4 Newly Found Facts about Breast Cancer

By Monica Wilson on October 29, 2012

Breast cancer is a very common disease that takes away the lives of millions of people in the world every year. In fact, it is the second leading cause of death in women. For the past decades, vast research has been made on breast cancer, with focus on identifying its causes, and how it can be prevented and treated.

Here are four newly found facts about breast cancer that everyone – men and women, should also be aware of.

1.       Breast cancer is not just a woman’s disease

Just because breast cancer is more common in women, doesn’t mean it is no longer a concern for men.  In fact, breast cancer in men tends to be deadlier than in women – according to the researchers from the American Society of Breast Surgeons. In their study, they found that at the time of diagnosis, breast tumours in men were larger, more advanced, and more likely to have spread. The researchers believe that it is probably because men receives less attention when it comes to breast cancer, and there is no formal guidelines for detection of breast tumours among them. 

2.       Lifestyle changes really help

Current studies on breast cancer are giving more focus on the effects of exercising and diet on reducing the risk of developing the disease. In a research published in the journal Cancer, it was found that women who exercised more than 10 hours per week are 30 percent less likely to develop breast cancer. Another large, long-term study known as the “Sister Study” which involved 50,000 women is going on to investigate the causes of breast cancer and what lifestyle factors affect it. 

3.       New, better treatments are soon to come out

Because advanced forms of breast cancer are hard to treat, scientists are currently developing better drugs and modes of treatments that will save more lives. Just recently, researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre developed the “smallpox virus” which, based on animal trials, is effective in treating triple-negative breast cancer – a kind of cancer that affects 10-20% of all cases, and does not respond to traditional hormonal and immune therapies. 

New chemotherapy drugs have also been developed, such as the PARP inhibitors. These medications were clinically tested to treat breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers that have already spread and no longer respond to conventional treatments. 

Other scientists are working on targeted therapies which involve drugs that cause genetic changes in cancer cells. An example would be the anti-angiogenesis drug which works by suppressing the growth of new blood vessels as some studies found that breast cancers with many new blood vessels are more likely to spread quicker. 

4.       Vitamin D might also help

A growing body of research suggests that women diagnosed with early stage of breast cancer who had low levels of vitamin D are at risk of developing cancer in a distant part of their body. Although more studies are needed to determine the impact of vitamin D in lowering the risk of breast cancer, everyone must ensure that they feed their body with enough amounts of vitamin D because it is an essential nutrient necessary for certain biological processes.

Source of this article:

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