Vitamin D: A Study On How It Prevents Breast Cancer

It has been said that optimizing one’s vitamin D levels can prevent up to sixteen different types of cancer from growing and developing. Doctors Clinic’s doctors in Houston have already made explicit the degree to which cancers that affect organs such as the pancrease, ovaries, testicles, and skin begin to vitiate when vitamin D doses are greatly increased. Just recently, the professionals at Doctors Clinic have noticed that patients with breast cancer start feeling stronger and healthier when they take in over 5,000 IUs of vitamin D.

Vitamin D Decreases Risk of Cancer by Over Seventy Percent

Prevention is always preferable to treatment. And when it comes to cancer, things are absolutely no different. Certainly, a great many cancer survivors are alive and kicking in the world thanks to treatment methods such as chemotherapy and even Simpson oil; though no doctor recommends that you totally rely on even the most cutting-edge treatment methodologies. None of them are fail-safe, and for this reason, it is best to focus on prevention rather than cure. A study in 2007 has shown that just raising one’s serum levels to forty ng/ml is enough to obviate the most acute forms of cancer – and breast cancer in particular.

What is most surprising of all, even to some of the most seasoned health and nutrition professionals around, is that raising one’s serum levels to forty ng/ml is not that difficult at all. It takes relatively little effort to get to said level, and fortunately, for women, it can be enough to keep breast canncer away. Regarding this particular 2007 study, there was a seventy-five percent reduction of incidence of cancers after only 5 years – a remarkable feat and one that ought to be celebrated all across the globe.

Vitamin D Destroys Breast Cancer Cells

The illustrious Dr. Ced Garland – the man around town at UCSD, who has remained among the most esteemed professors at the university’s cancner center – has made a connection between Vitamin D definiciency and the development of cancer. Mr. Ced says that in practically every single case for patients with breast cancer, there is a lack of vitamin D, which affects the structure of the all important epithelial cells. Essentially, these particular cells stick to one another by a sticky substance known as E-cadherin. E-cadherin provides structure to the cell. And we all know that withotu structure, nothing can be sustenable for any great length of time – whether we’re talking about man-made structures like buildings and skyscrapers or biological and natural phenomena at the cellular level. E-cadherin is mostly composed of vitamin D and calcium.

Without adequate vitamin D, that particular structure begins to call apart, and those cells do what they are programmed to do in order to survive – multiply. If this growth process spirals out of control, what results is cancer.

Daily Doses

Houston doctors recommend a daily dose of 8,000 IUs of vitamin D3 per day. It is important to stress that we are talking about D3, and not just vitamin D. Taking vitamin D3 is much safer than the synthetic D2 version, and going over the recommended dose of D3 per day doesn’t do as much harm as doing so with D2. The only thing to keep in mind is that it is important to also increase one’s intake of vitamin K2. Without vitamin K2, vitamin D can calcify, resulting in clogged arteries. Overall, though, it is an imperative to get one’s vitamin D levels checked. Doctors Clinic Houston offers extensive vitamin deficiency testing. A minor investment of time in choosing to get one’s blood taken and tested can go a long way toward understanding what the body is lacking and what it needs in order to optimize health.

Breast-Feeding Could Lower Breast Cancer Rates

Breast-feeding isn’t only good for the developing infant: It helps mom out too.

A study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology on June 5 revealed that if people stuck with the recommended length of breast-feeding their newborn for at least one year, there would be 5,000 fewer cases of breast cancer, 54,000 fewer cases of hypertension and almost 14,000 less heart attacks in women each year. The researchers say low breast-feeding rates are racking up billions of dollars in health care costs each year.

“We know that 60 percent of women don’t even meet their personal breast-feeding goals, whether it’s three or four or six months,” author Dr. Melissa Bartick, assistant professor of medicine, said to TIME. “We need to do more to support women so they can breast-feed longer. There are thousands of needless cases of disease and death that could be prevented.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies are breast-fed exclusively for the first six months of life, and then have breast-milk supplementally given to them until they at least a year. Breast-feeding can continue as long as the mother, baby and physician feel it is appropriate. Solid food should only be introduced starting at six months of age, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently discovered that 40 percent of parents are giving their children solid food by the time they reach 4 months.

