breast cancerBREAST CANCER: PREVENTION – FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE

by Lynn Hinderliter CN, LDN

Some years ago,  I had a brush with fear over this very thing, so I would never presume to say that anything we do carries a guarantee of no disease: however, the steps I am going to suggest have so much expert support that I will say this: taking control certainly beats sitting back and just waiting for Fate to get you! 

What could have been the cause of the astronomical increase in breast cancer that has been seen in the past 40 years or so? England has seen an 81% increase in cases since 1971.  In the States since 1970, numbers have risen from 68,000 to 184,300

One has to take into account that certainly there are more women now, and also that they are living longer, into the age when breast cancer is an increased risk, but even so ...

Consider also that men have nipples – they have them because the development of an embryo begins with a FEMALE design, and only later does the Y chromosome kick in  that designates a MALE. By the time that happens, nipples have already been formed, and nothing in the development process reverses that.

Testosterone is produced, but sensitivity to estrogen remains. This means that enough breast tissue is present that on rare occasions, men have been able to lactate. Alas, it means that men also are susceptible to breast cancer, particularly through exposure to estrogenic compounds. While male breast cancer is rare, and usually affects men over the age of 65, the presence of lumps -which can be easily detected on a male chest – should be a sign that calls for immediate attentions.  Male breast cancer often involves larger tumors and more serious cases, perhaps because men tend not to go to the Doctor in a timely fashion. Since the disease is rare in men, there is also a risk of misdiagnosis.

I would like to note here that male breast cancer, though increasing at a lesser rate than female, still increased by 25% between 1973 and 1998.

Both men and women in this day and age have much more exposure to toxins and exogenous estrogen (from outside their body)  than previous generations. Many of the pesticides and even some of the chemical fertilizers in common use nowadays have estrogenic influence.

In 2006, it became clear that women who spent time in an agricultural environment when growing up are more likely to develop breast ( and other) cancers, and men could not logically be excluded from a similar finding.

It had also become clear that there was a connection between synthetic hormone use and breast cancer (primarily for menopausal symptoms, though one has to wonder about birth control ..Birth control pills are made from synthetic estrogen. A recent study on HRT therapy with estrogen confirms this risk factor.  (See Resources for details.)  and finally, after their usage dropped, so too did breast cancer figures begin to decline.

Estrogen is sensitive to levels of fat and fiber in the diet.

People in Western societies eat less fiber and more animal fats than those in parts of the world where breast cancer is not such a scourge, such as Japan and China. Estrogen is stored in fat cells, so overweight is frequently a risk factor. In women, high body weights at an early age lead to early menarche, and every extra menstrual cycle leads to extra exposure of the breasts to estrogen.

Recollect that most of our foods are packaged, wrapped or stored (and sometimes all three) in substances that contain estrogen like compounds in the plastic that forms them.  Some of this leeches into the food itself.  The good news is that a food wrap has been developed that is made from vegetable starches.  http://www.worldandi.com/public/2001/October/ee.html

Good news on this front: compostable bags and storage utensils made of cornstarch and sugarcane are now available at www.simplybiodegradable.com.

Below is a report from the UK, from May of 2001, about estrogenic chemicals in our food supply.

Estrogen is designed to be deconjugated in the liver into safer compounds which are not associated with cancer. The liver, however  is an organ which is sadly overburdened these days and often is unable to fulfill this function as efficiently as it should.  More about supporting liver health.

In the RESOURCES you will find a comprehensive analysis of the connection between various toxins and breast cancer, but in light of the increased publicity being given to the need to use Sunscreen blocks to avoid skin cancer (oh, the irony) I want to make you aware that a Swiss group testing six popular sunscreen formulas found that 5 of the 6 showed estrogenic activity in breast cancer cells, and 3 of the 6 showed estrogenic activity in laboratory animals. (170. Schlumpf M, Cotton B, Conscience M, Haller V, Steinmann B, Lichtensteiger W. (2001). In vitro and in vivo estrogenicity of UV screens. Environmental Health Perspectives 109(3): 239-244.)

