Posts tagged ‘breast cancer’

According to a new Northwestern Medicine study, a middle aged woman, say of 54, is likely to suffer from hip fracture if she is a breast cancer survivor. Though hip fracture is not common in a middle aged woman, it is a likely development in those who have gone through the therapies for breast cancer treatment.

Researchers are of the opinion that breast cancer treatment causes early menopause and along with breast cancer drugs it leads to weakening of bones, which later causes hip fractures. The study has been published in the February issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

Hip fractures are rare cases in people under the age of 70. Yet Beatrice Edwards, a physician of Northwestern Medicine observed that quite a few breast cancer survivors in their 50s were complaining of the problem.

Researchers did a meticulous study of 6 of such women over one year assessing the type of breast cancer they had, the treatment they were provided and the consequence of hip fracture on their life. Beatrice Edwards remarks that these women reported difficulty in climbing stairs and doing their daily chores even a year after the fracture.

Surprisingly, most of the women did not have osteoporosis but had lower bone mineral density suggesting that the bone structure may have been altered following chemotherapy and early menopause.

These women had been provided treatment for early-stage breast cancer including lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy with cytoxan and adriamycin one to four years before fracture occurred. At the time of the fracture, all the women were perimenopausal.

Four of these six women received aromatase inhibitors (AIs) as a part of their treatment and studies have associated AIs with possible bone loss in women. Edwards cites that bone loss is a possible adverse effect of breast cancer drugs but further research needs to be done before the mode of treatment is changed.


There is a general belief that moderate drinking lowers the risk of heart diseases since studies have shown that moderate drinkers have reported lower cardiovascular problems than heavy drinkers or complete abstainers. However, what is often ignored is a visible link between alcohol consumption and the deadly cancer. Here is a report:

1.      Liver cancer: Alcohol is one of the major causes of liver cancer. After years of heavy drinking the liver tends to do some self-repairing and in the process causes a mutation which leads to the development of cancer. The risk of liver cancer is higher in a heavy drinker who is also infected by Hepatitis B or C.

2.      Esophageal cancer: Cancer of the Esophagus is, reportedly, higher in case of regular drinkers. However, the risk gets heightened when a person indulges in both smoking and drinking.

3.      Breast Cancer: Cancer Research UK  states that the risk of breast cancer is increased by 9% for every unit of alcohol drunk everyday. Breast cancer occurs due to many factors and undoubtedly alcohol plays a key role in it. It is believed that alcohol affects breast cancer by increasing the levels of estrogen.

4.      Oral cancer: Heavy drinkers are said to be 4 times more likely to develop mouth cancer than their non-drinking counterparts. A study from the UK shows that the incidence of mouth cancer has increased by 25% over the last few years. This has been accompanied by a decline in the rate of smoking which suggests that the increase has occurred owing to alcohol consumption.

Thus, we can see that there is a direct link between alcohol consumption and various forms of cancer. Though it is not precisely known how alcohol causes cancer, there is a notion that alcohol damages DNA and, therefore, causes cancer to develop. Though a lot more research needs to be done in this field, we can safely surmise that alcohol does have a role in development of cancer and so it is best advisable to shun that sinful bottle.


Abraham Haim, a professor of Biology at Israel’s Haifa University has claimed that the energy saving light bulbs such as the CFLs (Compact Fluorescent Lamps) may accentuate the rate of breast cancer in women, making them more prone to breast cancer.

These energy-saving light bulbs emit bluer light and closely mimic daylight that disrupts the body’s production of the melatonin hormone. The older-style bulbs, in contrast, emit a yellowish light which allows the body to produce the said hormone (melatonin) which has long been associated with protection from breast and prostate cancers.

For over a decade, a link between night time light exposure and breast cancer has been drawn since studies suggested that female shift workers had a greater likelihood of developing breast cancer.

Prof. Haim and his team have discovered that there may be a strong connection between night time bedroom light levels and breast cancer. The study has been published in ‘Chronobiology International’ and it suggests that women who slept with the light on had a 22% greater risk of developing breast cancer than women who slept in complete darkness.

The researchers opine that this may be owing to the fact that modern society uses bluer light waves of shorter wavelength that may suppress melatonin production much more than the yellower old-age light.

Prof. Haim has remarked that he has removed the eco-friendly light bulbs from his house since he feels they cause light pollution. However, he emphasizes that this study doesn’t substantially prove that these cheaper, eco-friendly light bulbs heighten breast cancer cases. Dr. Sarah Rawlings, head of policy at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, also states that this link is purely speculative and more research needs to be done in this area.


A new study has shown that women with both breast cancer and diabetes have a high risk of mortality than their non-diabetic counterparts. Breast cancer itself is a very deadly disease but a diabetic woman increases her chances of dying if she also has breast cancer.

A study shows that breast cancer women who have diabetes are 50 percent more likely to die than those who don’t have diabetes. However, a lot remains unexplained since the data doesn’t specify the cause of death. Author Dr. Kimberly Peairs states that the study shows that there may be a higher association between diabetes and breast cancer mortality than was previously believed.

