Tag Archives: Breast cancer

Keeping Breast Cancer Risks on the Move

Exercise. Physical activity. Moving. Along with a clean and colorful diet, there’s almost nothing better you can do for your body than move. The fact is we have to keep moving to keep moving, and here’s another reason why.

Even mild physical activity can decrease a woman’s breast cancer risk. Moving is especially important during the childbearing years and after menopause. Gaining weight, though, will negate these benefits.

Move every day — a little or a lot.

Maintaining a healthy weight and staying physically active are the two key ways to keep the risk of breast cancer at bay, according to a recent study led by Lauren McCullough, MSPH, of the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health.

Adam Brufsky, MD, PhD, professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told dailyRx, “This is very interesting and suggests that even moderate amount of exercise may be enough.”

A number of studies have demonstrated that exercise reduces the risk of new and recurrent breast cancer, but without analyzing the different types of activities or exercise frequency, intensity and timeframes.

McCullough and colleagues looked for the relationship between breast cancer risks and engaging in recreational physical activity at various times throughout a woman’s life.

The study involved 1,504 women with breast cancer, including 233 who had non-invasive and 1,273 with invasive breast cancers. The women ranged in age from 20 to 98.

Here’s what the study uncovered:

  • Exercising during a woman’s childbearing years or after menopause reduced the risk of breast cancer.
  • Women who exercised 10-19 hours a week had a 30 percent reduced risk.
  • All types of exercise performed at all intensity levels offered benefits.
  • Exercise appeared to be particularly helpful in lowering the risk of hormone receptor positive (estrogen and progesterone – ER+ and PR+) breast cancers, which are the most common in American women.

“The observation of a reduced risk of breast cancer for women who engaged in exercise after menopause is particularly encouraging given the late age of onset for breast cancer,” said McCullough.

A personal trainer in New York City, Amie Hoff, CPT, NASM has seen the results of exercise and has helped women with breast cancer achieve them.

“The benefits of exercise are amazing. Besides building strength, my breast cancer clients also increase their flexibility, develop greater balance, re-claim confidence and develop a stronger cardio level.” Hoff told dailyRx in an email.

“Exercise gives them a sense of control over their bodies when they feel they have none,” she adds. “The smile on their faces and sense of accomplishment after the session makes exercise one of the best medicines!”

After dancing with breast cancer, it’s exceedingly important to keep on dancing, according to Randy Blackburn, DO, MBA, director of radiation oncology at Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

There are no boundaries on type and intensity.  “There should be no restrictions that your body does not tell you about. Range of motion exercises need to be life long especially if your have had axillary dissection and /or nodal radiation,” Dr. Blackburn told dailyRx.

All is not rosy, though. Along with exercise, it’s essential that a woman maintain her weight.

Researchers found that women who gained “a significant amount of weight,” especially after menopause had increased risks of the disease.

This finding suggests that packing on the pounds can negate the benefits of exercise in lowering the risk of breast cancer.

So move your way into a new body. Find something you love to do — walking, yoga, Zumba, tai chi, running — whatever makes you happy. Just move and stay out of the food junk drawer, and you’ll see and feel and love the changes you experience.

This study was published in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

By http://www.DailyRX.com

Leave a comment

Filed under Babyboomers, Conditions & Diseases, Heath & Wellness

Breast Cancer Drug Tied to Diabetes in Older Women

Older women taking the breast cancer drug tamoxifen may have an increased risk of developing diabetes, a new study suggests.

The findings, reported in the journal Cancer, do not prove that tamoxifen directly leads to diabetes in some women.

But researchers say it is plausible that in women with known risk factors for diabetes—like obesity or family history of the disease—tamoxifen furthers the risk somewhat.

The study, of more than 14,000 breast cancer survivors age 65 and up, found that 10 percent were diagnosed with diabetes over five years.

Those odds were one quarter higher among women who were currently on tamoxifen, versus those who were not. (Women prescribed tamoxifen for breast cancer typically take it for five years.)

That increase is small and the findings should not “alarm” women taking tamoxifen, said study leader Lorraine L. Lipscombe, of Women’s College Hospital and the University of Toronto in Canada.

“Tamoxifen is a very important drug,” Lipscombe said in an interview. “I don’t want women to think they should stop taking it.”

And if tamoxifen does affect the odds of developing diabetes, it may only do so in certain women, according to Lipscombe.

She and her colleagues speculate that tamoxifen may boost diabetes risk in women already predisposed to the disease.

Tamoxifen, sold in the U.S. as Nolvadex and Soltamox, works by inhibiting the hormone estrogen. And animal research suggests that estrogen plays a role in blood sugar control. Adult-onset, or type 2, diabetes arises when the body can no longer properly use the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar.

So in theory, tamoxifen’s effects on estrogen may add to any problems in blood sugar regulation.

Still, this is the first study to show a link between tamoxifen and diabetes. “So we definitely recommend that more studies be done,” Lipscombe said.

And that, she noted, should include studies of younger women to see if the same association exists for them.

For now, she said, women on tamoxifen may want to pay particular attention to controlling any of the established diabetes risk factors they may have. That includes maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and exercise — “just like any other woman should,” Lipscombe noted.

The researchers did find that women who had used tamoxifen in the past, but not currently, were at no increased risk of diabetes.

“We did not see the risk persist after women stopped taking the drug,” Lipscombe said.

Nor did the researchers see a connection between diabetes and another class of breast cancer drugs called aromatase inhibitors—which also inhibit estrogen, though by a different mechanism than tamoxifen.

Lipscombe said it’s possible that the lack of a link is due to the fact that few women in the study were using an aromatase inhibitor. More studies are needed to answer that question too, she said.
If tamoxifen does increase the risk of diabetes, it would not be the only side effect of the drug. It is known to carry small risks of blood clots, stroke, uterine cancer and cataracts, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

However, the agency says, the benefits of tamoxifen in treating breast cancer are “firmly established and far outweigh the potential risks.”

Tamoxifen is the drug of choice for women with early-stage breast tumors that are estrogen-receptor-positive—meaning the hormone fuels their growth. Those tumors account for about 70 percent of breast cancer cases.

Along with treating cancer, tamoxifen is sometimes prescribed to lower breast cancer risk in women at higher-than-average risk of the disease.

By Fox News

Leave a comment

Filed under Conditions & Diseases, Heath & Wellness