Friday, December 29, 2006

Passive Smokers Can Get Breast Cancer

US scientists have claimed that secondhand smokers are at higher risk of Breast Cancer. Earlier, their research also led to them to the conclusion that young women smokers are more likely to get addicted to smoking than young men.

Breast Cancer is the number one cancer among women and the count of its victim are rising very rapidly. This is for the first time that passive smoking has been directly linked with some sort of cancer. World Health Organization links smoking with 25 Cancers: Some of these cancers are : uterine, kidneys, cervix, pancreas, head and neck... The study firmly proves that smoking is not only injurious to your health but also to the company you are with. Wake Up!

Smoking doesn't stop here with its side-effects. For women, smoking also increases the risk of strokes and heart diseases. And to add fuel to the fire, chances for heart related diseases gets ten-fold if they are taking birth-control pills side by side.

Besides this, smoking is also responsible for :

. Bad breath and stained teeth

. Risk of stomach ulcers and acid reflux.

. Charm on the face vanishes. Wrinkles develop soon.

. Setting up wrong examples for your children.

To learn more about ill-effects of smoking and to get tips and motivation to quit smoking, visit our website below.

Jasdeep Singh
posted by Mohd Firdaus at 7:43 AM | Permalink | 0 comments



Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Of Lumps, Bumps And Breast Cancer
You feel a mild soreness in the breast so you checked for lumps. You felt a little bump. The next best step is to consult a doctor, you might have breast cancer. Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that starts from the cells of the breast. Breast cancer occurs mainly in women but this does not mean that men are safe from this disease.

A woman's breast is made up of lobules, which are glands that make the milk; ducts, which connect lobules to the nipples; fat and connective tissues; blood vessels; and lymph vessels. Most breast cancers begin in the ducts. It may also begin in the lobules then spread to other tissues.

When one feels a lump in the breast, there is really no virtual worry because most lumps are benign which means that they are not cancerous. In fact, benign breast tumors are abnormal growths but do not really pose threats because they do not spread outside of the breast. However, some benign lumps increase the risk in having breast cancer.

Then there are lumps that are not really tumors at all which are often caused by fibrocystic changes -- cysts are fluid-filled sacs while fibrosis is the formation of scar-like tissue. These changes can cause swelling of the breasts resulting to being lumpy and sometimes a fluid discharge from the nipples.

There are different types of breast cancer and knowing them will greatly help in assessing the disease.

Carcinoma in situ is a term used for early stage of breast cancer where the cancer cells are still confined to the place where it started. In particular, the cancer cells are confined in the lobules or the ducts, depending on where it started. The cancer cells have not gone into the fatty tissues in the breast nor spread to other organs of the body.

Ductal carcinoma in situ is the most common type of noninvasive breast cancer. Similar with Carcinoma in situ, the cancer cells have spread through the walls of the duct into the fatty tissue of the breasts. Almost all women with breast cancer at this stage can be cured and the best way to find is through the use of mammogram.

Lobular carcinoma in situ is the condition which begins in the milk-making glands but does not go through the walls of the lobules. This is not a true cancer but this can increase the risk of a woman to have breast cancer later. For this very reason, it is of utmost importance for women with this type of condition to follow the guidelines for breast cancer.

Infiltrating (or invasive) ductal carcinoma is a type of breast cancer that starts in the milk passage, breaks through the duct walls, invades the fatty tissue of the breast then spread to other parts of the body. This is the most common type of breast cancer.

Infiltrating lobular carcinoma starts in the milk glands then travel to the other parts of the body.

As of now, there is no exact cause for breast cancer but there are certain factors that are linked to the disease. Some factors that cannot be controlled are age, gender, family history, personal history of breast cancer, and race. Factors such as not having children, birth control pills, diet, exercise, and alcohol are some of the factors that can be controlled which may lessen or heighten the risk of a woman to have breast cancer.

There are several tests that may confirm and disconfirm if you suspect breast cancer such as imaging tests which includes mammography, breast ultrasound, and ductogram and biopsy which includes fine needle aspiration biopsy, stereotactic core needle biopsy, and surgical biopsy.

Charlene J. Nuble
posted by Mohd Firdaus at 11:48 PM | Permalink | 0 comments



New Hope to Prevent Breast Cancer: What Every Woman Needs to
In March, 2005, a major nutritional breakthrough in the fight against breast cancer was announced by U.S. scientists. This new information is absolutely critical for every woman looking for a natural way to reduce breast cancer risk.

Researchers at Cornell University found that extracts from ordinary apples "effectively inhibited mammary cancer growth" in laboratory animals. The study concluded that "consumption of apples may be an effective strategy for cancer prevention."

