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A Low-Fat Diet May Lower the Risk of Dying from Breast Cancer

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Breast cancer treatments have come a long way in recent decades, but understanding how to prevent tumors from forming in the first place has been a major challenge.

In a new study being presented at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in Chicago next month, researchers report intriguing evidence that a low-fat diet, similar to the kind doctors recommend for heart health, is also linked to a lower risk of dying from breast cancer.

The study analyzed data from the Women’s Health Initiative, a large trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health that studies the health effects of hormone therapy, diet and certain supplements on the health of more than 160,000 postmenopausal women. In this trial, researchers led by Dr. Rowan Chlebowski, an investigator at LA Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, focused on a group of nearly 49,000 women who were randomly assigned to follow either a low-fat diet or a control diet for 8.5 years. The low-fat diet group aimed to reduce their fat intake to 20% of their total daily calories and to increase the consumption of fruit, vegetables and grains. None of the women had breast cancer at the start of the study.

After the study ended, the rates of new breast cancers were about the same in the two groups, but women who were diagnosed with breast cancer in the interim had a 35% lower risk of dying from any cause compared to those on the control diet. Even 20 years after the study ended, the women who ate the low-fat diet continued to have a 15% lower mortality risk. And in the longer follow-up data, their risk of dying specifically from breast cancer was 21% lower than that of the women who didn’t change their diet.

“This is a very exciting result for us,” says Chlebowski. “Now we have randomized clinical trial evidence that dietary moderation, which is achievable by many, can have health benefits including reducing risk of death from breast cancer. That’s pretty good; it’s hard not to be happy about that.”

The study is the first to rigorously test a potential factor that could influence deaths from breast cancer. Earlier observational studies did not assign volunteers to specific diets but looked at cancer outcomes depending on what people, on their own, chose to eat. In this study, volunteers were provided with dietary guidelines to follow about what to eat. “Until this study, we lacked any data from a prospective randomized control trial, which is the gold standard, for showing that a dietary approach really does reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer,” says Dr. Neil Iyengar, a medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, who was not involved in the study. “Many of us who are proponents of considering diet and exercise in the cancer treatment plan are excited by this trial data because it is the first to show in a very robust way that we can improve outcomes and prevent cancer-related deaths just by changing the diet.”

In a separate sub-study, the research team also showed that the longer women were on the modified diet, the lower their risk of death during the study period. The results should give doctors more confidence in considering diet when discussing treatment options with women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. While the study did not find a significant connection between dietary changes and the incidence of new breast cancer, the results do suggest that modifying the diet can lower a woman’s risk of dying from any cause, or from breast cancer, if she is diagnosed with the disease.

The reason for that, says Iyengar, may have to do with the diet’s “dose.” It’s possible, for example, that the effect of the dietary change is greater on tiny tumors in the breast tissue that are already established, although they aren’t robust enough yet to lead to a diagnosis of breast cancer. “The effect of this diet may be stronger in preventing the growth of already established tumors rather than preventing the development of tumors,” he says. “What this trial does is position us to take a deeper dive, now that we know we can effectively change the tumor or cancer behavior with diet.”

Chlebowski plans to dig deeper into the data to find out more about how diet is working to lower deaths from breast cancer. During the trial, women provided blood samples both at the start of the study and one year later, so he and his team may find factors that changed among the women on the diet compared to those on the control plan.

In the meantime, he hopes cancer doctors will talk about diet with their patients who might be at higher risk of developing breast cancer. Though not all women in the study were able to lower their fat intake to 20% of their daily calories,“these dietary changes are achievable by many,” he says. Even though not all of the women on the low-fat diet met the target, the study showed that the modifications still reduced risk of dying from any cause and from breast cancer. “It’s about taking smaller pieces of meat, and adding vegetables to the plate to balance things out,” he says.

By Alice Park

Source: https://time.com/

 

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Promising Blood Test Could Help to Predict Breast Cancer Recurrence

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Doctors have gotten much better at detecting and treating breast cancer early. Drug and chemotherapy regimens to control tumors have gotten so effective, in fact, that in some cases, surgery is no longer necessary. In up to 30% of cases of early-stage breast cancer treated before surgery, doctors can’t find evidence of cancer cells in postoperative biopsies. The problem, however, is that there is currently no reliable way to tell which cancers have been pushed into remission and which ones have not.

That’s where an easy identifier, like a blood test, could transform the way early stage breast cancer is treated. In a paper published in Science Translational Medicine, researchers led by a team at the Translational Genomics Institute (TGen), an Arizona-based nonprofit, report encouraging results on just such a liquid biopsy. Its test, called Targeted Digital Sequencing (or TARDIS), was up to 100 times more sensitive than other similar liquid-biopsy tests in picking up DNA shed by breast cancer cells into the blood.