Here are some effective risk-lowering steps:

  • more fiber in your diet: whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits are the best sources for this. (this will lead to avoidance of foods prepackaged in plastic.)
  • less fat – particularly animal fats. Remember, however, that some fatty acids from the Omega 3 family are essential to health. Add olive oil to your diet:  I say this because there are substances in the olive oil which may protect our health in ways previously unimagined.  Dr. Menendez, doing research at Northwestern University Scholl of medicine (Chisago) has discovered that Oleic Acid, one of the main ingredients in olive oil, actually seems to suppress HER-2/neu, the most active oncogene in breast cancer (it is found in more than one fifth of breast cancer patients, and associated with the most aggressive tumors.)
  • Occasional fasts to rest and cleanse the liver: perhaps even a course of herbs on a regular basis for liver function support. More about the Liver
  • Take occasional cleansing and detoxification breaks to minimize the build-up of toxins in the body. Consider an effective Detox agent like ZEOLITE
  • Regular exercise to make sure that your weight is under control, and that stores of fat are tapped to burn for energy.
  •  Mothers, look to introduce physical exercise early into your daughters’ lives: while no one wants to affirm compulsions to be thin to an adolescent, there is much to be said for concepts of healthy moderation!  Remember, estrogen is stored in fatty tissues. An alarming recent study (Obstet Gynecol 2002;100:288-295.)  looked at the relationship between teenage girls (18 years old ), obesity (BMI of 25 or greater) and subsequent pre-menopausal ovarian cancer –  in a study of 109,445 nurses they found that those who met these criteria were nearly TWICE as likely to develop cancer.
  • Enough sleep – there is a link between Melatonin levels and breast cancer, manifested quite clearly in the study on flight attendants and breast cancer.
  • Sunshine in moderation, or Vitamin D3 supplementation.  The figures for prevention of Breast ( and colon) cancer through adequate levels of D3 are startling: this 2007 study suggests that 600,00 cases could be avoided worldwide.
  • Mothers, consider also the preliminary research that suggests adding soy foods to the diet of children starting at age 5, may lower their risk of later breast cancer by around 80%.
  • Additionally, an October 2003 study at the University of California concluded that even an hour a WEEK of moderate exercise ( how hard can that be) cuts cancer risk by 35%.  Unfortunately, this didn’t hold true for hereditary groups.
  • What are you drinking?  Cut out the excess caffeine, the pops and the alcohol, and replace it with as little as HALF A CUP of green tea daily – or choose a supplement with EGCG (epigallocatechin – 3 – gallate)
  • Make sure your diet includes plenty if high antioxidant foods – or supplement. Research shows a link between low antioxidant levels and breast cancer. (Sharhar S, Normah H, et al, Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 2008; 9(2): 343-50. )
  • Monitor your Vitamin D levels – or take steps to make sure you are getting enough of this nutrient.  Again, research shows a link between low Vitamin D levels and breast cancer. (Neuhouser ML, Sorensen B, et al, Am J Clin Nutr, 2008; 88(1): 133-9. )

Does the risk of breast cancer have you wishing you knew for sure?

Some facts about Mammography which every woman should know: I am indebted to Dr. W. C. Douglass of the newsletter
“The Daily Dose” for this analysis. 
http://www.realhealthnews.com

First, the idea that “early detection” of breast cancer will
spare a woman’s breast (or breasts) is erroneous. Despite the
mainstream’s droning on about the need for regular mammograms as
an aid to the detection of cancerous tumors, the notion that
such advanced warning will lead to a cure for the disease is
SIMPLY FALSE. Yet survey data indicates that a huge percentage
of at-risk women believe just that. This is really tragic, since
the only tumors mammograms can reliably detect are those that
indicate a relatively advanced stage of metastasized cancer.

Second, the act of getting a mammogram itself may actually CAUSE
the spread of diseased cells and the development of cancerous
tumors within an otherwise healthy breast. In what I call the
“compression syndrome,” the act of squeezing and compressing the
breast in order to get good images during mammography may
activate and spread an otherwise contained or localized mass of
cancerous cells. In one 90,000-woman Canadian study (published
in a 1992 issue of The Lancet, my favorite medical journal),
subjects between 40 and 50 who had yearly mammograms showed a
36%-52% INCREASE in breast cancer mortality. But have we heard
about this in USA Today, or on NBC news?

On September 24th 2004, Dr. Douglass added this opinion:A recent study of 663 cancerous women published in the Archives of Surgery reveals that those subjects whose cancerous breast tumors were needle biopsied – in other words, intentionally ruptured for diagnostic purposes – were 50% more likely to subsequently develop cancer of the lymphatic nodes located under the armpit than women whose tumors were removed outright (also not something I’d always recommend, but that’s another story).For those in the back row (or those with their fingers in their ears,  like mammographers), I’ll shout: That’s TWICE AS LIKELY to develop lymphatic cancer after disruption of the cancerous tumor.Now, I ask my critics, in light of this startling (but not to me) finding, is it really so unreasonable for me to maintain that extreme compression of the breast might possibly cause cancerous growths to release malignant cells into nearby tissues that might otherwise have remained contained in a tumor until such time as detection and treatment could occur?

