Posts Tagged ‘Breast cancer’
A benign virus (one that does not cause disease on infection) has been found to kill breast cancer cells in vitro. A Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine team has tested an adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAV2) on three different human breast cancer types in vitro and found that they were all targeted by the virus.
The team hopes that this discovery could lead to pathways to triggering cancerous cell death. They are studying how the virus targets cancer cells and hope to mimic that with targets for anti-cancer drugs.
An initial findings paper was published in Molecular Cancer by the team, showing that earlier and current studies into AAV2 have shown how the virus promotes cell death in cervical and now breast cancer cells.
The virus causes the cells to apoptosis (cell suicide), which is something that cancer cells normally do not do and is part of what makes them cancerous. The team believes that AAV2 may target many types of cancer, including most forms of breast cancer, and so may be useful in finding a way to treat many cancers.
Studies have already shown that Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent heart disease and some other health conditions. A new set of studies, however, has also shown that these fatty acids can help prevent or treat breast cancers in women.
The first of the research, conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health, examines a direct link between eating fish and death rates. After sixteen years of study of more than two thousand American adults over age 65, the initial findings were that those who regularly consumed Omega-3 fatty acids had a lower risk of early death.
Another portion of the study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that patients with high levels of these fatty acids had 27 percent lower death rates than others.
A group at the University of Guelph, lead by David Ma, PhD, has shown preliminary findings of improved breast cancer intervention with Omega-3 fatty acids. The findings show that cancer growth is thirty percent lower than typical growth when high levels of these fatty acids are present in the blood. The research is ongoing, with the next phase meant to prove prevention may be possible with Omega-3′s.
The three beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids are DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), DPA (docosapentaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid). These three are common associated with fish oils, ingested by either eating fish or taking supplements. All three have been studied extensively in relation to coronary diseases.
Spin and bias exist in a high proportion of published studies of the outcomes and adverse side-effects of phase III clinical trials of breast cancer treatments, according to new research published in the cancer journal Annals of Oncology on January 10.
In the first study to investigate how accurately outcomes and side-effects are reported in breast cancer trials, researchers at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and University of Toronto (Toronto, Canada) found that in a third of all trials that failed to show a statistically significant benefit for the treatment under investigation, the reports focused on other, less important outcomes in order to influence positively the interpretation of the results.
In a groundbreaking new study just published in the peer reviewed journalStem Cells, researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Department of Oncology found that, despite killing half of all tumor cells per treatment, radiation treatments on breast cancer transforms other cancer cells into cancer stem cells which are vastly more treatment-resistant than normal cancer cells. The new study is yet another blow to the failed and favored mainstream treatment paradigm of trying to cut out, poison out or burn out cancer symptoms (tumors) instead of actually curing cancer.
Senior study author Dr. Frank Pajonk, associate professor of radiation oncology at the Jonsson Center, reported that induced breast cancer stem cells (iBCSC) “were generated by radiation-induced activation of the same cellular pathways used to reprogram normal cells into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) in regenerative medicine.” Pjonk, who is also a scientist with the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine at UCLA, added “It was remarkable that these breast cancers used the same reprogramming pathways to fight back against the radiation treatment.”
In the new study, Pajonk and his team irradiated normal non-stem cell cancer cells and placed them into mice. Through a unique imaging system, the researchers observed the cells differentiate into iBCSC in response to radiation treatments. Pjonk reported that the newly generated cells were remarkably similar to non-irradiated breast cancer stem cells. The team of researchers also found that the radiation-induced stem cells had a more than 30-fold increased ability to form tumors compared with non-irradiated breast cancer cells.
Despite mounting evidence, mainstream medicine clings to surgery, chemo and radiation and ignores natural solutions
Despite all the billions of dollars spent on cancer, the 40 year “war on cancer” has been a losing one by any honest evaluation. One hundred years ago, anywhere from 1 in 50 to perhaps 1 in 100 people could be expected to develop cancer. Now it is estimated that 1 in every 2 men and 1 in every 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetimes. Despite more people around the world developing cancer and dying from cancer every year, mainstream medicine continues to cling to failed treatments which more often than not fail to eliminate the cancer and help cancer spread and return more aggressively than ever. Notably, two of the three major mainstream cancer treatments – radiation and chemo – are themselves highly carcinogenic.
One might think that the new study provided ample reasons to rethink using radiation. However, the study authors looked at the results as an opportunity to continue and enhance the use of radiation by finding ways to control the cell differentiation. What the scientists failed to note is that natural alternatives have already been found which prevent the development of cancer stem cells.
As just one example, Natural News reported in May 2010 that a University of Michigan study had found a compound in broccoli and broccoli sprouts which had the ability to target cancer stem cells. See:
The researchers failed to note how cancer cells fought against unnatural treatments. They also failed to take into account the mounting evidence that the best way to beat cancer as well as avoid it is to build and enhance our natural first line of defense – our immune system.
The safest and most effective way to enhance the natural immune system and fight cancer in general is by working with nature. It is also by far the least expensive way, and therein likely lies the rub. You can’t patent and profit from nature like you can with mainstream drugs and treatments.