Currently available ways of tracking breast cancer cells in the blood are most useful in people with advanced cancer. In those conditions, cancer cells litter the blood with fragments of their DNA as they circulate throughout the body to seed new tumors in other tissues like the bone, liver and brain. But in early-stage breast cancer, these cells are, by definition, scarcer.

To address the problem, the research team, which included scientists at Arizona State University, the City of Hope, Mayo Clinic, and the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, developed a new way to pick up elusive cancer DNA. They genetically sequenced tumor biopsy tissue from 33 women with stage 1, 2, or 3 breast cancer, most of whom received drug or chemotherapy treatment prior to getting surgery to remove their tumors. By comparing the tumor sequence to the sequence from the patients’ normal cells, the scientists isolated potential mutations that distinguished the cancer cells and identified those that were most likely to be so-called “founder mutations”—genetic aberrations present in the original cancer cells and carried into the resulting tumor.

On average, each patient harbored about 66 such founder mutations. For each patient, the scientists combined the founder mutations to form a personalized assay, which could then be used to pick up signs of breast cancer DNA in blood samples. Combining a number of mutations together turned out to be a more sensitive way to detect tumor DNA than trying to pick up a single or a small number of mutations in an already small number of tumor DNA fragments present in the blood.

They combined this approach with a new strategy for amplifying the scarce tumor DNA found in a blood sample by preserving the size of these snippets and attaching unique molecular identifiers to them to make them more easily detectable.

At the start of the study, TARDIS was able to find tumor DNA in the blood samples of all the patients; other liquid biopsies for breast cancer currently in development have reported picking up 50% to 75% of the cancer cases.

After the pre-surgery treatment TARDIS detected circulating tumor DNA in the blood in concentrations as low as 0.003%, or 100-fold more sensitive than other tests being developed.

“This is an important advance,” says Dr. Debu Tripathy, professor and chair of the breast medical oncology department at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, who was not involved in the study. “This test can help identify those with early stage breast cancer who may still have residual cancer in their body that may not be detectable with standard scans.”

That could help guide treatment, by, for example, determining which patients require closer monitoring for recurrent growths. Because the sequencing identifies the genetic mutations contributing to the tumor, the test could also help doctors to decide which targeted drug therapies, which are designed to address specific cancer mutations, to prescribe for their patients.

Most importantly, the test could help women whose tumors are effectively eliminated by their pre-surgery treatment to avoid an operation altogether since the blood test would reassure her and her doctor that no residual tumor DNA remained.

“If we could really know with a more accurate degree of certainty that you don’t have residual disease, it would be help in saying that you don’t need any more therapy [including surgery],” says Dorraya El-Ashry, chief scientific officer of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. ”Conversely, if you still had residual disease, if there is information from the test that can pinpoint the next therapy, that would also be better.”

Muhammed Murtaza, co-director of the center for non-invasive diagnostics at TGen, says TARDIS needs to be tested in a larger group of breast cancer patients before it can be rolled out to doctors’ offices. His team is planning to study the test’s efficacy in about 200 breast cancer patients, in order to clarify exactly what levels of tumor DNA found in the blood are most likely to lead to recurrence. They are also exploring how modified versions of TARDIS could be applied to other cancers, like esophageal, colorectal, pancreatic and prostate.

There’s even encouraging precedent for this sort of a liquid biopsy. Doctors routinely rely on a blood test for chronic myeloid leukemia, for example, to track patients’ response to targeted drugs that treat specific mutations driving the cancer. “Applying this same technology to more common solid cancers like breast cancer is the new frontier,” says Tripathy.

By Alice Park

Source: https://time.com

 

World Cancer day 4 th Feb — Success Inspirers’ World

World cancer day is a day we should remember,It’s a day for taking action ! Cancer is a word.Not a sentence John Diamond This day is celebrated as World Cancer day,where in, the world becomes one,united to fight cancer epidemic. This day is a reminder and an attempt to bring an awareness of cancer,in terms […]

via World Cancer day 4 th Feb — Success Inspirers’ World

A Cure For Cancer: How To Kill A Killer – The Guardian

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Last month, the Nobel prize in medicine was awarded for two breakthrough scientific discoveries heralded as having “revolutionised cancer treatment”, and “fundamentally changed the way we view how cancer can be managed”. One of them went to a charismatic, harmonica-playing Texan named Jim Allison for his breakthrough advances in cancer immunotherapy. His discovery had resulted in transformative outcomes for cancer patients and a radical new direction for cancer research. And yet many cancer patients, and even some doctors, have hardly heard of cancer immunotherapy or refuse to believe it. Those who have struggle to make sense of the new menu of options and sort reasonable hope from overblown hype………..