The study, "Apples Prevent Mammary Tumors in Rats," was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Phytochemicals from apples- known as polyphenols- have previously shown effectiveness against colon, lung, liver and stomach cancer, among others. But this is the first published study showing that apple polyphenols may be even more effective against breast cancer tumors.

Beyond Breast Cancer Prevention?

In the recent study, treatment with apple extracts prevented new tumor formation by up to 44% in animals given the highest amount.

But the most startling finding- and by far the most significant- is this: after 6 months of treatment, the number of existing tumors was reduced by 61%.

This remarkable finding indicates that adequate doses of apple polyphenols may go beyond prevention, and actually reduce existing mammary tumors.

What Can This Mean for You?

The researchers at Cornell believe that apple polyphenols may prevent breast cancer in humans. If this were the only study available, it might be too early to recommend increased doses of apple phytochemicals.

However, there are multiple studies in different types of cancer, showing that apple polyphenols are anti-proliferative, anti-mutagenic, and highly antioxidant. Consistent results have been obtained in studies on skin cancer, lung cancer, and six other types of human cancer cells.

Now, a new study from Cornell shows that apple polyphenols are also anti-metastatic- they seem to prevent cancers from spreading. This is a crucial finding for those at risk for breast cancer, as well as survivors of the disease.

Can I Just Eat More Apples?

In nearly all the available studies, the highest benefit from apple polyphenols comes with the highest intake. The Cornell scientists said the highest benefit was seen in rats eating the "human equivalent" of six apples a day.

There is no question that phytochemicals in apples are good for you. And one way to get more of them is to substantially increase the number of apples in your diet. But there's a problem...

Aside from the difficulty and expense of eating that many apples (42 apples a week), there is another important health issue- pesticides. Apples are one of the "dirtiest" foods in the U.S. when it comes to pesticides.

A Perfect Solution?

If you or someone you love is at risk for breast cancer, you need to know the answers to these three questions:

1. How many different pesticides are lurking in your apples?

2. Does washing the fruit take care of the problem? (This one may shock you.)

3. How can you get these apple phytochemicals with zero risk of pesticides?

Get the answers by clicking the link at the end of this article now... David L. Kern is a researcher and publisher of New Health & Longevity, a newsletter devoted to the latest advances in medical nutritional science. Get the full story on this new health discovery now at

David L. Kern
posted by Mohd Firdaus at 11:47 PM | Permalink | 0 comments



Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New Advances In Early Breast Cancer Detection

In November 2003, the American Cancer Society stated that breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 40 and 44. In the United States, there are approximately 200,000 new cases of breast cancer and more than 40,000 deaths; making the U.S. one of the countries with the highest death rate due to breast cancer. Perhaps the most alarming statistic is 1: 8 women will eventually develop breast cancer over their lifetime.

One of the most powerful steps a woman can take to reduce her risk for developing breast cancer is to educate herself about the petrochemicals, or xenoestrogens that are in her environment and work to eliminate or reduce them. Petrochemicals are “hormone disruptors” and it is through the unbalancing of your hormone system that can lead to problems. These xenoestrogens are found in cosmetics, lotions and fingernail polish and polish remover. They are obviously found in pesticides and insecticides. What you may not be aware of is that petrochemicals are found in plastics. If food is placed in a plastic container and reheated in the microwave, the plastic melts into your food and you ingest it. The harder the plastic, the more resistant it is to this process but the potential for accidental xenoestrogen ingestion is still present. Simply put, do not reheat food in plastic containers in the microwave.

Conventional screening methods all examine structure. For example, mammography uses X-ray to examine breast tissue. Any structure that has grown large enough to be seen by X-ray could be detected by mammography. However, mammography can have a high false positive rate. In fact, only 1 in 6 biopsies are found to be positive for cancer when found by mammography or clinical breast exam. This leads to increased psychological stress, physical trauma and financial concerns.

Other risks of mammography include the radiation exposure, although this has been debated by doctors for many years. Recently published in Radiation Research, 2004 the author suggests that the risks associated with mammography screening may be FIVE times higher than previously assumed and the risk-benefit relationship of mammography needs to be re-examined.

There exists a technology that can detect a breast issue YEARS before a tumor can be seen on X-ray or palpated during an exam. This technology has been approved by the FDA as an adjunctive screening tool since 1982 and offers NO RADIATION, NO COMPRESSION AND NO PAIN. For women who are refusing to have a mammogram or those who want clinical correlation for an existing problem, digital infrared thermal imaging may be of interest.