Third, conventional medicine is COMPLETELY IGNORING a perfectly
safe, non-invasive alternative cancer test called the AMAS
(Anti-Malignan Antibody Screen). AMAS is a simple and amazingly
accurate (95%+) blood test for detecting cancer cells of any
type originating anywhere in the body. And false positives for
the AMAS test are less than 1%, which compares very favorably to
the…  (Lynn: see RESOURCES for the link)

MORE THAN 73% FALSE POSITIVE RATE OF MAMMOGRAMS AND PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS!

That’s right: According to the Breast Cancer Detection
Demonstration Project, a 5-year study of more than a
quarter-million women between 35 and 74, only ONE IN SIX
biopsies performed on the basis of a positive mammogram (or
physical exam) revealed cancer. Yet millions of women rush into
lumpectomies and mastectomies based on these results. If the
mainstream would just follow these tests with the AMAS, they’d
be saving a lot of women the physical and psychological damage
that goes hand-in-hand with these procedures.

In other words, your actions
FROM THE VERY BEGINNING OF THE PROCESS
can affect your outcome!

Finally the mainstream medical community is at least re-visiting the value mammograms for women under the age of 40 –  I am sure that figure will change over time!

The Immune System. 

All my favorite things play positively into a strong, functioning immune system:  a healthy diet, fresh air, exercise, stress control – all the things that can be said easily and quickly, but in the midst of a busy lifestyle are not so easy to implement.

The list of things that compromise the immune system is long, but consider among the most important the following:

  • stress
  • toxins and chemicals
  • nutrient deficiencies
  • dysbiosis (overuse of antibiotics/destruction of internal bacterial balance)  (Note: Feb 17th 2004 – boy, was this right on!  Check study in RESOURCES)
  • allergies
  • insomnia

Controlling stress is in the number one position here, because with overwhelming stress come so many other immune suppressive health concerns, such as inflammation and  digestive distress, pH and  blood sugar imbalances, and adrenal insufficiency.   Click here for a detailed article on Stress and its many problems.

It is becoming impossible to ignore the connection between toxins, toxic chemicals, and illness.  While the Government wants all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed, just a quick check of the literature shows clusters of environmentally connected disease problems that cannot be ignored.  The weapons here are increased awareness,  since this will enable you to take preventative action – even moving, if necessary!

Consider once again the benefits of organic foods. Remember, authentic organic foods confer benefits on the producer, the environment, any creatures involved and the consumer. It is not just another word attached to nutritionally inferior food to entice you to buy!I do not want to get into the whole subject of factory farming here, but will only say that in my opinion the health risks we discuss here  are only a small part of their adverse social effects.  There are additional risks we are just becoming aware of in commercial fertilizers, too. Did you know that when toxic wastes are added to fertilizer, they become an unregulated “product”? (http://www.ewg.org/reports/factoryfarming/fertpress.htmlIf you think you are avoiding heavy metals, look at this information. and think again!!  I recommend a book called Fateful Harvest by Duff Wilson, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer prize.  It will make you aware of a problem we should all be working to overcome.  See RESOURCES below.

Be aware of the potential for toxicity in your cosmetics and personal care items.  Some experts are now investigating the possibility that this partly explains the difference in cancer levels between women and men – women use the make-up!  ***

Support the immune system with a diet rich in antioxidants and enzymes.  If it is compromised, select supplements to support it such as Moducare, or medicinal mushrooms. More about the immune system.

Keep track of your body’s pH, to ensure you are not giving disease the environment it needs to develop.  An acidic pH contributes to dysbiosis by adversely affecting the health of the denizens of your digestive tract which control the balance of friendly and unfriendly organisms: an overgrowth of Candida will compromise your immune system in short order.  Click here for a detailed article on Candida Albicans.

Minerals help balance your pH, and research is underlining the importance of calcium to reducing cancer risk.

Higher levels of Calcium and its friend, Vitamin D, are associated with lower levels of breast density.  Read the abstract of the study at http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/13/9/1466

Be alert to the possibility of allergens in your diet.