The World Health Organization recommends even longer breast-feeding, with complementary foods through a child is 2-years-old and beyond.

Though rates have increased in the U.S., only 45 percent of mothers are still breast-feeding at some level by six months, and only 23 percent continue on for one year.

It is recommended that women breast-feed because it provides protection for the babies, from the early “liquid gold” colostrums full of nutrients and antibodies produced at the end of pregnancy to the mature milk that has the right amount of fat, sugar, water and protein to nourish a healthy child. Breast milk is easier to digest, and the hormones and antibodies inside may help ward off diseases for the child.

Children who are breast-fed have lower rates of necrotizing enterocolitis, a gastrointestinal tract disease, respiratory infections, asthma, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, although the last factor was debated in a March 2013 study in JAMA. Some other studies have shown that breast-feeding can lower rates of type 1 diabetes and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) as well.

Mothers can also benefit from breast-feeding. In addition to helping mothers bond with their children and helping them save time from boiling milk, breast-feeding saves money. Formula and supplies cost about $1,500 a year, and breast-fed children get sick less often — which means less sick days for the parents.

In addition, breast-feeding has shown to lower rates of type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, ovarian cancer and postpartum depression in women.

The new study is a response to a 2010 study in Pediatrics, which Bartick was a lead author on, that looked at how low breast-feeding rates impacted children and subsequent costs to society. It revealed that about 900 babies would be saved if 90 percent of mothers breast-fed their children exclusively for the first six months of their lives. In addition, low breast-feeding rates leading to infant deaths leads to a societal cost of $13 billion, that study found. The figure was calculated from many factors including the potential wages lost by the children who did not grow up to be adults.

“We got a million inquiries saying, ‘That doesn’t include the women!’ We wanted a complete picture,” Bartick remarked.

Researchers from Harvard University used a model to simulate the lives of about 2 million U.S. women from the age of 15 to 70. They looked at outcomes for five diseases that are linked to lower rates if a mom breast-feeds: Breast cancer, premenopausal ovarian cancer, hypertension, heart attack and type 2 diabetes. They also looked at health care costs over their theoretical lifestimes.

The researchers factored in the current breast-feeding rate — about 25 percent of moms breast feed the entire recommended 12 months — and the ideal breast-feeding rate, which would be about 90 percent of mothers.

In addition to the lower adverse health events, they found out that if 90 percent of mothers breast-fed for a year it would cost $860 million less in health care fees. The study showed that the low rates of breast-feeding cost society $17.4 billion from maternal deaths before 70.

Experts are trying various methods to boost breast-feeding rates. A May 2013 study in Pediatrics showed that giving babies that lost a lot of weight minimal amounts of formula actually increased long-term breast-feeding rates. Ninety-five percent of mothers whose infants were given early limited formula (ELF) were still breast-feeding at three months at some level, compared to 68 percent of mothers who did not receive ELF.



Woman Pregnant After Uterus Transplant

The first woman to receive a uterus from a dead donor is now pregnant, her doctors announced in Turkey.

Doctors waited 18 months after Derya Sert’s uterus transplant in August 2011 before they implanted an embryo on April 1 using Sert’s own egg.  Sert, a 22-year-old homemakers, is now about two weeks pregnant, her doctors at Akdeniz University Hospital in Antalya  announced Friday.

“She is doing just fine at the moment,” Dr. Mustafa Unal said in a written statement to Agence France-Presse. The baby will be born  through  cesarean section, according to the news agency.

Sert was born without a uterus, but her ovaries were intact, according to a hospital press release. The condition affects one in 5,000 women, according to the hospital.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, a senior medical contributor at ABC News, said doctors could detect the pregnancy early because they closely monitor the pregnancy hormone,  human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, in in-vitro fertilization patients. When  hCG  rises to  a certain level, it indicates pregnancy, she explained.

Although Sert’s ovaries provide hormones, she may need additional “hormonal support,” Ashton said, but it’s not exactly clear what Sert can expect in the coming months.