Note: Neither NaturalNews nor this author condone the inhumane use of animals in medical studies.
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About the author:
Tony Isaacs, is a natural health author, advocate and researcher who hostsThe Best Years in Lifewebsite for those who wish to avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. Mr. Isaacs is the author of books and articles about natural health, longevity and beating cancer including “Cancer’s Natural Enemy” and is working on a major book project due to be published later this year. He is also a contributing author for the worldwide advocacy group “S.A N.E.Vax. Inc” which endeavors to uncover the truth about HPV vaccine dangers.
Mr. Isaacs is currently residing in scenic East Texas and frequently commutes to the even more scenic Texas hill country near Austin and San Antonio to give lectures and health seminars. He also hosts the CureZone “Ask Tony Isaacs – featuring Luella May” forum as well as the Yahoo Health Group “Oleander Soup” and he serves as a consultant to the “Utopia Silver Supplement Company“.
A new study from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, published in theJournal of the American College of Surgeons this month, shows that most women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer are not well-informed of their treatment options. Many, in fact, are not even meaningfully involved in treatment discussions or asked their preferences regarding the treatment’s approach.
The study is a retrospective conducted amongst women who were treated at one of four academic medical centers in Boston, San Francisco and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The women were surveyed with questions regarding their knowledge of breast cancer treatment options and then asked about their dealings with physicians and surgeons before treatment began.
The women averaged only 52.7% in their test scores on treatment knowledge and understanding and only 48.6% of them said they’d held conferences with surgeons or physicians about their treatment options in light of the options given on the test itself.
The knowledge gaps are considered a big problem, though this is the first time a study has attempted to get an overall picture of breast cancer awareness amongst those diagnosed with it. Most studies to this point have focused on specific treatments or cancer types.
One of the more problematic issues raised was the fact that most women were not informed that survival rates for alternatives to mastectomy, such as breast-conservation therapy, are the same. Further, those with a partial mastectomy were less likely to understand recurrence rates versus those who had a full mastectomy – despite the fact that rates are usually higher in partials.
The study sheds light on the long strides needed to improve education in breast cancer amongst the general populace and especially in women who have been diagnosed or are at risk.
Breast cancer survival rates are higher now than they’ve ever been in the past, but health challenges including high rates of depression are still a problem. Researchers at the University of Missouri have been testing how meditation techniques can help with this.
The researchers in the Sinclair School of Nursing have found that breast cancer survivors’ health improves after they learn Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a type of mindfulness training that incorporates meditation, yoga, and physical awareness.
“MBSR is another tool to enhance the lives of breast cancer survivors,” SSN doctoral student Jane Armer says. “Patients often are given a variety of options to reduce stress, but they should choose what works for them according to their lifestyles and belief systems.”
The MBSR program includes eight to ten weeks of group sessions where the participants learn the MBSR skills. The study found that survivors who utilized MBSR had improved moods, more mindfulness, and less depression overall. It can be used for anyone in post-diagnosis, during or after surgery or treatment.
New research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute this month shows that targeted radiation for breast cancer has been widely overused. The research uses new criteria established in 2009 by the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) for the use of brachytherapy (targeted irradiation for breast cancer). It compares that new criteria with patient records from the past several years, showing that 2/3 of those receiving brachytherapy probably should not have.
Using records from 138,815 U.S. women who’d received brachytherapy from 2000 to 2007, the study shows that most of them do not fit into the currently recommended criteria for the therapy. This would likely account for some higher recurrence rates amongst the women.
The study compared women who received targeted radiation and those who received the more common whole breast irradiation (WBI). It found that 29.6% of the women receiving brachytherapy would have been classified as “cautionary” (not likely to benefit) and 36.2% would have been classified as “unsuitable” under current ASTRO criteria.
The study briefly discussed cancer return rates (versus recurrence in WBI), but admits that this data would be too preliminary given the specific scope of the study itself.
Targeted irradiation is more convenient for women, since it requires only about a week of therapy instead of a full month, but is designed for very specific situations that only about 7-10% of breast cancer patients fall into. Its use, the study found, varies greatly by geographic region, by rural versus urban (urban is more likely), and by racial demographic (whites are more likely to receive it), but not necessarily by means or income (Medicare covers it).
Findings from another study published this year show that women who receive brachytherapy at twice as likely to eventually have a mastectomy than those who receive WBI.
In a retrospective study, Barbara Brouwers, PhD of the University of Leuven in Belgium found that women who have higher levels of vitamin D when diagnosed with breast cancer appear to have smaller tumors on average.
“Lower vitamin D levels were correlated with much bigger tumors,” says Dr. Brouwers. “We also saw that higher vitamin D levels were associated with better outcomes, but it wasn’t significant.”
Studies have shown that vitamin D status is important in many chronic disease and illness of various types. Low vitamin D levels have been associated with higher breast and other cancer risks and in some studies higher levels have been shown to correlate with better outcomes for some cancers.
