Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Breastfeeding 'cuts mother's cancer risk'

Mothers should breastfeed for six months after giving birth to cut their risk of developing breast cancer, researchers have advised.
The advice follows a World Cancer Research Fund survey that shows three out of four women are unaware of the link.
Two thirds are unaware that being breastfed also cuts a child's risk of being overweight – a major risk factor for cancer.
While just 13 per cent of men are aware it could cut a mother's risk of developing breast cancer.

The survey follows a review of almost 100 scientific studies in January by the American Institute for Cancer Research that found "convincing" evidence that breastfeeding lowered the risk of breast cancer.
It is the most common form of cancer in women, with about 45,000 cases diagnosed in Britain each year.

It is a real concern that so many women are unaware of a simple way they could help protect themselves, said Lucie Galice, from the WCRF.
"The evidence on this is convincing and this is why we recommend that – if they are able to – mothers should aim to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months and then continue with complementary feeding after that," she said.

"This means that many new mothers are making choices about whether to breastfeed without knowing it can help reduce cancer risk for them and their child."
Of the 1,998 people surveyed, 19 per cent thought breastfeeding reduced a woman's risk of breast cancer, while 25 per cent thought it reduced a child's risk of being overweight.
According to researchers, mothers who breastfeed their baby for six months after giving birth reduce their risk of developing breast cancer. The problem is that the majority of women do not know of this benefit.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) conducted a survey which showed that 75% of women do not know that breastfeed thing their baby helps cut their risk of breast cancer.
The numbers were even worse for men, as 87% had no idea that breastfeeding could help the mother cut the risk of developing breast cancer.
The survey also found that nearly 70% of women are unaware that breastfeeding helps their babies by lowering their risk of being overweight.
The survey was carried out following studies which has clearly shown the benefit of breastfeeding for mothers.
Breast cancer is diagnosed quite often and is one of the most common forms of cancer among women.
Education is needed to help teach mothers the benefit of breastfeeding not only for themselves, but for their babies too.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Juice 'can slow prostate cancer'

Drinking a daily eight ounce (0.24 litre) glass of pomegranate juice can significantly slow the progress of prostate cancer, a study suggests.
Researchers say the effect may be so large that it may help older men outlive the disease.
Pomegranates contain a cocktail of chemicals which minimise cell damage, and potentially kill off cancer cells.
The study, by the University of California in Los Angeles, appears in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

Previous research had indicated that pomegranate juice could have a beneficial effect on prostate cancer in tests on mice.
But the latest study has shown that humans can potentially benefit too.
The UCLA team focused on 50 men who had undergone surgery or radiation treatment for prostate cancer - but had shown signs that the disease was rapidly returning.
The presence of prostate cancer cells is monitored by measuring levels of a chemical they produce called prostate-specific antigen (PSA).
The researchers measured how long it took for PSA levels to double in individual patients - a short doubling time indicates that the cancer is progressing quickly.
The average doubling time is about 15 months, but in patients who drank pomegranate juice this increased to an average of 54 months.
Some men on the study continue to show suppressed PSA levels after more than three years, even though they are receiving no treatment apart from drinking pomegranate juice.

Combination effect

Lead researcher Dr Allan Pantuck said: "I was surprised when I saw such an improvement in PSA numbers.
"In older men 65 to 70 who have been treated for prostate cancer, we can give them pomegranate juice and it may be possible for them to outlive their risk of dying from their cancer.
"We are hoping we may be able to prevent or delay the need for other therapies usually used in this population such as hormone treatment or chemotherapy, both of which bring with them harmful side effects."
Pomegranate juice is known to have anti-inflammatory effects and high levels of anti-oxidants, which are believed to protect the body from damage by particles called free radicals.
It also contains isoflavones which are believed to play a role in cancer cell death.
Dr Pantuck said: "There are many substances in pomegranate juice that may be prompting this response.
"We don't know if it's one magic bullet or the combination of everything we know is in this juice.
"My guess is that it's probably a combination of elements, rather than a single component."
Chris Hiley, of the Prostate Cancer Charity, said more work was needed to firm up the findings.
She said: "It may well turn out that pomegranate juice has a wider application than just delaying disease progression in men with prostate cancer who have already been treated.
"It might also help as a reassuring low-key intervention for men whose cancer is being monitored rather than treated."
Dr Laura-Jane Armstrong, of the charity Cancer Research UK, said: "If the results of this study can be confirmed, it could have important implications for prostate cancer patients, especially by delaying the use of other more aggressive treatments that can have debilitating side effects."
Funding for the study was received from a company which makes pomegranate juice.

Studies show how fruits and veggies reduce cancer

Just three servings a month of raw broccoli or cabbage can reduce the risk of bladder cancer by as much as 40 percent, researchers reported this week.
Other studies show that dark-colored berries can reduce the risk of cancer too -- adding more evidence to a growing body of research that shows fruits and vegetables, especially richly colored varieties, can reduce the risk of cancer.
Researchers at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York, surveyed 275 people who had bladder cancer and 825 people without cancer. They asked especially about cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage.

These foods are rich in compounds called isothiocyanates, which are known to lower cancer risk. The effects were most striking in nonsmokers, the researchers told a meeting being held this week of the American Association of Cancer Research in Philadelphia.
Compared to smokers who ate fewer than three servings of raw cruciferous vegetables, nonsmokers who ate at least three servings a month were almost 73 percent less likely to be in the bladder cancer group, they found.
Among both smokers and nonsmokers, those who ate this minimal amount of raw veggies had a 40 percent lower risk. But the team did not find the same effect for cooked vegetables.
"Cooking can reduce 60 to 90 percent of ITCs, (isothiocyanates)," Dr. Li Tang, who led the study, said in a statement.

A second team of researchers from Roswell Park tested broccoli sprouts in rats.
They used rats engineered to develop bladder cancer and fed some of them a freeze-dried extract of broccoli sprouts. The more they ate, the less likely they were to develop bladder cancer, said Dr. Yuesheng Zhang, who led the research.
They found the compounds were processed and excreted within 12 hours of feeding. That suggests the idea that compounds are protecting the bladder from the inside, said Zhang.
"The bladder is like a storage bag, and cancers in the bladder occur almost entirely along the inner surface, the epithelium, that faces the urine, presumably because this tissue is assaulted all the time by noxious materials in the urine," Zhang said.
In a third study, a team at The Ohio State University fed black raspberries to patients with Barrett's esophagus, a condition that can lead to esophageal cancer.
Black raspberries, sometimes called blackberries or blackcaps, are also rich in cancer-fighting compounds.
Ohio State's Laura Kresty and colleagues fed 1.1 ounces (32 grams) of freeze-dried black raspberries to women with Barrett's esophagus and 1.6 ounces (45 grams) to men every day for six months.
They measured urine levels of levels of two compounds -- 8-isoprostane and GSTpi -- that indicate whether cancer-causing processes are going on in the body.
Kresty said 58 percent of patients had marked declines of 8-isoprostane levels, suggesting less damage, and 37 percent had higher levels of GSTpi, which can help interfere with cancer causing damage and which is usually low in patients with Barrett's.
(Reporting by Maggie Fox, editing by Julie Steenhuysen and Vicki Allen)