Interesting news recently related to breast cancer. Original journal articles are listed in the references below.
First topic --
'Cancer risk' for house-proud women – Associated Press
Houseproud women who like to keep their homes clean and fragrant may be at greater risk of breast cancer, research has suggested.
Household cleaners may double risk of breast cancer – Telegraph.co.uk
Women who regularly use household cleaners and air fresheners are at double the risk of developing breast cancer than those who never use the products.
If you take the time to look at the study done by Dr Julia Brody, from the Silent Spring Institute, and colleagues which was published in the July issue of the Journal of Environmental Health you do find it suggests there is a link.
However, it is a study using data collected by telephone interviews of 1,508 women (787 who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1988 and 1995; 721 who did not) about their cleaning regimes. The authors even noted a bias among women who believed pollutants contribute “a lot” to breast cancer. The study's authors acknowledge that "recall bias" may have skewered the results.
So while there may turn out to be a true link between household cleaning products and the development of breast cancer, this is a very weak study. There needs to be a prospective study done with all possible recall bias filtered out.
New Arsenic Nanoparticle Blocks Aggressive Breast Cancer – Nanotechwire.com
…….Prior to the new research, arsenic hadn't been effective in solid tumors. After the drug was injected into the bloodstream, it was excreted too rapidly to work. The concentration of arsenic couldn't be increased, because it was then too toxic.
A new arsenic nanoparticle -- designed to slip undetected through the bloodstream until it arrives at the tumor and delivers its poisonous cargo -- solved all that. The nanoparticle, called a nanobin, was injected into mice with triple negative breast tumors. Nanobins loaded with arsenic reduced tumor growth in mice, while the non-encapsulated arsenic had no effect on tumor growth. The arsenic nanobins blocked tumor growth by causing the cancer cells to die by a process known as apoptosis. ………
Looking ahead, the challenge now is to refine and improve the technology. "How do we make it more toxic to cancer cells and less toxic to healthy cells?" asked Cryns, also the director of SUCCEED, a Northwestern Medicine program to improve the quality of life for breast cancer survivors. ……….
Arsenic Trioxide Nanoparticle Can Target Triple Negative Breast Cancer -- About.com: Breast Cancer Blog
…………In a study on mice with breast cancer, this arsenic trioxide nanoparticle made tumors shrink! Dr Cryns and Richard Ahn published their research on arsenic trioxide nanobins in Clinical Cancer Research on July 15, 2010.
Nothing negative to say here. To me it’s obvious that this is all preliminary – still in the mice research stage. I find it interesting.
Fish oil reduces risk of breast cancer by a third – NaturalNews.com
The new study, just published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, was conducted by a research team at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. They investigated 35,016 postmenopausal women between the ages of 50 and 76 with no history of breast cancer who were participating in the Vitamins and Lifestyle cohort study (dubbed VITAL, short). The woman was asked to complete a 24 page questionnaire about their use of supplements other than vitamins and/or minerals.
After six years of follow-up, 880 of these women had been diagnosed with breast cancer. However, those women who reported regularly taking fish oil supplements, which contain high levels of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, were found to have a 32 percent reduced risk of invasive ductal breast cancer -- the most common type of breast cancer. The use of other specialty supplements, such as the herbs black cohosh and dong quai which are often taken by women to relieve symptoms of menopause, was not associated with raising or lowering breast cancer risk.
Yes, fish oil is important to heart health, and the original article did find an association in lowering the risk of ductal breast cancer, but the above news articles over state it. The authors state their results as (bold highlight is mine):
Current use of fish oil was associated with reduced risk of breast cancer (HR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.50-0.92). Ten-year average use was suggestive of reduced risk (P trend = 0.09). These results held for ductal but not lobular cancers. The remaining specialty supplements were not associated with breast cancer risk: Specifically, use of supplements sometimes taken for menopausal symptoms (black cohosh, dong quai, soy, or St. John's wort) was not associated with risk.
Self-reported chemicals exposure, beliefs about disease causation, and risk of breast cancer in the Cape Cod Breast Cancer and Environment Study: a case-control study; Ami R. Zota, Ann Aschengrau, Ruthann A. Rudel, Julia Green Brody; Environmental Health 2010, 9:40 (20 July 2010)
A Novel Nanoparticulate Formulation of Arsenic Trioxide with Enhanced Therapeutic Efficacy in a Murine Model of Breast Cancer; Richard W. Ahn, Feng Chen, Haimei Chen, Stephan T. Stern, Jeffrey D. Clogston, Anil K. Patri, Meera R. Raja, Elden P. Swindell, Vamsi Parimi, Vincent L. Cryns, and Thomas V. O'Halloran; Clin Cancer Res July 15, 2010 16:3607-3617; Published OnlineFirst June 2, 2010; doi:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-0068
Specialty Supplements and Breast Cancer Risk in the VITamins And Lifestyle (VITAL) Cohort; Theodore M. Brasky, Johanna W. Lampe, John D. Potter, Ruth E. Patterson, and Emily White; Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev July 2010 19:1696-1708; doi:10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-10-0318