Current Month 2006
Article Features
  Exercise Helps Breast Cancer Patients Avoid Anemia
Computer-aided Detection Could Help Breast Cancer Screening
One-Third of Breast Cancer Patients Unhappy with Cosmetic Outcome of Lumpectomy
New Insight into Ductal Carcinoma in Situ
Racial Disparity in Breast Cancer Outcome Linked to Aggressive Tumors
Algorithm Measures Outcomes of Elderly Breast Cancer Patients
New Path from Estrogen to Survival in Breast Cancer Cells Described
Study Shows Ethnic Disparities in Medicare Claims for Mammograms
Ethnic Variations in Hormone Levels May Cause Differences in Breast Cancer Risk
Regular Exercise, Keeping Weight in Check Reduces Breast Cancer Risk in Postmenopausal Women
New Genomic Tests Guide Choice of Chemotherapy in Cancer Patients
Drug Used for Advanced Cancer Could Cause Exposed Bone in Jaw
Researchers Set Benchmarks for Screening Mammography
Breast Reconstruction Not as Safe for Obese Patients
Older Breast Cancer Patients May Be Under-Diagnosed and Under-Treated
Survey Reveals Critical Gaps in Breast Cancer Patient Education and Communication
Radiation Therapy Helps DCIS Patients
Sex Hormones Linked to Premenopausal Breast Cancer
Researchers Discover Breast Cancer Stem Cells in Bone Marrow
Breast Cancer Diagnosis Linked to Higher Suicide Rates
Tissue Geometry Plays Crucial Role in Breast Cell Invasion


New Study Gives Further Hope That Vitamin D Can Fight Breast Cancer

Vitamin D may help curb breast cancer progression, according to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

The authors, from Imperial College London, measured the levels of vitamin D in the blood serum of 279 women with invasive breast cancer. The disease was in its early stages in 204 of the women, and advanced in the remaining 75.

The results showed that women with early stage disease had significantly higher levels of vitamin D (15 to 184 mmol/litre) than the women in the advanced stages of the disease (16 to 146 mmol/litre).

The authors say that the exact reasons for the disparity are not clear, nor is it known whether the lowered levels of vitamin D among those with advanced disease are a cause or a consequence of the cancer itself. However, the researchers' results, taken together with results from previous studies, lead them to believe that lowered levels of vitamin D may promote the progression of the disease to its advanced stages.

Laboratory studies have shown that vitamin D stops cancer cells from dividing and enhances cancer cell death. Vitamin D sufficiency and exposure to sunlight has been shown to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. The body produces its own vitamin D in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. The vitamin is also found in certain foods, including eggs and fatty fish.

It is known that vitamin D treatment boosts the activity of certain key genes and dampens it down in others. One that is boosted is p21, which has an important role in controlling the cell cycle.

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