Thermal cameras detect heat emitted from the body and display it as a picture on a computer monitor. These images are unique to the person and remain stable over time. It is because of these characteristics that thermal imaging is a valuable and effective screening tool.

Breast thermography has undergone extensive research since the 1950s. There are over 800 peer-reviewed studies on breast thermography with more than 300,000 women included in large clinical trials. An abnormal thermogram is 10 times more significant as a future risk indicator for breast cancer than a first order family history of the disease. A persistently abnormal thermogram carries a 22-fold higher risk of future breast cancer.

Medical doctors who interpret the breast scans are board certified and endure an additional two years of training to qualify as a thermologist. Thermography is not limited by breast density and is ideal for women who have had cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. It is recommended that since cancer typically has a 15 year life span from onset to death, that women begin thermographic screenings at age 25.

Thermographic screening is not covered by most insurance companies but is surprisingly affordable for most people. For more information or to find a certified clinic in your area, go to

writer:Brenda Witt

posted by Mohd Firdaus at 11:11 AM | Permalink | 0 comments



Need support when going through breast cancer?
It is so very hard when someone is diagnosed with breast cancer. Not only does it effect the patient, but so many other family members and friends.

Online support can be a major help to those being effected by this disease.

For further information please visit
About the author:

Susan Pangallo is the creator of the online support forum Friends in Need. She is also an eleven survivor of breast cancer and can give support and strength to those effected.
posted by Mohd Firdaus at 11:11 AM | Permalink | 0 comments



Monday, December 25, 2006

Natural Self-Defense Against Breast Cancer

Natural Self Defense Against Breast Cancer - Learning to Cope with Organochlorine Pollution

What are organochlorines?

Organochlorines are chemicals found in some herbicides and pesticides, in chlorine bleach and most chemical disinfectants, and many plastics, especially PVC (polyvinylchloride).

Organochlorines are implicated in causing and promoting breast cancer because they mutate genes and they cause breast cells to become more receptive to a cancer-promoting chemical called estradiol. Organochlorines weaken the immune system and lower your body’s resistance to bacteria and viruses. They also act as a negative type of estrogen in the body.

How do they enter our bodies?

Organochlorines enter our bodies through our drinking water, by eating foods grown with certain agricultural chemicals, and through the plastic linings on canned or microwaveable foods. They enter through our lungs by breathing in the fumes of chlorine bleach disinfectants and by body contact with chlorine bleached paper products such as tampons, toilet paper and paper cups.

How can we reduce our exposure?

Step One-Reduce Your Exposure

The first thing to do is to reduce your plastic consumption, especially of convenience foods. On plastic containers, there is typically a triangle with a number inside of it on the bottom of the container. You can recognize PVC or polyvinylchloride as the type of plastic that has a 3 in the center of the triangle.

As for paper products, use oxygen bleached or unbleached paper products. Companies who sell non-chlorine bleached paper products typically say so on the label and they do not necessarily market their products as “green” products.

Buy the non-chlorine bleach and more environmentally friendly household products. Simple vinegar and water can be used for many household chores.

Eating only organically produced meat and dairy products will reduce the amount of organochlorines in your diet by 80%.

Step Two-Help Your Liver

With help, your liver can metabolize organochlorines.

Flaxseeds and organic egg yolks contain lecithin, a chemical that speeds up the elimination of fat-soluble chemicals such as organochlorines by making them water-soluble.

Beans, lentils, red clover, soy products and chickweed contain chemicals called saponins. Saponins help to break down organochlorines, prevent cellular mutation and can stop the reproduction of cancer cells. These foods are strongly recommended for anybody who regularly consumes organochlorines.

Members of the cabbage family including broccoli, kale, turnips, radishes, cabbage, bok choy or cauliflower can help you metabolize organochlorines by increasing the production of non-cancerous by-products.

Step Three-Mother Nature’s Help

Woman-positive natural sources of estrogen can block entrance of organochlorines, estradiol and other cancer promoting estrogens when enough of them are in the blood stream. The reason behind this is that these positive hormones move quickly through our bodies whereas the cancer producing chemicals such as organochlorines move more slowly. If there are enough of these plant hormones in the blood stream, they can easily block organochlorines from attaching themselves to breast cells and from promoting cancer.

These plant hormones can be found in lentils, dried beans, tofu and fermented soy products such as tempeh and miso, parsnips, sweet potatoes, pomegranates, burdock roots, red clover, hops and ginseng. Regular intake of broccoli and cabbage is also helpful.

Post Transformation Tips

Making changes in favor of your survival and that of the environment often puts us in a period of re-adjustment, not only with the society we live in, but also with our family, friends and neighbors.

