October 11, 2001
Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention and Early Detection
National Foundation for Cancer Research Conducting Groundbreaking Breast
- Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer among women
in the United States, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths among
women. But when detected early, the chances for successful treatment of
breast cancer are much improved.
Many women think that with new cancer drugs, such as Tamoxifen, breast
cancer is not as serious or deadly as it once was. This is a dangerous
misconception. Breast cancer kills 138,000 American women each year, and as
of yet, there is no foolproof treatment or cure.
Popular breast cancer drug treatments such as Tamoxifen work by blocking
tumor stimulating properties of estrogen, but sometimes tamoxifen stops
working. Tumors that initially respond to the drug by shrinking can become
resistant and begin growing again. In some cases, Tamoxifen can actually
stimulate rather than suppress tumor growth.
National Foundation for Cancer Research scientist Dr. Kathryn B. Horowitz
has conducted research to determine what factors cause Tamoxifen to stop
working or to stimulate rather than suppress tumor growth. Her research is
directed toward controlling the ratio of chemical reactions to improve a
tumor's inhibitory response to tamoxifen. The outcome of this type of
research could mean blocking tumor growth long-term in more women and
therefore saving lives that are now being lost.
The National Foundation for Cancer Research is wholly committed to this type
of groundbreaking research to help find a cure for breast cancer. Until a
cure is found, early self-examination, regular check-ups and mammograms and
early detection are a woman's best hope of surviving breast cancer.
Following are some risk factors for breast cancer. If you have one or more
of these, discuss it with your doctor and be aggressive in taking better
care of yourself.
* Breast cancer in three or more close relatives, such as a mother and
* Early onset of breast cancer in family members, often before age 45.
* History of breast cancer in more than one generation.
* Cancer in both breasts that occurs in one or more family members.
* Frequent occurrences of ovarian cancer.
These are some prevention and screening tips that every woman should read
and follow to ensure better health and early detection:
* Get a mammogram every year after age 40.
* Get a breast physical exam annually.
* Perform breast self-exam monthly.
* Maintain ideal body weight.
* Get regular physical exercise.
* Reduce alcoholic beverages (two or more drinks daily doubles your risk).
* Eat a diet rich in soy products such as tofu; olive; canola and other oils
rich in monosaturated fats and cruciferous vegetables, such as kale,
cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage.