Supplement May Offer Women New Way to Protect Breasts
In 1940, the incidence of breast cancer was 1 in 22. Today, according to the Canadian Cancer Society, the statistics are staggering; 1 in 9 women in Canada will develop breast cancer in her lifetime and 1 in 29 will die of it. Globally, breast cancer rates are on the rise, with the highest incidence rates occurring in North America and Northern Europe. Since 1992, the incidence of breast cancer in Canada has shown a pattern of modest change, yet despite this, “the global incidence of breast cancer is projected to double by the year 2040 and occur more frequently in younger women.” according to Breastcancer.org.
Fundraising Efforts Focus On Cure And Treatment, Not Prevention According to the California Breast Cancer Research Program, 50-70% of breast cancer cases involve known risk factors, yet the documentary Pink Ribbons Inc. reveals only 15 per cent of dollars raised in the name of breast cancer are directed towards prevention.
Lifestyle Changes Could Cut Cancer Rates In Half Several of the known risk factors for breast cancer include early menstruation (before age 12), late menopause (after age 55), late or no pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives – “the pill” or hormone replacement therapy. But lifestyle choices also contribute to increased risk including: excess weight, poor diet, alcohol consumption, smoking and lack of exercise. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, at least half of all cancers could be prevented through healthy living choices. And a recent study in the UK, published in the British Journal of Cancer, found that nearly 10% of the risk for breast cancer comes from being overweight. It is estimated that about 80% of breast cancers are estrogen-receptor positive. Estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer describes a type of breast cancer that needs estrogen to grow, and may stop growing or die when treated with substances that block the binding and actions of estrogen.
The good news is, there is now a supplement that may help to protect a woman’s breasts by changing the way estrogen is metabolized. A recent Health Canada approved, double- blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, including 47 premenopausal and 49 postmenopausal women, was recently completed on a supplement sold as femMED Breast Health. The women were divided into treatment and placebo groups, with the treat- ment group receiving the femMED Breast Health supplement.
New Supplement May Help To Lower Risk At the completion of the study it was found that those women who had taken the femMED Breast Health supplement had reduced their risk by significantly increasing the estrogen C-2 hydroxylation in their urine. This result was seen for both pre and postmenopausal women. Studies have found that 2 specific metabolites of estrogen metabolism affect breast cancer susceptibility. As urinary levels of 2 hydroxyestrone (2-OHE) increase and levels of 16-alpha-hydroxyestrone decrease (16α-OHE), the risk for breast cancer decreases.
Maggie Laidlaw, PhD, the lead in- vestigator of the study said, “We were amazed to see a statistically significant 57% reduction in this ratio in the women in our trial. In summary, we believe that this is the first natural health product to illustrate the possibility of beneficially affecting estrogen metabolism in a variety of ways. With breast cancer affecting one in nine women, and nothing in the marketplace available to address prevention, we were excited by the ground- breaking potential of such a unique and essential formula for women.”
The results of this study were present- ed at the Experimental Biology 2011 Scientific Conference in Washington D.C. and has since been published in the highly respected PubMed indexed Journal, Breast Cancer: Basic and Clinical Research, as well as the Natural Medicine Journal.
According to Sherry Torkos, a Holistic Pharmacist and author of over 16 health books, “The use of dietary supplements that can improve estrogen balance should be considered as part of an overall approach for breast can- cer prevention, along with dietary and lifestyle modifications known to re- duce risk such as exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight, not smoking, limiting alcohol intake, and avoidance of estrogen.”
Women need to be aware of these advancements so they can be advocates for their own health and proactively manage their risk.
Ten Other Ways Women May Reduce Their Risk For Breast Cancer:
- Avoid taking extra hormones (oral contraceptives or HRT).
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Get regular exercise. (5-7hrs/week)
- Stop smoking.
- Limit alcohol.
- Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Ensure adequate levels of vitamin D.
- Avoid pesticides in produce by purchasing organic or washing carefully.
- Use safe personal care products free from fragrance, hormones and unsafe preservatives.
- Avoid non-stick pans for cooking or plastics for heating up food. Choose stainless steel, ceramic or glass instead.