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Broccoli, soybeans may cut breast cancer treatment’s side effects

Raghu Kshitiz

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NEW YORK — Consuming cruciferous vegetables (such as cabbages, kale, collard greens, bokchoy, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli) and foods (such as soy milk, tofu and edamame) might assist reduction in common side effects of breast cancer treatment in breast cancer survivors, say a team of scientists led by Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Higher intake of cruciferous vegetables and soy foods were associated with fewer reports of menopausal symptoms while higher soy intake was also associated with less reported fatigue.

In the study, published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, the breast cancer survivors included 173 non-Hispanic white and 192 Chinese Americans including US-born Chinese and Chinese immigrants.

Researchers say breast cancer survivors often experience side effects from cancer treatments that can persist months or years after completion of treatment because many treatments designed to prevent breast cancer recurrence inhibit the body’s production or use of estrogen, the hormone that can fuel breast cancer growth, breast cancer patients often experience hot flashes and night sweats, among other side effects.

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While further research is needed in larger study populations and with more detailed dietary data, this project addresses an important gap in research on the possible role of lifestyle factors, such as dietary habits, in relation to side effects of treatments, said Sarah Oppeneer Nomura, PhD, of Georgetown Lombardi, the lead author on the study.

“These symptoms can adversely impact survivors’ quality of life and can lead them to stopping ongoing treatments, she says adding, “Understanding the role of life style factors is important because diet can serve as a modifiable target for possibly reducing symptoms among breast cancer survivors.”

When study participants were evaluated separately by race,ethnicity, associations were significant among white breast cancer survivors; however, while a trend was seen in the benefit for Chinese women, results were not statically significant.

Researchers explain Chinese women typically report fewer menopausal symptoms. Most of them also consume cruciferous vegetables and soy foods, making it difficult to see a significant effect in this subgroup. Indeed, in this study, Chinese breast cancer survivors ate more than twice as much soy and cruciferous vegetables.

Phytochemicals, or bioactive meals elements, reminiscent of isoflavones in soy meals and glucosinolates in cruciferous greens would be the supply of the profit, the researchers stated.

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Whether the reduction in symptoms accounts for longtime use of soy and cruciferous vegetables needs further investigation, says the study’s senior author, Judy Huei-yu Wang, PhD, of Georgetown Lombardi’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program.

The research addresses an vital hole in analysis on the doable function of life-style elements, reminiscent of dietary habits, in relation to unintended effects of therapies, stated lead creator Sarah Oppeneer.

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Health

Red meat, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase risk of colon cancer

Raghu Kshitiz

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Heavy diet like red meats, refined grains, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase long-term risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

These foods all increase inflammation in our body, and the inflammation they cause is associated with a higher chance of developing colon cancer, according to pooled data from two major health studies appeared in JAMA Oncology journal.

According to researchers, a diet high in foods with the potential to cause inflammation, including meats, refined grains and high-calorie beverages, was associated with increased risk of developing colorectal cancer for men and women.

Basically, what makes for a healthy diet overall also appears to promote a cancer-free colon, said senior researcher Dr. Edward Giovannucci. He is a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

“It’s consistent with what we already recommend for a healthy diet in general,” Giovannucci said, adding “I see that as good news. We’re supporting the current evidence, and not telling people to do something completely different from what they’ve been told.”

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For the study, conducted by Fred K Tabung from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, the team analysed 1,21,050 male and female health care professionals, who were followed for 26 years in long-term studies. The researchers completed the food questionnaires about what they ate, on the basis of which data analysis was done last year.

The scores were based on 18 food groups characterised for their inflammatory potential and were then calculated from the questionnaires given to participants every four years.

The results indicated that higher scores reflecting inflammation-causing diets were associated with a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer in men and women.

Previous studies have linked diet factors with colon cancer, but there’s been no clear explanation why that might be, he added.

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