September 2, 2015

Incredible Ways Your Pet Dog Can Discover Breast Cancer

Woman With Pet Dog

Breast cancer detection is often done inside hospital laboratories, but do you know that it might start as early as inside your home? You read that right. Studies are telling us that dogs – our ever-loyal pets – can actually be used to detect breast cancer.

Dogs detect breast cancer

Clinical trials are being done by scientists in the United Kingdom have dogs detect breast cancer, and this is done by having women go through a specially designed testing method. In this testing method, women breathe into a tube, which will then be sniffed by a highly trained dog. From these breath samples, dogs detect breast cancer. While the accuracy of the detection still remains to be studied, when proven, this method is seen to revolutionize the way we diagnose not just breast cancer but perhaps cancer of all sorts. 

Why are dogs able to do this?

It is believed that because of their very strong sense of smell (around one part per trillion), they are able to sniff volatile substances that are emitted by cancerous cells.

This study actually started as an offshoot from something similar that dogs were already doing in the field of medicine. Dogs at the Medical Detection Dogs facility in Buckinghamshire were already detecting another form of cancer – prostate cancer in men. They were able to do this by sniffing urine samples, and have been proven to be quite accurate.

As of the moment, the dogs have a 93% detection accuracy, which is actually even better than current blood tests. To signal that they have found or detected cancer in a certain sample, the dog will simply stare at it intently.

One of the dogs in the facility, Daisy, began alerting the institution’s founder – Dr. Claire Guest by constantly jumping on her chest. This prompted her to have herself checked, and eventually found out that she also had an early tumor found in her chest. From this development, six more dogs will be trained to sniff breast cancer from breath samples, and thus allow the breast cancer detection trial to commence.

The dogs in the charity are working breed of dogs such as spaniels and Labradors, who work for treats and biscuits and have generally happy dispositions. All the dogs live in real homes with families taking care of them. They come to the lab during the day to work, and go back home to their owners at the end of the day.



April 12, 2011

Daily Moisturizers- A Threat to Breast Cancer Patients?

Filed under: breast cancer — drwatson @ 12:58 am

moisturizersThere are many risk factors that contribute to a person developing breast cancer. One is the level of estrogen in the body. Through breast cancer research it was found that estrogen is a hormone that has a large influence on the risk of developing breast cancer. Many people believe that the reason breast cancer is more prevalent in women is because females produce more estrogen than males.

Patients with estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer have to be even more careful of estrogen. In these cases, a tumor is able to grow more efficiently in an environment with high levels of estrogen.

Daily moisturizers, which are used extensively by many people, have been found to contain estrogen. This is not shown on the list of ingredients and was only determined after performing various different tests. Women with estrogen receptor- positive breast cancer should not use any moisturizers without first confirming its safety with a health care provider. Keep in mind, estrogen is absorbed more effectively by the body through the skin than orally.

In addition, it was hypothesized that women who do not currently have breast cancer are putting themselves at higher risk by exposing themselves to greater levels of estrogen via daily moisturizers.

Even after these results, manufacturers of the moisturizers argue that their product is completely safe. This makes it difficult to judge what is true and what isn’t. Further investigation by the FDA is necessary to determine whether use of such products is putting patients at unnecessary risk.

August 12, 2010

Common Menopausal Supplement May Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

menopause depression, breast cancer, fish oil vitaminsThere are many specialty supplements on the market today for menopausal symptom relief, ranging from soy to St. John’s wort to fish oil. While many of these supplements are extremely effective in treating menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, increase in allergies, depression, insomnia, fatigue, mood swings and menstrual irregularities; the effect of these treatments on a woman’s risk of breast cancer has been unknown until recently.

In the July issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, the VITamins And Lifestyle cohort study published findings that related many common vitamin and mineral supplements used to relieve menopausal symptoms to an associated risk of breast cancer. The study demonstrated that most supplements used for the relief of post menopausal symptoms are not associated with a risk of breast cancer, including supplements such as soy, dong quai, black cohosh, grapeseed and St. John’s wort.