Several strategies we use to maintain positive social relations are

Natural self-defense does not mean natural aggression, nor does it mean that it will cause you to develop a social disorder triggered by the existence of organochlorines. Foods and herbs that encourage natural self-defense make you lose the taste for products associated with organochlorines.

Allow self-defense foods to empower you to envision and work towards an organochlorine free future without any anger about the present situation. In other words, don’t let the forces that encourage personal and environmental negligence push your buttons.

Chose recycled plastic toys or second hand plastic toys over new ones for your children.

Send lunches in reusable containers.

Bring a bean or lentil salad to the next barbecue or potluck supper.

Invite friends who use a lot of plastic and organochlorine products over to eat. Explain why you eat certain foods and what you have done to minimize your contribution to its proliferation. Relay the information in such a way that your guests feel comfortable and leave them to lose the taste for organochlorine products in their own way and time.

Use organic foods to show your body what a natural food is and have confidence that your body will use this knowledge to recognize what isn’t natural and respond appropriately to it. This is a goal that can be started even on a limited budget. The return of your natural body begins with one organic apple, especially a shared one!

Written by Jennifer Rodriguez-Allen, B.Sc., Environmental Chemist and President of Agoo Agii, inc ( This article can found in print form with Agoo Agii's Aromatherapy Breast Self-Exam Kit. Gently encourage a loved one (or yourself) perform the Breast Self-Exam.

Legal Disclaimer-The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.

writer:Jennifer Rodriguez-Allen

posted by Mohd Firdaus at 1:56 AM | Permalink | 0 comments



Sunday, December 24, 2006

Lighting the Way to Fight Breast Cancer
(ARA) - Being a woman and getting older are the main risk factors for breast cancer. This year, more than 200,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and nearly 40,000 women will lose their lives to the disease. Although you cannot control your sex or age, there are other factors related to personal, everyday choices that can be controlled, and may help reduce your risk for breast cancer.

Control Your Risk Factors

The risk factors you can control that may decrease your risk of getting breast cancer include: not having more than one drink of alcohol per day; not being overweight after menopause nor gaining weight as an adult; not taking birth control pills for five years or longer; and having children, especially before the age of 30.

Eat Right and Exercise

For overall wellness and also to possibly decrease the risk for developing breast cancer, it is recommended that women consume a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Physical activity may protect you from breast cancer if you are pre-menopausal or are a younger postmenopausal woman. Exercise reduces estrogen levels, fights obesity, lowers insulin levels and boosts the immune system.

Support the Fight Against Breast Cancer Where You See the Pink Ribbon

Another important piece you can control is your support of organizations that are leading the fight against breast cancer, often with the help of retail partners. For seven years, Pier 1 Imports has sold the “Komen Candle” with 25 percent of the purchase price (less tax) benefiting the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation to support innovative breast cancer research and community outreach programs. Last year, sales of the candle raised more than $176,000 for the Komen Foundation.

“A key to our success at the Komen Foundation is that we collaborate with a variety of companies and organizations to provide creative ways for people to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer,” said Cindy Schneible, vice president of cause-related marketing and sponsorship for the Komen Foundation. “ Pier 1’s ‘Komen Candle’ enables the Komen Foundation to reach more women with the life-saving message of early detection and to raise funds for breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment programs.”

Starting late August, the signature Floral Blush-scented candle will be sold in Pier 1 stores nationwide. For more information about breast health or breast cancer, call the Komen Foundation’s National Toll-Free Breast Care Helpline at (800) I’M AWARE (462-9273) or visit the Web site at
posted by Mohd Firdaus at 10:43 PM | Permalink | 0 comments



How to care for yourself during Breast Cancer Radiation
Battling Cancer is a tough time in anyone’s life. Perhaps the toughest. That’s why we’ve decided to write this article on how to care for yourself during radiation for Breast Cancer.

It very important to properly care for yourself during radiation for breast cancer. Keep in mind that after radiation you could feel fatigued for up to six weeks. Sleep as much as you like during this time – one thing you really need is your rest.

Also, make sure after radiation that you wear a comfortable bra. Making sure your bra fits properly and doesn’t rub in any way is all part of good care for yourself during radiation for breast cancer. If a part of your bra rubs place a soft cloth between the bra and your skin.

Weight loss can be a problem after radiation treatment. In order to properly care for yourself during radiation for breast cancer make sure you eat a balanced diet. This will help you to avoid weight loss and keep your energy levels as high as possible.

Keep the skin fold area under your breast clean and talk to your doctor before using any powders, lotions, deodorants or perfumes. As part of your care for yourself during breast cancer radiation you need to make sure you are not using any products that might react with your skin at this time or do something to affect the radiation treatment in any way. Because of this it is best to avoid deodorants. Deodorants contain magnesium, and this can inhibit the effectiveness of the radiation treatment. To avoid reactions with the treated area, also avoid starching your clothes.

As part of care for yourself during radiation for breast cancer bathe the treated area in lukewarm water. This is because hot and cold water can damage your skin.

Phil Wiley
posted by Mohd Firdaus at 12:49 AM | Permalink | 0 comments



Friday, December 22, 2006

How to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer

We hear it all the time…lose weight for your health. Few people however, realize the extent to which this is critical to their physical well-being and ultimately their life expectancy.

In January 2003, the Journal of the American Medical Association featured a study finding that obesity appears to lessen life expectancy, especially among young adults. The researchers compared Body-Mass Index (BMI) to longevity and found a correlation between premature death and higher BMIs. For example, a 20-year-old white male, 5’10” weighing 288 pounds with a BMI of greater than 40 was estimated to lose 13 years of his life as a result of obesity.Jamie McManus, M.D., F.A.A.F.P. and author of “Your Personal Guide to Wellness” notes that while this study referenced extreme levels of obesity, there are still millions of overweight people in developed countries with a life expectancy rate that is three to five years less than their healthy-weight counterparts. She also estimates that there are 600,000 obesity related deaths each year in America.

Just how does obesity shorten our lifespan? The answer to this question is complex, yet there is a clear link between obesity and the development of cancer. An extensive study conducted by the American Cancer Institute involving 750,000 people showed that obesity significantly increased the risk of cancer developing in the following organs: breast, colon, ovaries, uterus, pancreas, kidneys and gallbladder.

Michael Thun, MD, vice-president of epidemiology and surveillance research for the American Cancer Society (ACS) says one reason obesity may raise cancer risk is because fat cells produce a form of estrogen called estradiol that promotes rapid division of cells, increasing chances of a random genetic error while cells are replicating, which can lead to cancer. In addition, fat centered around the abdomen may increase insulin and insulin-like growth factors in the blood, which may increase cancer risk.

"Women who are obese after menopause have a 50% higher relative risk of breast cancer," notes Thun, "and obese men have a 40% higher relative risk of colon cancer…. Gallbladder and endometrial cancer risks are five times higher for obese individuals”. There is evidence that cancer rates in developed countries are increasing at 5 to 15 times faster than developing countries. A major contributor to this alarming reality has proven to be diet. In populations where the diet consists mostly of fresh fruit and vegetables and whole grains – in contrast to the typical Western diet of fatty meats, refined flours, oils and sugars – the risk of cancer is much lower.

The interaction of diet and the development of cancer is an active field of research and Dr David Heber, M.D., Ph.D. and author of “What Color is Your Diet”, says “It appears that diet has its most significant effects after the cancer has already formed, acting to inhibit or stimulate the growth of that cancer”. At the risk of oversimplifying a complex set of interactions, the typical Western diet that leads to obesity may actually act to stimulate the growth of cancer cells. It is never too late to improve your health through healthful eating and adopting a more health-giving lifestyle. Here are simple steps to follow which can make an immediate improvement to your health and vitality.

1. Check your Body Mass Index (BMI) to determine if weight has become health risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60% of Americans are overweight, defined as having a BMI (a ratio of height to weight) over 25. Of those, nearly half (27%) qualify as obese, with a body mass index of 30 or more. In 1980, just 15% of Americans were considered obese. You can check your BMI at the website below.

2. Match your diet to your body’s requirements. If you eat and drink more calories than your body requires you will put on weight. Learn to control calories and portion sizes, make recipes leaner, and eat infrequently from fast food restaurants. Also learn how to snack with healthful choices.

3. Color your diet with a large variety of colorful, cancer-fighting fruit and vegetables. There are seven different color ranges of both fruit and vegetables and by choosing between 5 to 9 daily serves from a wide range of fruit and vegetables, we are extending our consumption of cancer (and other disease) fighting nutrients.

4. Eat lean protein with every meal. Protein provides a powerful signal to the brain providing a longer sense of fullness. The right source of protein is essential to controlling your hunger with fewer calories and necessary to maintain your lean muscle mass. Choices of protein should be flavored soy shakes with fruit; the white meat of chicken and turkey, seafood such as shrimps, prawns scallops and lobster and ocean fish or vegetarians may prefer soy based meat substitutes.