Research has found that  food allergies are  also likely to cause a “disturbed balance between beneficial and potentially harmful bacteria in the large intestine”  People with food allergies  benefit from the addition of both digestive enzymes and probiotics. An article in Gut  (July 2002;51:51-55) says definitively that “a healthy balance of gut microorganisms is essential for the normal development of the immune system.”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12077091&dopt=Abstract

Dr. d’Adamo’s book, Eat Right For your Blood Type, gives some interesting general guidance, and for more particular results, consider the handy Coca pulse test.

There are interesting  studies on the inhibitory effect of Melatonin on breast cancer.

Researchers have found that Melatonin blocks the binding of estradiol to the element in DNA that responds to estrogen. This may be very significant, and may also explain why Melatonin helps Alzheimer’s, by blocking the receptors in neurons. (studies done on Air Attendants showed a connection between consistent interruption of circadian cycles, and higher levels of breast cancer. See RESOURCES for a connection between night time lights, shift work, and breast cancer). The paper reports the therapeutic dose as being around 300-500 mcg, which is the amount normally released by the pineal gland at night.

There is no suggestion that maintaining high levels during the day would be helpful, and some indication that it might be harmful . An interesting side note is that electro- magnetic fields have been shown to reduce Melatonin levels, even when the exposure is incurred during the daytime. The study showed that workers exposed to constant levels of magnetic fields from 60 Hz alternating current experienced reduced Melatonin production. Even a clock by the bed can be a factor. You can measure your Melatonin levels with this kit.

Remember, too, that meditation not only helps with stress levels, often a factor in insomnia (high cortisol levels inhibit sleep) but has also been shown to raise Melatonin levels.  Look in RESOURCES for some home help with meditation, which also has a track record in helping with our second risk-lowering strategy.

Drink Green Tea, and add soy to your diet. A mouse study found the combination was more effective than either food by itself.

Cannabis and aggressive Breast Cancer cells

I don’t think they are talking about SMOKING it, by the way, but the seeds and protein from Hemp are now available commercially.

Topic: A Compound found in Cannabis May Prevent the Spread of Breast Cancer – http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/36965
Keywords: CANCER, BREAST CANCER, METASTASISCannabis, Cannabidiol, Chemotherapy
Reference: “Cannabidiol as a novel inhibitor of Id-1 gene expression in aggressive breast cancer cells,” McAllister SD, Christian RT, et al, Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 2007; 6(11): 2921-7. (Address: California Pacific Medical Center, Research Institute, 475 Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA. E-mail: mcallis@cpmcri.org ).
Summary: In a study involving aggressive human breast cancer cells, cannabidiol – a compound found in cannabis with a low-toxicity profile – was found to block the activity of a gene called Id-1, thereby reducing the aggressiveness of the cancer cells. In previous research, the authors had determined that metastatic breast cancer cells were less invasive and less metastatic when Id-1 was down-regulated. In this study, cannabidiol (CBD) was found to down regulate Id-1 expression in aggressive human breast cancer cells; the concentrations effective at doing so correlated with the concentrations required to inhibit the proliferative and invasive phenotype of breast cancer cells. In a concentration-dependent manner, CBD inhibited Id-1 expression at the mRNA and protein level. According to the authors, the effects of CBD appear to result from the inhibition of the Id-1 gene at the promoter level. CBD did not inhibit invasiveness in cells that ectopically expressed Id-1. The authors c onclude that, “…CBD represents the first nontoxic exogenous agent that can significantly decrease Id-1 expression in metastatic breast cancer cells leading to the down-regulation of tumor aggressiveness.” Given the limited therapeutic interventions available for the treatment of aggressive and metastatic breast cancer, and given the toxicity and other side effects associated with chemotherapy, these results offer hope that a non-toxic alternative to chemotherapy may be on the horizon.
CoQ10 and Breast CancerA 2005 study at the University of Miami  found that CoQ10 in high doses restored the normal life cycle to cancer cells .  In other words, it restored programmed cell death.  http://www.med.miami.edu/news/view.asp?id=403To quote from their press release:  “It is amazing that a benign compound, CoQ10, can cause the cancer cells to selectively kill themselves without harm to normal cells. Moreover, we have a novel topical delivery system that offers cancer patients an improved quality of life with a boost of energy.  Indeed, our team looks forward to one day bringing the benefit and hope of this technology to many cancer patients.”Another study found complete remission in  two cases of breast cancer.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=7612003&dopt=AbstractBe sure to take to Co-enzyme Q10 in an absorbable form with lipids – my article on CoQ10 is here.