Brouwers and her colleagues look at data from 1,800 breast cancer patients treated at the University of Leuven from 2003 to 2010 which included data on serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 collected at diagnosis. Following those patients for four years showed that lower vitamin D levels were significantly associated with larger tumor sizes (every 0.4ng/mL decrease in level linked to 1cm in tumor increase).
Accompanying this, to no surprise, was a 27% lower risk of death per 10ng/mL increase in vitamin D levels at diagnosis. Close the same could be said for risk of relapse as well.
by Marla Manhart
Many women are choosing to self-treat their own breast cancer, according to a survey conducted by TMD Limited, a medical tourism company. When faced with the possibility of losing a breast or being side-lined by chemotherapy, some women are going the natural route and treating themselves.
The internet offers hundreds of products and websites that tout cures and advice on self-treatment. Teas, castor oil packs, vitamins, salves that pull tumors out of the body, Brazilian healers and wheat grass enemas are favorites when it comes to self treatment. And it seems, according to the cancer patients surveyed, that these therapies appear to work in the beginning. Patients feel more energy, and think their tumors are shrinking. They could be experiencing a placebo effect, or in some cases may actually see their tumors temporarily reduce in size. Eventually, these patients end up getting medical treatment, some after years of treating themselves.
According to the American Cancer Society, 230,480 women in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and 39,520 women will die from breast cancer in 2011. With so many women self-diagnosing and choosing their own treatments, one wonders what the real numbers would be if women who are self-treating were included.
Sharon Massey first discovered her breast lump when she was 32. ”I just knew it was cancer. But I did not want to lose my breast. My mom died of breast cancer and I was not going to do the conventional treatments she did,” Massey said. ”I went to a nutritionist, and took hundreds of supplements. I changed my diet to all raw foods, exercised and refused to think about cancer. I became a health nut, and no one knew about my lump.”
Massey self treated for 11 years. Eventually, the mass grew so large it broke through her skin, bleeding and causing pain. Finally, she saw an oncologist, and had a radical mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. ”I shouldn’t have waited,” she said. ”Maybe if I had been treated earlier, I could have saved my breast. Fear kept me from seeing a doctor all those years.”
Cheryl Watts was 49 when she found a mass in her right breast. She was newly married to her second husband, and starting a new career as a real estate agent. ”I had so much going on, I just didn’t have time for cancer,” Watts explained. ”I ran 25 miles a week, had a busy social life and was so happy in my new marriage. The thought of a mastectomy, or of losing my hair to chemo just made me feel ill. So I kept it to myself, and just did everything I could to stay healthy. When my husband eventually felt the mass, he insisted I get medical help. I compromised, and went to an alternative clinic in Mexico. And I have been in remission now for 6 years, and I still have my breast.”
TMD’s study included hundreds of women who sought help from clinics south of the border. Tumor size when patients finally sought help ranged from walnut to grapefruit size, and many had broken through the skin and were growing around the chest and armpit. For these women, the average length of time between finding a lump and getting treatment was 5.3 years. All cited fear of mastectomy and the experience of watching a loved one die after undergoing radiation and chemotherapy as the main reason they avoided conventional treatment. Lack of insurance was also a big factor.
According to TMD’s survey, more and more women are taking charge of their own health and making their own treatment decisions. This may be a good thing – but even alternative doctors caution patients to seek some kind of medical treatment early – when the cancer can be treated successfully.
One physician who has seen this shift treats many patients that have not had any conventional treatment. Dr. Antonio Jimenezof Hope4Cancer Institute used to mainly treat patients who had been through chemo and radiation, and had been told to get their affairs in order. ”Today we are seeing many breast cancer patients that self-treated for years. They generally take good care of themselves, watch their diet and are careful not to compromise their immune system. These patients tend to fare better than those who have undergone extensive surgeries and chemotherapy. Unfortunately, cancer treatment is not a do-it-yourself project.”
Raised in New Jersey, Jimenez has practiced in Baja, Mexico for over 20 years, first as medical director of a large hospital there, and since 2001 as medical director and chief physician of Hope4Cancer Institute. He does not use chemotherapy or radiation, and offers non-invasive therapies from around the world. His breast cancer success rate rivals anything conventional medicine has to offer.
“We see more and more women who have spent thousands of dollars on supplements and ‘wonder cures’ they used at home, Jimenez says. ”When those treatments fail, they look for a clinic that can help. Often, they will go to alternative treatment centers in the US, but those clinics can only offer immune support and detox. In the US, clinics are not legally able to use the ‘big guns’ like medical hyperthermia and SonoPhoto Dynamic Therapy that attack the cancer. These are not alternative therapies – they are actually mainstream cancer treatments in many countries around the world that have better healthcare systems that the US. Just because they have not been submitted for approval in the US does not make them alternative therapies.”
“When all else fails, they look outside the US for a clinic that can help. By then, the tumors are often so large the patient has to undergo debulking surgery before we can treat them. There are many options out there other than surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Being pro-active doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. It’s just a matter of finding the right doctor and the right clinic.”
Author Marla Manhart is a medical writer and patient advocate. She can be reached at: email@example.com.