cause of cancer. Thus it is very clear that simple changes in lifestyle can very significantly reduce the risk of cancer.  The most remarkable thing about this new study is that such most changes in body mass can have such a profound effect.’
Ian MacWatt

Further Reading

Know Your Lemons - What breast cancer can look and feel like.
A detailed look at Breast Cancer
Cancer Prevention and Obesity

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

29. Diet and Colorectal Cancer Prevention

Diet and Colorectal Cancer Prevention

     Research shows that diet and exercise provide powerful protection against colorectal cancer according to a recent report by the American Institute of Cancer Research and the Scotland-based Worldwide Cancer Research.
     “This report demonstrates that there is a lot people can do to dramatically lower their risk" says Edward L Giovannucci, Professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
      The report shows a clear relationship between eating whole grains daily and a reduction in colorectal cancer risk. The more you eat, the lower the risk. Eating three servings a day reduces the risk by a remarkable 17 percent; a useful addition to a 'Stop Cancer' diet!
   Evidence confirms the known fact that overweight and obesity adds noticeably to the risk not only to colorectal cancer but also to a plethora of other cancers, as does the lack of regular exercise.
     The report points to emerging evidence that a diet with fish, and fruit and non-starchy vegetables high in vitamin C help to provide cancer prevention. However it strengthens the link between colorectal cancer and over-consumption of red or processed meats.“
      As research continues to emerge for these factors, it all points to the power of a plant-based diet, says Alice Bender, AICR Director of Nutrition Programs.
     “Replacing some of your refined grains with whole grains and eating mostly plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables and beans, will give you a diet packed with cancer-protective compounds and help you manage your weight, which is so important to lower risk. 
     “When it comes to cancer there are no guarantees, but it’s clear now there are choices you can make and steps you can take to lower your risk of colorectal and other cancers,” she points out.

Ian MacWatt

Further Reading
     AICR eNews New colorectal cancer report
     AICR  Foods That Fight Cancer
     Diet and Lifestyle with CCT   Cancer Prevention through Diet