Apoptosis,  which can be defined as “gene-directed cellular self-destruction” or programmed cell death. Direct from  Roche (thank you!) I have taken the following definition:  “Apoptosis plays an important role in the homeostasis and development of all tissues within an organism. In contrast to necrosis (cell death by accident), apoptosis is a well regulated physiological process. Any disturbance of the balance between cell proliferation and cell death maintained by apoptosis can result in serious disease, in particular cancer.”  http://www.celldeath.de/encyclo/aporev/aporev.htm#6

There has been compelling research done into the effects of Maitake mushroom extract on apoptosis, and if you are at high risk for breast cancer this is a supplement to consider.

Part of a healthy body is the system of cell messengers that patrol it. If you have had Cancer previously, or feel your risk is exceptionally high, consider IP6.  IP-6 is present in all cells of both animals and plants, and because IP-6 is related to a compound called Inositol Triphosphate which plays a role in communicating to the cell what its reaction should be to stimuli, it may regulate either the manner in which the signal is transmitted, or even act as a censor for unacceptable messages. Be that as it may, the results of studies show that IP-6 brings about reduction in the size of all the tumors  monitored in rats, colon, mammary glands, lung, liver, skin – you name it.  If the mode of operation of IP-6 is as outlined above, then it would be effective against all forms of cancer. Cancer is the uncontrolled division of cells bringing about uncontrolled growth: a nutrient that can cancel out the message to the cells that causes this rogue reaction would (in the words of Dr. Shamsuddin, the researcher) “reduce this abnormal growth rate of cells down to the normal growth level.”

You will find an article on IP6 in RESOURCES

Black Cohosh and Breast Cancer

Breast cancer affects roughly 1 in every 50 women over the age of 50. While the risk rises steadily throughout a woman’s reproductive years, it increases even more following menopause. It is therefore comforting to find that the herb Black Cohosh (Cimifuga racemosa) , used by many women to help control the symptoms of menopause, also has a beneficial effect on that risk.Studies suggest it may HALVE the risk of breast cancer.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST – women, use your breasts for their intended purpose, & encourage your daughters to do so.

While previous studies  yielded inconclusive results, breast-feeding has  been found to be a factor in the risk of breast cancer, according to a  report published in the July 1st 2001 issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Let your breasts loose on occasion – don’t wear a bra 24/7. Inhibiting lymphatic movement in the breasts has a very interesting connection to breast cancer.  http://www.all-natural.com/bras.html

Some interesting facts and studies follow:

I do  not want to end this article without commenting on the use of Tamoxifen to treat women at high risk of developing breast cancer.  A study published in The Lancet (9 Sept 2000; 356:868-869, 881-887) came up with the following results:

  • Women who take Tamoxifen for 2 to 5 years have twice the risk of endometrial cancer as women who have not taken it.
  • Women who have taken Tamoxifen for 5 years or more have a seven times higher risk of endometrial cancer.
  • The total increased risk for all women who used Tamoxifen at all was 50%.
  • Advanced endometrial cancers were more common in women who had taken Tamoxifen long term than in those who had not.
  • The 3-year survival rate for endometrial cancer was “significantly worse” for long term Tamoxifen users than non-users.

Research in 2004 has put this issue to rest – researchers at the University of North Carolina produced statistics on severe side effects such as stroke and blood clots  in users of tamoxifen which make any possible benefit worthless in face of the potential harm.

Ironically, it is now recommended that the nutrients CoQ10 (100 mg), Niacin (50 mg) and Riboflavin (10mg) be added to the Tamoxifen regimen to reduce the chance of metastases. (Biol Pharm Bull, 30, 2:367-70, 2007)