However, fish oil, a common supplement that is primarily used for the prevention of heart disease along with the relief of menopausal symptoms, was found to have a positive effect on breast cancer risk. The findings of this study implicate that fish oil supplements are associated with a lower risk for ductal and local breast cancer in women without a history of coronary artery disease. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to have several health benefits, including a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, weight loss, reduced inflammation and relief from depression symptoms. The omega-3 fatty acid additionally helps to prolong cell life, by protecting certain cellular components that determine how long the cell will live.

Because of the subjectivity of this preliminary study, doctors, pharmacists and researchers are not yet in a position to recommend fish oil to reduce breast cancer risk. Further studies of the effects of fish oil and risk of breast cancer in patients must first be conducted before fish oil can be professionally suggested to lower risk of breast cancer. Nevertheless, these preliminary findings are promising for a future preventative treatment of breast cancer.

September 28, 2009

The High Tech Future For Battling Cancer

I’m sure the majority of people have seen movies like Star Wars or other science fiction movies. I’m also sure anyone who has seen anything like that has been waiting for our time to develop some cool futuristic gadgets like little pills that turn into full meals if you spray water on them or heat them in the microwave. Now that would be really cool and very convenient if we had those sort of tools, but unfortunately our time has not reached that level of awesomeness… yet. However, we are getting close and what may be the closest thing to one of those movie gadgets is a microchip that can detect cancer and possibly other infectious diseases.

Imagine how this sort of technology could effect the way medicine is practiced. We could potentially be looking at a much more efficient way of locating cancers. We would be able to determine the placement, type, and severity of the cancer, much more quickly. This could lead to the early detection of many cancers that are fatal if not found very early. Who knows maybe we’ll be able to find a way to actually destroy the cancerous cells with the microchip, avoiding surgery all together.

However, there are some downsides. We could become so dependent on this sort of technology and expect it to do all the work for us. What if there is a malfunction, will we be able to detect the wrong diagnosis by the machine? Will we still be able to do other tests for cancer? Hopefully this technology only helps us and leads to a better understanding of how our bodies work.

August 24, 2009

The Power of Marriage Helps Battle Cancer

Will finding that special someone help you survive cancer? Well a new study has shown that those that are married have a higher survival rate when compared to people that are single, divorced, or going through a separation.

Those that have found their life partner have a 63 per cent 5 year survival rate, and a 53 per cent 10 year survival rate. Followed by those that have never been married, then people who are divorced or widowed, and last are people who are going through a separation.

Obviously the stress of going through a split up takes a significant toll on the body. That damage lasts for the rest of your life and will always linger. However, those that are married or have never been married haven’t witnessed that sort of damage at least not for themselves. I would think this would help the person that is diagnosed use more of their energy on fighting cancer.

I think the only reason why married people have a better survival rate than people that have never been married is that married people have much more emotional support from their significant other. Their husband/wife is there helping them along the way, cutting some of the stress away and giving that person the chance to use more energy to fight the disease. Also, if I were married and diagnosed with cancer, I would feel the need to fight and beat cancer so I don’t leave my wife alone in the world. I would feel obligated to stay with my wife and be there to support her.

Regardless, marriage truly is an incredible union. Makes you wonder all the other illnesses that married people have a better chance of living through.

August 13, 2009

Breastfeeding Good For Mothers Too!

Most mothers know that breastfeeding their child has numerous health benefits for their child because they get all the nutrients they need. However, in today’s busy world where most women either bring in equal income or more income then their male counterparts, many women have chosen not to breastfeed, but instead went for the formula. Recent studies may make those considering feeding their child formula to reconsider.

A recent study has shown that breastfeeding may be good for the mother as well. If you have a family history of breast cancer then breastfeeding may be an incredibly important thing for you to do. Research shows that if you have a history of breast cancer then breastfeeding can actually cut the risk of breast cancer before menopause in half!

Additionally, if you chose not to breastfeed, BUT you did take the medication to help suppress the production of breast milk you also lowered your risk of breast cancer by about 42%. Although taking medication isn’t as good as breastfeeding it is definitely a better option then choosing not to breastfeed and not take the medication.

Hopefully this helps you decide whether breastfeeding is important to you or not. If you do possess a history of breast cancer then maybe this will give you that final push to decide to breastfeed your child.

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner.

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