Best of Breast: news for week ending 24 January 2014

Updated 26 Jan 2014 re. folic acid

A summary of Google Alerts for Breast Cancer and Cancer for the week ending 24 January 2014.

Each week, mice and rats have been the main source of cures for cancer (a good time to be a rat or a mouse!) and last week a naked mole rat kindly stepped up to the starting line.

This week, the sloth (or rather, its fur) has joined the queue as as the latest weapon in the fight against cancer.  I make no apologies for featuring it as the top article even if it may not be the most earth-shaking – sloths are cute, and in the fight against cancer, we need some cuteness and light to ameliorate the dark impersonal reality that is the disease.

Anyone fancy a bra woven from my fur?


Did you know: because sloths spend so much time with their legs above their bodies, their hairs grow away from the extremities to provide protection from the elements while the sloth hangs upside down. image credit:

Folic acid:  There’s news that too much folic acid can stimulate breast cancer cells to grow (in mice trials).  This, however, only applies to synthetic folic acid/folate.  Intake of natural folic acid is found to lower the risk of breast cancer.  Folic acid is found in spinach and other vegetables like broccoli as well as fortified foods (such as bread).  So carry on with the green juices!

Radiotherapy:  Scientists are also proposing that irradiating the non-cancerous breast can prevent breast cancer.  Hokaaay … but what about the other side-effects of radiotherapy like heart conditions (if left-sided irradiation) and immune-system depression and creating treatment-resistant breast cancer cells?  And as another article shows, standard radiation therapy for breast cancer can actually make it worse … .  A case of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing?

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