Topic: In Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Patients, Supplementation with Coenzyme Q10, Niacin, and Riboflavin Improves Various Blood Chemistry Profiles Unfavorably Affected by Tamoxifen Therapy – http://www.vitasearch.com/get-clp-summary/37791
Keywords: BREAST CANCER, TAMOXIFEN, CHEMOTHERAPY, SIDE EFFECTSCoenzyme Q10, Riboflavin, Niacin, Blood Chemistry
Reference: “Effect of Coenzyme Q(10), Riboflavin and Niacin on Tamoxifen treated postmenopausal breast cancer women with special reference to blood chemistry profiles,” Yuvaraj S, Premkumar VG, et al, Breast Cancer Res Treat, 2008; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Department of Medical Biochemistry, Dr. ALMP-GIBMS, University of Madras, Taramani Campus, Chennai, 600 113, Tamil Nadu, India).
Summary: In a study involving 78 postmenopausal breast cancer patients receiving tamoxifen therapy and 46 healthy controls, supplementation with coenzyme Q10 (100 mg), niacin (50 mg), and riboflavin (10 mg) for a period of 90 days was found to favorably impact blood chemistry profiles negatively affected by tamoxifen (a chemotherapy drug). Blood samples were collected at baseline, on the 45th and on the 90th day, and various blood chemistry profiles were assessed. Tamoxifen therapy was found to unfavorably affect various blood chemistry parameters, such as serum total bilirubin, serum glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase, serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase, gamma glutamyl transpeptidase, uric acid, lipoprotein lipase, lecithin: cholesterol acyl transferases (LCAT), potassium, calcium and Na(+), K(+)-ATPase. Supplementation with coenzyme Q10, riboflavin and niacin (CoRN) was found to favorably reverse these various blood chemistry parameters to near normal levels, particularly liver and lipid parameters. Thus, the results of this study suggest that postmenopausal breast cancer patients who are receiving tamoxifen therapy may benefit from supplementation with a combination of coenzyme Q10, riboflavin, and niacin. http://www.vitasearch.com/

From “Nutrition and Cancer”
Regulation of Tumor Angiogenesis by Dietary Fatty Acids and Eicosanoids
David P. Rose and Jeanne M. Connolly, The authors are affiliated with the Division of Nutrition and Endrocrinology, American Health Foundation, Valhalla, NY 10595.

Abstract
Angiogenesis is a prerequisite for tumor growth and metastasis. Vascular endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and capillary formation are stimulated by angiogenic growth factors, which include the proteins vascular endothelial growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor, and transforming growth factor- , and eicosanoids synthesized from n-6 fatty acids. Clinical studies have shown that angiogenesis in solid tumors relates to a poor prognosis and, in premalignant lesions, indicates potential for cancerous transformation. High-fat, n-6 fatty acid-rich diets were associated with a relatively poor prognosis in breast cancer patients; in a nude mouse model the same diet enhanced breast cancer progression, whereas n-3 fatty acids exerted suppressive effects that were associated with impaired angiogenesis. Lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase products of n-6 fatty acid metabolism are angiogenic in in vitro assays. This activity is blocked by pharmacological inhibitors of eicosanoid biosynthesis, and one, indomethacin, suppressed n-6 fatty acid-stimulated murine mammary carcinoma growth and metastasis and tumor vascularization. Review of the experimental data suggests that selective inhibitors of eicosanoid-synthesizing enzymes and dietary intervention with n-3 fatty acids merit clinical evaluation as adjuvant therapy and chemopreventive agents. [Nutrition and Cancer 37(2):119227, 2000. © 2000 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.]

**While not strictly applicable to breast cancer alone, the following study  is important information for women since they are the ones who are most likely to color their hair.

Women who hide their natural hair color with regular applications of permanent hair dye may be putting themselves at increased risk for bladder cancer, new research findings suggest.

“Our study is the first to demonstrate a frequency- and duration-dependent association between personal use of permanent hair-dyes and bladder cancer risk,” lead study author Dr. Manuela Gago-Dominguez, from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, told Reuters Health.To investigate the relationship between permanent hair dyes and bladder cancer, Dr. Gago-Dominguez and colleagues analyzed more than 1500 cases of bladder cancer, 897 of which yielded information about hair dye use. Data on a similar number of adults who did not use permanent hair dye were used for comparison. The study findings will be published in the February 2001 issue of the International Journal of Cancer.After adjusting for cigarette smoking, the authors found that women who used permanent hair dye at least once a month were 2 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than women who did not use permanent hair dye. Women who reported regular long-term use of the hair dye for at least 15 years were more than 3 times more likely to develop bladder cancer than nonusers.Hairstylists and barbers were 50% more likely to have bladder cancer than those who did not have occupational exposure to hair dye. Those who were exposed to hair dye for at least 10 years were five times more likely than the comparison group of unexposed individuals to develop bladder cancer.“Our novel observations are provocative and carry enormous public health implications,” Dr. Gago-Dominguez said. “It is [perhaps] a little premature to make any recommendation about stopping the use of permanent hair dyes,” she acknowledged. “However, this is one of the largest and most comprehensive studies ever conducted on the issue and we think our results should not be ignored.”

Now we come to the fun part!  According to Dr. John Corbett, a consultant to the Cosmetic, Toiletry, and Fragrance Association, Dr. Gago-Dominguez and her team may have used a faulty study design.

