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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: What Are Some Promising Advances?

Posted By Regan Zambri & Long || 23-Oct-2014

Frustratingly, breast cancer continues to be one of the leading causes of death among women, despite 40+ years of research into its etiology and billions of dollars spent to develop treatments for the disease and related cancers. However, some glimmers of hope may be emerging in the desperate fight to eradicate this disease and to help women survivors and their families cope.

In the world of treatment… a relatively new and exciting procedure known as Seed Localization has made it easier for surgeons to operate on women. This process is used for non-palpable tumors (i.e. you can’t feel them), and it’s an alternative to the standard care, which involves placing a wire in the breast on the day of the surgery. In Seed Localization, a surgeon implants a small radioactive seed in the breast at the site of the tumor five days prior to surgery. On the day of the surgery, the surgeon uses a special probe, called a gamma probe, to sweep over the patient’s breast while she sleeps to identify the seed. This process allows him or her to extract the seed and the cancer with it in a very precise way, leading to less disfigurement and more accuracy. The process is very safe, even though it involves a radioactive implant.

On a more global front, powerful new research suggests that certain dietary strategies might be useful not only for preventing breast cancer but also for treating it or at least restraining it. One globally renowned cancer specialist, Thomas Seyfried, has been building a case that cancer is a metabolic disease. Seyfried and other likeminded cancer specialists point out that cancer rates closely correlate with rates of obesity and metabolic diseases. Also, many indigenous cultures throughout history and throughout the world have effectively been cancer free. The lack of cancer in these diverse cultures cannot be explained by genetics alone; something (or some things) in their diets and lifestyles clearly protect against cancer.

One increasingly popular theory is that the low carbohydrate loads of traditional diets may help explain these populations’ resistance to breast cancer and other cancers. Along those lines, many prominent researchers are now testing so-called "ketogenic" diets (low carb, high fat diets) to treat various cancers. The basic theory is that low carbohydrate diets are low in glucose (which cancer cells need to live), and they also minimize the secretion of insulin and insulin-like growth factor, both of which have been implicated in cancer development.

These developments are encouraging, and we hope that scientists will soon turn the tide and win this important fight. Contact the team here at Regan, Zambri & Long if you need help with a personal injury or D.C. medical malpractice case.

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Categories: Women's Health Issues
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