This study has been published in the latest issue of Journal of Clinical Oncology and has been supported by grants from U.S. National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Though the exact reason of high mortality in such case is not yet known, there are various possible explanations. For instance, one study suggests that women who had type 2 diabetes were likely to have their breast cancer diagnosed later than their non-diabetic counterpart. Besides, diabetic women may tend to respond less to chemotherapy drugs or their physicians may not provide them with aggressive treatment fearing concern for their health. Insulin intake may also be responsible for a greater growth in breast cancer tumor.

Diabetes is a widespread ailment with 8% of adult population being affected by it in US in 2007. Research suggests that diabetics are also prone to higher risk of breast cancer. To keep diabetes away, women are advised to keep their BMI at under 25. And those who have been diagnosed with diabetes must ensure that they control their blood sugar levels.


Breast cancer is one dreaded ailment that poses risk to all women- older as well as younger. The modern day woman is acquainted with the consequences of a breast lump. Hence, it is vital to know some tips that may help you avoid breast cancer. Here is a special feature:

Food and diet: Experts recommend that you consume food that is organically grown. Besides organic food, it is advisable that you opt for fresh produce since it is high in anti-oxidants which are responsible for preventing cancer. And speaking of food consumption, berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries) are regarded as breast-friendly food since they contain ellagic acid that fights carcinogen. Also, consumption of broccoli, cauliflower and other green leafy vegetables are recommended.

Tap water contains chlorine. Hence, it is advisable to drink filtered mineral water. And do include some turmeric (in food or through capsules) in your diet since it is known to kill cancerous cells and fight many other body ailments.

Hygiene: Hygiene is another important factor to take into account in your endeavor to prevent breast cancer. While using tampons and sanitary napkins, it is recommended that you go for the ones made of organic cotton minus the chlorine. Even while buying toilet tissues, tampons and napkins, it is best to go for the unbleached ones so as to minimize exposure to dioxin. For household cleaning and laundry, use hydrogen peroxide instead of the conventional chlorine since hydrogen peroxide easily decomposes into water and oxygen. Try to minimize the use of pesticides and herbicides while gardening. Also stay away from antiperspirants and use only the natural underarm deodorants.

Lifestyle: Adapt a kind of lifestyle that will help you cut down glucose and fat building in your body. Include lots of exercise and walking in your daily routine. Stress and depression should be avoided since it makes the body prone to ailment. Sun baths, at times, is recommended as Vitamin D helps prevent metastatic process and thereby prevent breast cancer.


Early detection of Breast Cancer is good and subsequently results in better treatment with better results and total cure. However, there are huge drawbacks and pitfalls when the mammogram makes false positive diagnosis.

A study published in British Journal of Surgery suggests that wrongly diagnosed women suffer from depression and anxiety and have to lead a reduced quality of life for as much as one year. Though breast cancer screening has its benefits, women who receive false-positive results tend to go under a shell and lead a low quality of life.

At times, the mammogram may show a positive result (even if cancerous cells are absent) which makes the person concerned enter a depressive phase of life. Hence, the physicians the world over are endeavoring to caution womanhood of this pitfall of breast screening.

Researchers from Netherlands had a brief interaction with 385 women who were detected with abnormal mammogram. Out of them, 152 later got diagnosed with cancer but the remaining 233 had false-positive results and were not home to cancerous cells.

Women with abnormal mammograms had their Quality of Life (QoL) assessed with the major factors being their physical health, psychological health, level of independence, social relationships, environment and spirituality.

Women with false-positive were found to be having a low QoL . These women suffered intense anguish, anxiety and depression until further diagnosis showed that they don’t have cancer. At times, this phase of anxiety may go up to a span of 1 year and significantly alter the life style of the victims.

Dr Dr Lideke van der Steeg from the Department of Surgery, St Elisabeth Hospital, Tilburg, and the Centre of Research and Psychology in Somatic Diseases, Tilburg University says that often, women overestimate the risk of breast cancer. They need to be furnished with more balanced information that would give them the choice of whether or not to accept a breast screening invitation.


A new study suggests that high degree of accuracy is detected by preoperative breast MRI when it is applied to a diverse group of fresh cancer patients. When applied to diverse population, the otherwise occult cancer shows higher degree of accuracy. This study has been published in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

This result is an outcome of the study carried out at the University of Washington and Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in Seattle, WA.

592 patients diagnosed with recent breast cancer were reviewed under the study as they went through preoperative breast MRI. Cancer yields were computed and compared using the chi-square test across patient age, tumor type, density of breast, receptor status and lymph node status. Data of over 570 patients was analyzed after calculating their biopsy rates and positive predictive values of biopsy.

The findings showed that use of preoperative breast MRI in newly diagnosed cancer patients resulted in an added cancer yield of 12%. It is pretty higher than the added cancer yield of .08 to 6.7% that is seen with high risk screening breast MRI (a much more accepted indication of breast MRI).

