Best of Breast: news for week ending 5 December 2014

The latest medical discoveries for breast cancer and cancer, for the week ending 5 December 2014 from Google Alerts.

Anyone who has breast cancer probably knows about the benefits of eating broccoli or broccoli sprouts.  Both contain (amongst other worthy substances) sulforaphane, which has cancer-fighting properties.

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Image credit: thearrowoftruth.com

Now a company, Evgen, has jumped on the bandwagon and created a sulforaphane supplement.  They’ve made it sound like the cure for cancer, but I’m not sure how this supplement differs from say, Indole-3-carbinole or DIM.

So should we all rush out and buy the family pack?

Here’s what Food For Breast Cancer has to say:

“We recommend consuming broccoli as food and against consuming broccoli pills that have been enhanced to boost the proportion of the presumed key anti-cancer chemicals in broccoli.

There is some evidence that concentrated cruciferous vegetable extracts can act as estrogen agonists and promote breast cancer cell proliferation.

Also, the anticancer properties of broccoli are likely to be the result of synergistic interaction of its various chemical components – isolated components have successfully inhibited proliferation in the laboratory, but their efficacy and safety in humans needs to be evaluated in large scale clinical trials.”

It’s very tempting to get your greens from a pill, and if you’re like me always on the look-out for the latest cancer cure-all, but once again moderation is the key.  Get your sulforaphane from the food you eat.

1.  Vaccine slows progress of breast cancer

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 28 November 2014

Highlights of medical developments in the world of cancer and breast cancer, from Google Alerts, for the week ending 28 November 2014.

Two topics caught my eye for this week’s round-up:  a cancer detection test and research done into tamoxifen resistance.

The cancer test was presented at a Ted talk and what it promises is a “cheap, open-source device that can test blood for several types of cancer at once”.  I like the word “cheap”.  It means cancer patients can afford to get more frequent testing without worrying about costs.  There are loads of different tests out there, some which depend on tumour markers, some on circulating tumour cells, some on growth factors, or inflammation markers in the body.  But they all cost money.  And the time to be vigilant is not only when you have active disease, but when you are in remission because cancer never goes away … it just becomes latent and you want to detect those treatment-resistant stem cells early on when they rear their ugly heads again.

Tamoxifen, as you probably are aware, is an estrogen antagonist (or blocker), and therefore used for estrogen-positive breast cancer.  Tamoxifen-resistance is an interest of mine ever since I discovered that I’m an intermediate metaboliser of tamoxifen and therefore it’s no bloody good taking it in lower doses.  In case you are interested, the test for whether or not you are metabolising tamoxifen properly is the cytochrome P450 for the CYP2D6 Genotype test [with thanks to Grace Gawler, cancer strategist, who pointed me in the direction of this test!].  Both the Mayo Clinic and Roche offer this test.  Tamoxifen-resistance is something that most cancer patients aren’t aware of.  Tamoxifen is touted as a cure-all, but it’s a fact that after some time, cancer cells evolve to find ways around estrogen blockers – clever buggers, and then it’s back to the drawing board to find yet another chemical cosh.

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1.  New Device Detects Multiple Types Of Cancer With A Single Blood Test

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