All of this discussion makes me happy, though. Perhaps we are on the front edge of a wave of changing perception when it comes to all forms of cancer. Perhaps we are moving to a world where we devote as much time, or more, to prevention as we do to screening and treatment.
What follows are a range of news stories on prevention and the need for related education.
- BCAM is tired of the pink campaign. Instead, they want more money being channelled to breast cancer prevention.
- A study out of Montreal examines the possible connection between breast cancer and traffic-related pollution.
- British scientists say genetic differences are not as important as lifestyle factors when it comes to breast cancer. Obesity and alcohol consumption - are you listening?
- Lifestyle choices and environmental causes - in May of this year cancer advisors to President Obama released their report stating that while choices like smoking, poor diet and lack of exercise cause two-thirds of cancers, pollution, radon from the soil and medical imaging scans also cause many avoidable cancers. The American Cancer Society questioned the report's downplaying of known risks and "restating of hypotheses as if they were established facts."
- I missed THIS in June. Researchers in Cleveland are working on a breast cancer vaccine. The vaccine targets a protein found in tumours and is designed to prevent the disease with a single dose. It has worked in mice and the researchers have great hope it will work in humans because this protein is relatively high in tumours in both groups.
- Canadian researchers found that while consuming vitamin D and calcium in food did not protect against breast cancer, consuming vitamin D in supplement form did. They are calling for more research in this area. I can tell you that increasing my daily intake of vitamin D in supplement form to prevent recurrence is probably the single biggest piece of advice I have received from my medical oncologist. OK - that and managing my weight through vigorous exercise! :-)
- Finally, the debate about the value of screening mammograms heats up with this study from Norway. Let's not dispense with screening, but please let us not become overly reliant on it as a first line of defence.