“Since there is scant medical literature on this, the risks for pregnancies is unknown,” she said.

Source: ABC News

Breast Cancer Treatment Takes Toll on Heart

Radiation therapy has value in breast cancer, but the benefit comes at the price of an increased risk of ischemic heart disease later, researchers reported.

In a population-based case control study, the risk of major coronary events rose after radiation therapy by a mean of 7.4% for every gray (Gy) of exposure to the heart, with no apparent threshold, according to Sarah Darby, PhD, of the Clinical Trial Service Unit in Oxford, England, and colleagues.

The increase in risk was greatest in the first 5 years after radiotherapy but persisted for at least 2 decades, Darby and colleagues reported in the March 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

In addition, women with preexisting cardiac risk factors had greater absolute increases in risk, the researchers reported.

“Clinicians may wish to consider cardiac dose and cardiac risk factors as well as tumor control when making decisions about the use of radiotherapy for breast cancer,” Darby and colleagues concluded.

The study – among 2,168 breast cancer survivors in Sweden and Denmark — is a wake-up call for physicians, commented Jean-Bernard Durand, MD, of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

“We have to be extra vigilant with women, making sure we assess them. We make sure they’re on correct medicines and we make sure they gain all of the benefits from surviving breast cancer,” he told MedPage Today.

Durand noted that in the U.S., women are much less likely than men to receive preventive cardiovascular care; changing that would help to mitigate the risk highlighted by Darby and colleagues.

“Follow their cholesterol, watch for diabetes, manage their blood pressure – all those things can be done to lower their risk of a cardiovascular event,” he said.

The study also highlights the importance of good post-cancer follow-up, he said.

Doctors “have an opportunity to intervene in a young woman and really change the course of her life rather than wait for an event and try to change the course of her life when she’s older,” Durand said.

Radiotherapy for early-stage breast cancer has been shown to reduce both recurrence and death, the researchers noted, but the effect of incidental exposure to the heart has not been clear.

They looked at women with breast cancer who had radiotherapy between 1958 and 2001, including 963 women with major coronary events and 1,205 controls.

Case patients had no recurrence of the breast cancer or incidence of any other cancer before they suffered a major coronary event, defined as myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, or death from ischemic heart disease.

Controls were matched for country of residence, age at diagnosis, and year of diagnosis, and also had not had a recurrence of their breast cancer or any new malignancy.

Of the major coronary events among women in the study, 44% occurred less than 10 years after the breast cancer diagnosis, 33% occurred in the next decade, and the remaining 23% occurred still later.

The average dose to the heart was 6.6 Gy for women with left breast tumors, 2.9 Gy for those with cancer in the right breast, and 4.9 Gy overall.

While the rate of events rose by 7.4% per Gy of exposure, the rate varied with time — 16.3% in the first 5 years after exposure, 15.5% in the second 5 years, 1.2% in the second decade, and 8.2% in later years.

The only tumor characteristic that significantly affected the risk was location, as women with left breast tumors were more significantly likely to be case patients (P<0.001).

The rate ratio for women who had a history of ischemic heart disease, compared with those who did not, was 6.67 (95% CI from 4.37 to 10.18). Rate ratios were also elevated for women with other circulatory diseases, diabetes, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, as well as smokers.

The researchers cautioned that few of the women in the study were under 40, so the results may not apply directly to that age group.

In an accompanying editorial in the journal, Javid Moslehi, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston commented that the findings may be the “tip of the iceberg.”

“In addition to ischemic cardiac disease,” he wrote, “radiation therapy has been associated with other cardiac conditions, including pericardial disease, peripheral vascular disease, cardiomyopathy, valvular dysfunction, and arrhythmias.

Those diseases were not part of the study, nor were those associated with some forms of chemotherapy, he noted.

One implication for practice, he argued, is that the time to look at cardiovascular issues is at the time of breast cancer diagnosis and before treatment starts.

Source: written by Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today

Published: March/2013
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN, Nurse Planner
Interview with Dr. Jean-Bernard Durand of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

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