Robert Gutierrez, MD and prime author of the study says that their patient population represents broader diagnostic and diverse population that results from the practice pattern at their site of routinely performing preoperative breast MRI in newly diagnosed cancer patients.


Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have suggested that high-fat diet and cholesterol-rich food plays a crucial role in breast cancer growth. As per the study published in The American Journal of Pathology, there is a clear link between breast cancer and diet.

Using a mouse model the researchers conducted an experiment. The mice who fed on the American-style diet showed development of larger mammary tumors as compared to the mice who consumed controlled diet.

Dr. Philippe G. Frank remarks that the incident rate of this cancer is 5 times higher in Western countries than in other developed countries. Plus, an increase in breast cancer cases has also been reported in immigrant population thereby hinting at the role of environmental influence on breast cancer development.

The researchers resorted to PyMT mouse model that is supposed to be similar to the pathogenesis of human breast cancer. PyMT mice were provided a typical Western diet with 21.2 percent fat and 0.2 percent cholesterol while another control group of PyMT mice was fed on a diet with barely 4.5 percent fat and negligible cholesterol.

Results showed that the mice who were fed fat and cholesterol rich diet reported quick development of tumors and the size of the tumors were also 50 percent larger. Results also suggested that the growth of tumors reduced the level of blood cholesterol.

These findings may help the medical experts in prevention, screening and treatment of breast cancers. Since growth of tumors has been linked to a significant drop in blood cholesterol, hence measuring cholesterol levels may also be a reliable screening method.

Incidentally, the same research team had earlier found a link between cholesterol and prostate cancer. Thus, it can be concluded that cholesterol, indeed, is a vital factor in the formation and growth of cancerous tumors.


On Thursday, the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that the drug, Avastin, not be utilized by victims of breast cancer as the drug has been found to be ineffectual in diminishing the ferocity of the disease, as per recent investigations on it. Also, the studies have illustrated that Avastin can also engender unpleasant side effects.

The FDA has voiced that the drug’s advantages are overshadowed by its health dangers. The pill had obtained hurried authorization from the FDA in 2008 for usage in treating breast cancer in tandem with chemotherapy. However, four subsequent analyses ascertained that Avastin did not augment the endurance of patients with advanced breast cancer nor did it decelerate the dissemination of the cancer, as per the FDA.

The four independent experimental trials, which examine the usefulness and security of a substance prior to it becoming a permitted drug, did unearth a connection between the drug and intense blood pressure, between the pill and bleeding/ hemorrhage and the growth of holes in the coating that dissociates the right and left nostrils, as well as punctures in the belly and intestines. The FDA has also stated that the drug is allied to cardiological attack and fatal cardiological collapse.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center For Drug Evaluation and Research, has said that there have been meticulous assessments of the clinical data, after which the FDA is advising that the breast cancer indication for Avastin be extricated anchored in the evidence found.

However, some vociferous American legislators have accused the FDA of possessing bias against the drug on account of its lofty cost. Cost is, by the way, not commanded to be a factor in FDA’s endorsement of any drug. The company, Roche, insists that its Avastin is a credible alternative for breast cancer sufferers.

It must be admitted that the cancellation of the approval of Avastin for curing breast cancer doesn’t signify that the physicians can’t recommend it for that use. It does signify, however, that the insurers may discontinue covering the drug for breast cancer victims. Patient organizations are campaigning to ensure that the insurance businesses continue to shell out for the drug for the patients who are already employing it, notwithstanding the FDA’s negative vote.


Heather Greenlee, ND, Ph, a researcher from the Columbia University’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center, has found out that if the women suffering from breast cancer take multivitamins with minerals, then they may face lower chances of re-appearance of the cancer and it may keep them away from death too.

The researcher further added that these multivitamins will be more beneficial to the patients undergoing the radiation treatment. However, the study does not include the cause and effect. Jacksonville Mayo Clinic’s director of the breast cancer program, Edith Perez, MD, added that women, who have the habit of eating the right diet and exercising regularly, usually take more vitamins.

The findings of the study are still under a trial called ‘Pathway’, which will include 4,500 women suffering from breast cancer. Half of these women will be prescribed multivitamins and they will be kept under observation for some years to find how many of the women from each group had faced the cancer again and how many of them died.

Greenlee has stated that their study has just started recruiting women with breast cancer. She further said that 60% of women suffering from breast cancer usually take multivitamins whereas only 38% of healthy women take them.

The researcher added that no other studies have yet discovered this link between multivitamin use and breast cancer prediction. Greenlee along with her colleagues studied the medical records of 2,239 women, who were in the early stage of breast cancer during the period of 1997 and 2000. She informed that 44% of them consumed multivitamins with minerals and 13% took without minerals. They took the multivitamins at least thrice a week for one year or more in three years before they were diagnosed. Following the diagnosis, 65% were found taking multivitamins with minerals and 19% without minerals.

She found that 363 of the women relapsed by May 2010 and 372 died from breast cancer.