“Their measure of exposure is just (Lynn: my italics) frequency of use and duration of use, which is not very good,” he told Reuters Health. “The most important factor in exposure to hair dye is the shade you use.”

“All of the shades use essentially the same chemicals, but there’s quite a lot more of [the chemicals] in dark brown and black than there are in blonde,” he explained.

Also, Dr. Corbett contends that the researchers “seem to make light of previous studies” by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society that failed to find an association between hair dye use and cancer risk.

“The bottom line is I don’t think [the new study findings] should affect people in their decision as to whether to use hair color or affect the hair color industry,” Dr. Corbett said.

Science News, April 29, 2000
Soy-rich diets appear to help fight certain cancers. Tea drinking has been linked to similar benefits. Two studies now find that the combo offers a potent double whammy against cancer of the breast and prostate -at least in mice. Jin-Rong Zhou and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School in Boston injected a million breast cancer or prostate cancer cells into mice engineered to possess weak immune systems. Two weeks earlier, they had replaced the drinking water of some animals with green or black tea. Others received chow laced with isoflavones, soy’s biologically active antioxidants. Two groups of mice got both the mix of isoflavones and one or the other tea. Some just ate their normal diet. Two months after implantation of the cancer cells, the researchers surveyed for tumors and found that all the experimental diets had conferred some benefit. Compared with animals on the normal diet, mice given isoflavones or tea had 25 to 50 percent fewer tumors, and their tumors weighed 15 to 25 percent less. However, benefits from pairing tea and isoflavones equaled or exceeded the sum of either alone–a reduction of between 72 and 87.5 percent in tumor number and a similarly large decrease in each tumor’s size.

The results of a new survey by the UK government’s food watchdog has shown that the seepage of the oestrogen-mimicking compound bisphenol A (BPA) into canned food is widespread. Nearly two thirds of tinned food assessed by the Food Standards Agency’s Committee on Toxicity including Heinz baled beans, Tesco tuna and Sainsbury’s fruit cocktail were found to contain BPA. Although the committee declared the level of contamination as “unlikely to be of concern to health,” environmentalists have called for an alternative to BPA to be developed as a matter of urgency. Animal research has shown that BPA enlarges the size of the prostate gland in mice, advances the onset of puberty in females and reduces fertility in rats. The findings have led to speculation that the build up of BPA in humans — the chemical is also found in white dental fillings — may be responsible for the rise in testicular cancer, prostate cancer and reduced sperm counts. Children and unborn babies are thought to be at greatest risk of the effects of BPA because of their smaller body size. In the survey, scientists examined 62 samples of canned food or drink from UK supermarkets. BPA was detected at up to 0.07 mg/kg in 37 samples and at 0.35 to 0.42 mg/kg in three additional cans. The highest level of contamination was found in cans of Princes ham bought in Tesco. Lower levels were found in Farrow’s marrow fat, giant processed peas and Tesco baby carrots. None of the four samples of baby formula tested were positive for BPA. The safe limit for BPA set by the EC is 3 mg/kg, according to the Food Standards Agency, making canned foods no danger to health. It advises the public that there is no need for them to change their eating habits as a result of these new findings. However, the debate about what constitutes a safe level of BPA consumption is controversial. Some scientists have found have that BPA produces effects in animals at very low doses.

Commenting on the findings Dr Michael Warhurst, Safer Chemicals Campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said: “These are disturbing results. The Government must put pressure on the canning industry and supermarkets to get rid of this risky chemical. In the mean time, the public has a right to know which cans contain this hormone disrupter.”  “The Government should stop protecting its friends in the chemical industry and start protecting our health,” he added.

It is not known why BPA migrates into certain foods and not others, though it seems that the risk of seepage is higher when BPA is used as a linking agent between the can and the food rather than just in the lining of the can, Dr. Warhurst said. “We really don’t know enough about BPA at the moment. But we do know that there is a huge amount of confidentiality surrounding canned coatings,” he said. “Consumers should be asking their retailers which cans contain BPA and which don’t. Because of the evidence from animal studies, we don’t think BPA should be used in the context of food.”

Dr. Laufey Tryggvadottir and colleagues, from the Icelandic Cancer Society in Reykjavik, assessed the link between breast-feeding and breast cancer by analyzing data on 993 parous women who developed breast cancer and 9729 matched control subjects who did not develop cancer.