5. Rev up your metabolism with activity. If you want to enjoy a lifetime of well-being, exercise is a key ingredient. Colleen Doyle, MS, RD, director of nutrition and physical activity for the American Cancer Society (ACS), says adults should do something for 30 minutes each day that takes as much effort as a brisk walk. Children should be active for an hour each day. We are more likely to develop habits around things we enjoy, so seek activities which you enjoy doing. It is also helpful to build physical activity into your daily routine: use the stairs instead of the escalator or lift at work, park your car in the parking bay furthest from the super marketing and don’t use the remote control to change TV channels.

6. Get support to ensure you develop a healthful eating plan and reach your goal weight. Whilst a small percentage of people possess the discipline to lose weight, many obese people have developed strong thoughts and habits concerning the food they eat. In order to establish new habits, most people respond well to some form of consistent encouragement and coaching. A study, “Effects of Internet Behavioral Counseling on Weight Loss in Adults at Risk of Type 2 Diabetes” shows that participants who had the support of weight loss coaching lost more weight than those who didn’t. The study concluded that the support of a weight loss coach can significantly improve weight loss results.

Being overweight or obese has been identified next to smoking, as the most preventable major risk to developing cancer. Even small weight losses have been shown to have beneficial health effects. So it’s never to late to start and you can never be too young or too old to be concerned about your health and do something about achieving a more healthy weight.

Kim Beardsmore
posted by Mohd Firdaus at 8:05 AM | Permalink | 0 comments



Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hormone Replacement Therapy And Breast Cancer

Janet M., a fifties-something woman, entered my office and said as she sat down, "I've read that if I take hormones I'll increase my breast cancer risk. I'm going crazy without sleep and with these mood swings, but I don't want to increase my breast cancer risk by taking hormones."

Like many women, Janet had heard that a recent study, the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), definitively showed that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) increases breast cancer risk. Janet, like most people, didn't realize that this study found no statistically significant increase in breast cancer risk to women who took HRT.

When differences are not significant, an increase in risk may well be due to other factors, not the one being studied, such as HRT use. As often happens when a medical story is reported, the emphasis was on the increase in risk, not whether the increase was likely to be due to the agent being studied or to the size of the risk.

The actual size of a risk is important in any woman's decision making process. In this case the risk was exceedingly small -- only 8 in 10,000 women a year -- which is 0.08% or eight hundredths of one percent! Janet was amazed to learn the actual size of the increase, and said, "You mean I was getting all concerned for a risk that small!"

"And," I pointed out, "even this very small difference in risk may not be due to hormone use." I explained that breast cancers take an average of eight years to reach about half an inch in size. This means that breast cancers started in the first year of the study would not be detected for eight or more years. The study followed women for only about five years, so all or most of the breast cancers found were probably present in an undetected state before the study began.

Janet asked if HRT use might have caused some breast cancers to grow more rapidly and therefore be detected sooner than eight years. This is unlikely. A number of studies find that breast cancers in women who were using HRT were not larger and were not dividing more rapidly than breast cancers in non hormone users. Since breast cancers grow more slowly in older women and the average age in this study was 63, breast cancers in this group would tend to grow more slowly and so take even longer than the eight year average to be detected.

Women in the WHI study used a particular type of hormone Prempro. The results of this study therefore do not apply to other, newer approaches in which more natural hormones are used and a woman's menstrual cycle is more closely approximated.

Janet was surprised to learn that many studies find that women who use HRT do not have an increase in breast cancer risk compared to women who don't use hormones, even when hormones are used for twenty years. Also, in another large study in which some women were assigned to take Prempro and others not, women who used Prempro had no significant increase in breast cancer risk.

As Janet left, she said, "I can see now that when I hear about a study I need to know how big a risk is and not just that it is increased. I'll also ask how long a study it was. This discussion has given me a whole different perspective."

writer:Patricia T. Kelly, Ph. D.

posted by Mohd Firdaus at 9:52 AM | Permalink | 0 comments



Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Herbs and Natural Supplements for Breast Cancer
A returning patient called me yesterday. She was a breast cancer survivor when I saw her as a student intern in Chinese medical school. If I had been more confident at the time, I would have suggested she be diligent in preventing a recurrence of breast cancer, and explained how she might attempt that with Chinese medicine.

Even if I had, however, she might not have followed my advice, because Chinese medicine's credibility has yet to catch up with its sophistication, efficacy, and research.

It's well known that acupuncture can help with palliative strategies in cancer- for pain relief, itching relief, and nausea. The topic examined less often is: can Chinese medicine fight cancer directly? Many acupuncture teachers and practitioners warn us not to claim that it can - they suggest there's some law against us treating cancer, and you can see how reactive conservative doctors might be to the idea. They are accustomed to having control of the treatment of all cancer, regardless of whether they can help individual patients, or how much damage their therapies cause. Still, there is research and a clinical track record that suggests Chinese medicine can do more than just reduce discomforts.