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/nov/04/a-cure-for-cancer-how-to-kill-a-killer-revolutionary-immune-system-immunotherapy

 

 

 

 

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Blood Pressure Medication Recall: What Is In This That May Cause Cancer – Bruce Y. Lee

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Do you have an idea of what is in these blood pressure medications? Take away the “I” from an idea and you’ve got a NDEA. That’s the chemical that seems to have contaminated certain lots of a type of blood pressure medication. NDEA is short for N-nitrosodiethylamine. PubChem describes NDEA as a “synthetic light-sensitive, volatile, clear yellow oil that is soluble in water, lipids, and other organic solvents,” which is “used as gasoline and lubricant additive, antioxidant, and stabilizer for industry materials.”The description also mentions NDEA emitting “toxic fumes” when heated to a high enough temperature and being used in the lab to cause liver tumors for experiments……..

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2018/11/02/blood-pressure-medication-recall-what-is-in-them-that-may-cause-cancer/#5a8c7831211e

 

 

 

 

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Study of Cellphone Risks Finds ‘Some Evidence’ of Link to Cancer, at Least in Male Rats – William J. Broad

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For decades, health experts have struggled to determine whether or not cellphones can cause cancer. On Thursday, a federal agency released the final results of what experts call the world’s largest and most costly experiment to look into the question. The study originated in the Clinton administration, cost $30 million and involved some 3,000 rodents. The experiment, by the National Toxicology Program, found positive but relatively modest evidence that radio waves from some types of cellphones could raise the risk that male rats develop brain cancer……..

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/01/health/cellphone-radiation-cancer.html

 

 

 

 

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Eat These 7 Foods to Help Prevent Prostate Cancer – Natural Cures

Prostate cancer affects men more than any other kind of cancer. Almost 15% of men in the US suffer from it—a disproportionate number that could be significantly reduced. Some of the symptoms that accompany prostate cancer include: loss of bladder control, blood present in urine, and a burning sensation during urination. Studies show that a diet high in saturated fats, as well as being overweight increase the risk of prostate cancer.

In fact, more and more doctors are learning that a definite link exists between the foods we eat and the risk of cancer. These foods can be beneficial to anyone with a high risk of cancer:

1. Fresh Fish 2. Greens 3. Tomatoes 4. Coffee 5. Nuts 6. Pomegranates 7. Orange Vegetables Eating these foods can cut down on the risk of prostate cancer, but they can also have a positive effect on both a man’s waistline and his overall quality of life. It’s also important to note the presence of regular exercise reduces not only the risk, but also the degree of prostate cancer. Eat well and live well.

 

 

 

 

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How a 150 Year Old Drug Might Help Battle Cancer – Tim Newman

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There are a number of ways to attack cancer; one of the most commonly used is radiation therapy. Radiation works on tumors in two ways; firstly, it damages DNA and, secondly, it produces oxygen radicals that also harm cancer cells. However, when oxygen levels are low (hypoxia), the body produces fewer oxygen radicals, meaning that radiation therapy is less effective. Because cancer cells divide so quickly, they require more oxygen than healthy tissue. At the same time, blood vessels within tumors are often poorly constructed, making them less efficient…….

Read more: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323384.php

 

 

 

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11 Fashion Brands That Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month – Barry Samaha

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Orange, red and yellow are generally what spring to mind when one considers October colors. But instead of rocking those autumnal hues, think pink instead. It is Breast Cancer Awareness Month after all. The use of pink to symbolize breast cancer awareness started in 1992, and came in the form of an overlapping ribbon. It was meant to show solidarity with those that have been impacted by the disease, which affects one in every eight women in the United States. Needless to say, over the years, the use of the color has evolved and it is now cast on a number of items…….

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/barrysamaha/2018/10/04/fashion-beauty-brands-support-breast-cancer-awareness-month-pink-products-2018/#27e5e066d3cb

 

 

 

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The DNA Detectives Hunting The Causes of Cancer – Kat Arney

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Halfway up a hill overlooking the Great Rift Valley in western Kenya are two graves. One of them is a few years old now, bristling with bushy shrubs stretching bright green leaves towards a cloudless sky. The other is a freshly dug bed of rough red dirt planted with a white wooden cross. They are the final resting places of Emily’s mother and father, who died within four years of each other. Still a young woman, Emily now looks after her family’s rural homestead near Iten – a town famed for churning out long-distance runners and playing host to Mo Farah’s training camps.

Read more: https://mosaicscience.com/story/dna-detectives-cancer-genomics-mutational-signatures-mutographs/

 

 

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