Conditional logistic regression analysis, considering only women diagnosed with breast cancer before 40 years of age, revealed an inverse relationship between breast-feeding duration and the risk of breast cancer. For women diagnosed after 40 years of age, the association was much weaker, the authors note. The risk of breast cancer at all ages appeared to be lower for women who had ever lactated versus those who had not.

“The present results, in the context of results from previous studies, indicate that breast-feeding reduces the risk of breast cancer diagnosed under the age of 40, and it may offer some protection for older cases also,” the researchers state.

Further studies are needed to determine whether the breast cancer risk reduction observed in the current study applies to women with a genetic risk for breast cancer, Dr. Tryggvadottir’s team comments.

Am J Epidemiol 2001;154:37-42. 

Find the recommended supplements here

Quick Links

The Poisons within – http://www3.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0610/feature4/index.html

Link between Fluoride and Cancer? – http://www.nowtoronto.com/issues/2006-07-27/news_story2.php

Citizens Concerned about Chloramine – http://www.chloramine.org/chloraminefacts.htm

Mammography –  is it worth it? http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/322/7293/1040

Thermography – alone or in conjunction with.  http://www.breastthermography.com/mammography_thermography.htm

For those fortunate enough to live in the City of  my Youth:Breast Screening in the UK http://www.wholisticmedical.co.uk

Wholistic Medical is a natural Health Clinic in London, and a fully qualified Holistic Health Clinic.Available therapies are Breast Screening and Breast Cancer Treatment

The Wise Woman promotes Breast HEALTH Awareness Month – http://www.susunweed.com/Article_Prevent_Breast_Cancer.htm

Re-thinking THE PINK – http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Oct05/Marshall1003.htm

CLA and breast cancer – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=14988466

Non-denominational  Meditation instruction – http://hop.clickbank.net/?vtmnldy/meditation

Cancer and Stress Control through Mind Control – Accepting and Receiving suggestions for change through Hypnosis

Find out more about programs to manage Stress and Anxiety”, all composed by state-licensed psychologists.  http://www.hypnosisnetwork.com/hypnosis/stress_anxiety.php

The following is a  “conventional” (i.e.. not alternative oriented) site, but with good overall information:

National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations – http://nabco.org

Determine your cancer risk – an assessment – http://www.yourcancerrisk.harvard.edu/

Study links Antibiotic Use and Breast Cancer – http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/291/7/880

A very interesting connection between the bra and breast cancer. – http://www.all-natural.com/bras.html

Cancer and Personality- one Doctor’s review – http://www.drbrodie.com/personality.shtml

Don’t let them invade you, squeeze you, cut you – there’s a new way to check for cancer.  http://www.cancure.org/tests_to_detect_cancer.htm

The AMAS test.  http://www.amascancertest.com

An inexpensive non-invasive way to check for early Cancer which can be done at home

HRT Therapy and Breast Cancer Risks

Early Menarche and DDT – http://www.safe2use.com/ca-ipm/01-05-22d.htm

Information about performing BSE (Breast Self Exam) http://imaginis.com/breasthealth/bse.asp.htm

Breast Self Massage – http://www.breasthealthcancerprevention.com/Breast_self_massage.htm

BSE – is it worth it? http://healthfullife.umdnj.edu/archives/selfExam_archive.htm

Just in case you aren’t happy with your  standard issue -some facts about Breast Implants.  http://www.breastimplantinfo.org/make_diff.html

Flight Crews and Cancer – http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/news/20031021/flight-crews-have-higher-cancer-risk

Melatonin, D3 and breast cancer – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12788662&dopt=Abstract

Estrogens in PlasticWraps? http://www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Plasticizers/Out-Of-Diet-PG5nov03.htm

Compostable bags and storage utensils made of cornstarch and sugarcane are now available at simplybiodegradable.com

An inexpensive non-invasive way to check for early Cancer – navarro-urine-test.htm

A forum for young women with breast cancer to meet and gain a sense of community.  http://www.cwhn.ca/resources/breast_health/breastless.html

Important information: ANY woman who is on birth control, and has received the report of an  atypical Pap smear needs to know about this. http://www.osu.edu/researchnews/archive/thinprep.htm

Vitamin D, Calcium and Breast Cancer – http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/13/9/1466

Cancer is Big Business – http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/199909/cancer.asp

Tamoxifen and Liver Cancer – http://www.preventcancer.com/patients/med_avoid/tamoxifen.htm

Birth Control and Cancer – http://www.preventcancer.com/patients/med_avoid/pill.htm

Breastfeeding.com

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