I can't resolve all by myself in this short space the political issues and ethical issues of alternative medical treatment. But, I suggest that if a patient who refuses conventional treatment, then their alternative practitioners should find out everything they can and do all they can to help the patient recover, or at least become more comfortable.

Even in my small alternative medicine library, I have 2 books on Chinese herbs for cancer, and a third that summarizes the research on natural compounds used in cancer therapy. On PubMed, I found even more scientific references about herbs and breast cancer specifically. It's not the case that there isn't research on this topic. Instead, as with much Chinese medicine research, the information is either unknown, or unused by Western physicians. What follows is a short summary of the scientific information I found (in less than an hour) on alternative medicine and breast cancer. At the end, I've provided some herbal formulas for practitioners.

Human Studies on Natural Compounds for Cancer Therapy:
John Boik, MacOM, LAc has contributed a weighty work called Natural Compounds in Cancer Therapy (Oregon Medical Press, 2001). It not only reviews hundreds of scientific references, but also explains many specific cancer disease processes. The following human studies are drawn from that book, but their specific references are also included.

Scientific research is done either in vitro (test tube), in animals, or in humans. Knowing that any non-human research is easily discounted by skeptics, I've chosen only the human studies. However, the other studies are also interesting and helpful, so if you want more, get Boik's book. All of the following are specific for breast cancer.

6 Bromelain tablets for 10 days corrected deficient macrophage activity. (1)
Vitamin C was found to not necessarily good for breast cancer and may actually have accelerated some patients' deaths, but those who lived had fewer recurrences. (2,3)
Eleuthrococcus stimulated the immune system in breast cancer patients. (4)
Higher levels of fat intake in breast cancer patients was associated with increased risks of recurrence and death. (5)
In post mastectomy breast cancer patients, there were higher survival rates among those who took enzymes. (6)
Enzyme therapy also improved weight gain, fatigue, depression and quality of life. (6)
A diet of 20% fish oil (24g/kg) improved the anti-tumor effect of the chemotherapy drug mitomycin due to enhanced lipid peroxidation. [This was a combined human/animal study where human cells were studied after transplantation to an animal] (7)
Vitamin D3 helps chemotherapy drugs work better. (8)

Chinese herbs for Breast Cancer

I have access to three sources for Chinese herbs and breast cancer. One is a book called Anticancer Chinese Drugs by Lien & Li, which surveys more than 120 plants used to treat cancer, and examines the chemical structure and effects of individual compounds from those plants. Below are 4 compounds from this book specifically for breast cancer. Unfortunately, none of these are among the 500 or so common Chinese herbs referred to in the standard reference, Materia Medica, by Bensky & Barolet. Note that there are closer to 12,000 substances called herbs used here and there in Chinese medicine.

Labiatae I. longitubis inhibits br ca cells in vitro (Lien/Li, 10).
Maytansine (from maytanus oratus, serrata, buchananii, and hookeri) prevents polymerization of tubulin to microtubules (ibid, 85). (9)
9-hydroxy-2-methyl-ellipticinum (from ochrosia moorei and borbonica) has therapeutic value in advanced breast cancer (ibid, 78). (10)

In phase III clinical trials, VP-16 (from podophyllum berberidaceae) has caused responses in a number of cancers including breast cancer (ibid, 60). (11)

More Science:

A quick search of PubMed for more research on herbs for breast cancer yielded 4 interesting results:

Huang lian (coptis) inhibited tumor growth (gastric, colon, breast)... "These results indicate that traditional Chinese herbs may represent a new source of agents designed for selective inhibition of cyclin dependent kinases in cancer therapy." (12)

Hemsleya amabilis extract significantly inhibited tumor cell growth and colony formation and promoted tumor cell death.(13)

Triptolide (TPL), a diterpenoid triepoxide purified from the Chinese herb Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F, in vitro inhibited the proliferation and colony formation of tumor cells and the antitumor effect of TPL was comparable or superior with that of conventional antitumor drugs, such as Adriamycin, mitomycin, and cisplatin. (14)

Huang qi root specifically inhibits gastric cancer cells growth in vitro - its mechanism is mainly inhibition of cancer cell growth, not attacking or dismantling of existing cancer cells. (15)

Chinese Herbal Formulas for Breast Cancer (For Practitioner Reference)

My final source is a book called Treating Cancer with Chinese Herbs (Hsu, Ohai Press, 1990). This book is mainly for practitioners to learn from and use. It is not scientifically referenced - of course, some Chinese physicians and writers are not familiar with the Western insistence on always quoting your sources, so some of this information may have science behind it. We just can't tell from Hsu's book. But here's a suggestion patients can try at home:

Combine the juice of 90g of fresh asparagus (or 30g peeled) with yellow wine (a traditional Chinese wine made from rice) once a day.

