Wednesday, September 05, 2007

MRI scans might prevent breast cancer, study shows


finding cancer early is preventing cancer.... how does that work?!? Don't believe this lie about prevention - early detection is not prevention!

But you might be curious so i'll post the article - but don't be fooled!

By Maggie Fox

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - MRI scans may offer a new way to detect breast cancer at its earliest stages and perhaps even prevent cancer among high-risk women, European researchers said on Thursday.

Details of a German study show that magnetic resonance imaging was better than standard mammograms, a type of X-ray, at detecting a nonmalignant tumor called ductal carcinoma in-situ, or DCIS.

This could give surgeons time to remove the lesion before it can turn cancerous.

The findings, published in the Lancet medical journal, suggest that MRI should be tested in more women to see if it should become a standard screening tool, said Dr. Carla Boetes and Dr. Ritse Mann of the Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in the Netherlands.

"Although these results were unexpected, the pathophysiology of breast cancer provides ample justification for the findings," they wrote in a commentary in Lancet.

Boetes and Mann noted that autopsy results show that about 9 percent of women have undetected DCIS, and that almost all malignant breast cancer is believed to start out as DCIS.

"MRI should thus no longer be regarded as an adjunct to mammography but as a distinct method to detect breast cancer at its earliest stage," they wrote.

Dr. Christiane Kuhl, a radiologist at the University of Bonn and colleagues studied 7,319 women over five years for their study, which was also presented in June to a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

MRI found DCIS in more than 90 percent of the 167 women with the condition, while mammograms only found 56 percent of DCIS cases.

"MRI could help improve the ability to diagnose DCIS, especially DCIS with high nuclear grade," Kuhl's team wrote.


But Debbie Saslow, director of breast and gynecologic cancer at the American Cancer Society, said it is far too soon to use MRI routinely for breast cancer screening.

"The American Cancer Society recommends that MRI screening be done annually in addition to mammography starting at age 30 for women at high risk," Saslow said in a telephone interview.

"For the most part, these are women who have had either a genetic test or found a mutation (that puts them at high risk of developing breast cancer), there is a mutation in the family, or there is a strong enough family history that would lead you to think that the risk of having a mutation is pretty high," she added.

Women who already have had breast cancer have only a moderate risk of a recurrence and are not necessarily candidates for MRI, Saslow said. The reason is that MRI is expensive -- $1,000 to $1,500 per scan -- and has a high rate of false positives, meaning it detects lesions that are harmless.

"Sometimes doctors will think they see something. With MRI it is not clear-cut," Saslow said. "Some of those women are choosing to have mastectomies."

And having an MRI does not save women from undergoing the uncomfortable mammogram process, as MRIs are always done alongside mammograms, Saslow noted. "Mammography still finds things that an MRI doesn't," she said.

Breast cancer is diagnosed in 1.2 million men and women globally every year and kills 500,000.

Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

DES Cancer Risk After in Utero Exposure Persists

If you want to know about this in depth, read Hormonal Disruption by Lindsey Berstrom... it's a bit depressing, but an important issue.

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Aug 10 - The increased risk of vaginal and cervical cancer in young women prenatally exposed to diethylstilbestrol (DES) remains elevated through the reproductive years, according to findings published in the July 15th issue of the International Journal of Cancer. However, the risk only applies to clear cell adenocarcinomas and breast cancer among women 40 or older.

"In 1971, a strong association was reported between DES and clear cell adenocarcinomas of the vagina and cervix in young women," Dr. Rebecca Troisi, of Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, New Hampshire, and colleagues write.

"Animal studies suggest the teratogenic and carcinogenic effects of prenatally administered DES may be due to changes in the expression of genes involved in the development of the reproductive tract and raise concerns of elevated risk of other female reproductive tract cancers besides clear cell adenocarcinomas, they add.

To examine if the overall cancer risk is elevated after prenatal DES exposure, they used data from the DES Combined Cohort Follow-up Study to assess total and site-specific cancer risk comparing women exposed to DES versus unexposed women.

Exposed and unexposed women were followed for a total of 97,831 and 34,810 person-years, respectively. During that time, there were a total of 143 cancer cases in the exposed group and 49 cancer cases in the unexposed group.

They found that age-adjusted incidence rate ratio for exposed versus unexposed women for all cancers was 1.32, a non-significant difference.

No association was observed between DES and excess risks of endometrial or ovarian cancer.

As expected, in DES-exposed women, the risk of vaginal and cervical clear cell adenocarcinomas was higher through age 40, and the age-adjusted incidence rate ratio for breast cancer was 1.83, but only for women 40 years of age or older.

Int J Cancer 2007;121:356-360.

Green tea extract may boost cancer-fighting enzymes

By Joene Hendry

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Healthy subjects who received daily caffeine-free green tea extract capsules had an increased production of detoxification enzymes, which may provide some cancer-fighting benefits, study findings show.

"Concentrated green tea extract could be beneficial to those who are deficient in the detoxification enzyme and shouldn't be harmful for those who have adequate detoxification enzyme," lead investigator Dr. H.-H. Sherry Chow, of the University of Arizona, Tucson, told Reuters Health.

Genetic and environmental factors cause people to have varying levels of glutathione S-transferase (GST) enzymes. These enzymes may play a crucial role in helping the body defend against toxic and cancer-causing compounds, note Chow and colleagues.

Previous laboratory and animal studies found that green tea compounds, antioxidants called "catechins," activate these GST enzymes. Therefore, Chow's team investigated the effect that concentrated compounds from green tea would have on GST enzymes levels in 42 healthy adults.

Their findings are published in the medical journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

For 4 weeks prior to the study, the non-smoking volunteers refrained from drinking green tea, taking supplements, or eating foods known to contain epigallocatechin gallate, a potential cancer-fighting antioxidant.

Over the next 4 weeks the volunteers took four capsules, each containing 200 mg of epigallocatechin gallate, every morning prior to eating. This provided the equivalent amount of epigallocatechin gallate obtained from drinking 8 to 16 cups of green tea daily, Chow said.

The researchers found that the detoxifying GST enzymes increased by 80 percent in the study participants with the lowest GST levels at the start of the study. Participants with medium or high GST levels had either no increase or a slight increase in GST levels.

The capsules used in this study were specifically made for clinical trial use. Chow cautions that commercially available green tea extracts are not required to meet the same strict concentration and purity standards.

Chow adds, "More clinical testing is underway to confirm the cancer preventive activities of green tea or green tea extract."