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A weekly round-up of the news on the breast cancer and cancer front, culled from Google Alerts, for the week ending 7 March 2014.
The week started off slowly, with the usual bog-standard research on gene expression and chemotherapy. (I had a minor panic, thinking I was going to have to invent something sensational (preferably with rats or mice)!)
Then at the end of the week, not one, not two, but THREE juicy news items suddenly appeared, all vying for pole-position.
In the end I went with the 10-minute breath test for detecting breast cancer as Number 1, because it is the answer to the squashing nightmare that is the mammogram [did you know that a mammogram applies a pressure of 20kg on the breasts? If men had to have mammograms for their testicles, an alternative would have been found years ago!] The incredible news is: it’s not at the rat/mouse trial stage, it’s commercial [swoons]. I wonder how many women will have the guts to take the test though. I have friends who would rather avoid any tests than find out they may potentially have cancer.
Item 2 is one of my favourite topics of interest, Vitamin D (and here’s my post – Vitamin D, are you getting too much?). There is some debate on what is considered the optimal level of Vitamin D (too high and people died from diseases other than cancer), and I used to ere on the side of caution, but the GcMAF clinic (gcmaf.eu) uses up to 20,000 IU per day and once the upper limit of the reference range is reached, up to 5,000 IU. I met a woman who had ovarian cancer and she told me that in the summer months, the shrinkage of her tumour was more than that in the winter months. She ascribed this to the fact that there was more sunshine in the summer, and her body was able to produce the Vitamin D she needed. Moral of the story: please supplement with Vitamin D if you have cancer.
The third item isn’t strictly about breast cancer, but it’s an amazing article about how brentuximab, a monoclonal antibody, got rid of all the tumours (70 of them) in a man with metastatic cancer – anaplastic large cell lymphoma. The before-and-after photos are nothing short of a miracle … best of all, it’s within our reach, and offers hope to everyone with cancer.
Oh yeah … find out why you should become an astronaut if you have cancer … and another item shows that chemotherapy damages the methylation DNA of normal white blood cells, thus causing inflammation and fatigue. To those who’ve had chemotherapy and suffered the side-effects, this study seems to be from the University of Obvious. Now if only those brainy people who came up with the study can find a way of protecting normal cells from the side-effects of chemotherapy … .
1. Ten-minute breath test that can detect breast cancer