Brian B. Carter, MS, LAc
posted by Mohd Firdaus at 8:22 AM | Permalink | 1 comments



Monday, December 04, 2006

Gift Giving for Breast Cancer Patients and Their Families

Did you know that each year, 182,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 43,300 die? One woman in eight either has or will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. In addition, 1,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 400 will die this year.

The above statistics are scary to say the least. If you have loved ones or friends that have been diagnosed with breast cancer, I am sure you've often wondered what, if anything, you can do to help them.

Here are some gifts that are appropriate for cancer patients, and their families to give encouragement, and support.

Probably one of the most important gifts you can offer, is the gift of your time: time to listen, and time to be with them as they accept the fact that they have cancer, and go through their treatment.

A small journal is another idea: they can put on paper their thoughts, their struggles, and their accomplishments as they fight this battle.

A book of inspiring, encouraging words will do wonders for their soul. One suggestion would be Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul: 101 Stories of Courage and Inspiration from Those Who Have Survived Cancer.

Don't forget a nice teddy bear they can hug, and a CD of soft, comforting, music.

Some cancer patients develop sensitivity to fragrance, so please stay away from scented items.

Again, remember that at times, all they need is to have someone to talk to, or hold their hand: be there for them!

For your information:

If detected early, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer exceeds 95%. Mammograms are among the best early detection methods, yet 13 million U.S. women 40 years of age or older have never had a mammogram.

Don't miss your mammogram this year. Several national organizations will have a list of the facilities that participate in National Mammography Day. To find a place near you, call:

American Cancer Society


The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation


National Alliance of Breast Cancer Organizations (NABCO)


National Cancer Institute


Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization


writer:Adriana Copaceanu

posted by Mohd Firdaus at 11:58 AM | Permalink | 0 comments



Early Breast Cancer Detection

Most women are familiar with mammography as our "gold standard" for breast cancer screening. However, there are additional tools available that women can add to their arsenal.

One of the most effective tools in breast cancer screening is breast self-exam (BSE). However, BSE works best when women are appropriately trained in the procedure, and then followed-up with annual clinical breast exams (CBE) from their physicians. In a 2000 University of Toronto study, approximately 20,000 women were screened for breast cancer with BSE and annual CBE, and 20,000 were screened with BSE and mammograms. After more than 10 years, the BSE and annual CBE reported 610 cases of invasive breast cancer, and 105 deaths. In the BSE and mammogram group, there were 622 cases of invasive breast cancer and 107 deaths. Without question, the first line of defense against breast cancer begins with diligent BSE.

Other tools that are available to women include the AMAS (anti-malignan antibody screen) test and the NMP Nuclear matrix protein) test. Both these are blood tests that measure a certain protein in the blood that may indicate cancer. The AMAS test has been around for several years while the NMP test has not been available until only recently. Clinical trials continue in this area.

One additional tool that may detect an issue early is digital infrared thermal imaging or DITI. In 1982, the FDA approved thermography as an adjunctive tool for breast cancer screening. DITI measures heat emitted from the body and is accurate to 1/100th of a degree. DITI examines physiology, NOT structure. It is in this capacity that DITI can monitor breast HEALTH over time and alert a patient or physician to a developing problem; possibly before a lump can be seen on X-ray or palpated clinically. There are no test limitations such as breast density. DITI is a non-invasive test that does not emit radiation.

The unique characteristics of cancer allow DITI to detect breast cancer at an earlier stage of growth. As cancer is developing, it builds its own blood supply which is then reflected as increased heat in that particular region of the breast. DITI has a specificity of 83%; which reflects a problem in its early stages of development not late-stage cancer as in mammography. An abnormal thermogram carries a 10-times greater risk for cancer and a persistently abnormal thermogram carries a 22-times greater risk for cancer.

Clinical research studies continue to support thermography’s role as an adjunctive tool in breast cancer screening and the ONLY tool that measures breast health over time. There are now more than 800 publications on over 300,000 women in clinical trials. A recent finding published in the American Journal of Radiology in 2003 showed that thermography has 99% sensitivity in identifying breast cancer with single examinations and limited views. Scientists concluded that a negative thermogram is powerful evidence that cancer is not present.

Thermographic screening is not covered by most insurance companies but is surprisingly affordable for most people. For more information or to find a certified clinic in your area, go to

writer:Brenda Witt

posted by Mohd Firdaus at 11:57 AM | Permalink | 0 comments


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