Monday, February 22, 2010

Breast Cancer Prevention

Annual visits to your doctor and self-examinations are, of course, your first line of defense against breast cancer. But these precautionary measures are not 100% effective. Over the years, more and more women are turning to antioxidants to help protect themselves against the excess free radicals floating through their bodies. Antioxidants can help prevent heart disease and cancer, reduce blood pressure and slow the effects of aging. Antioxidants are found in a variety of berries, broccoli, tomatoes, garlic, red grapes, spinach, tea, carrots, and many whole grains. Unfortunately, if you are going to through cancer treatment, antioxidants have the opposite effect. The purpose of radiation and chemotherapy is to destroy cancer cells which is often done through the creation of free radicals. By taking antioxidants during cancer treatment, you would be fighting off the free radicals that are targeting the cancer cells. On the flip side, research has proven that taking aspirin during cancer treatment “may boost breast cancer survival” and reduce the possibility of reoccurrences and spreading. “ “Women who took aspirin were 50 percent less likely to die from breast cancer [during the study follow-up period] than those who did not take it," said study author Dr. Michelle Holmes, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard Medical School and School of Public Health, in Boston.” Flaxseed oil has also been shown to help reduce the growth of tumor cells (comparable to tamoxifen). A small Canadian research team documented that flaxseed oil is a “helpful complement to conventional” breast cancer treatments (WebMD). To read about the Canadian flaxseed muffin research, go to  .

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