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A new study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison reported that women who exercised more than 6 hours of strenuous recreational exercise each week had a 23 percent reduced risk of developing invasive breast cancer compared to women who never exercised.The reduction in risk was seen women who exercised early in life, after menopause, or in the recent past.

While women with a family history of breast cancer didn't have a reduced risk with exercise, all of the other women did, regardless of how old they were when they started exercising,

The study team interviewed 7,630 women who were free of breast cancer, 1,689 with very early-stage or in situ disease, and 6,391 with invasive breast cancer. All of the women ranged in age from 20 to 69.

A larger study, published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, found that among 16,000 women in all stages of life, those who engaged in vigorous physical activity most days of the week significantly lowered their risk of invasive breast cancer. ike the other study the results applied only to women without a family history of the disease.

The Relationship of Diet, Exercise and Cancer Risk

Numerous other studies have inventoried the breast health benefits of exercise, both in terms of prevention and survival.

It is also widely known that regular workouts help women maintain a healthy weight -- a key factor in fighting breast cancer.

More and more information is also showing a direct relationship between certain nutrients and their ability to reduce cancewr risk. For example, increasing fiber (e.g., beans, raspberries, pears and artichokes) could reduce breast cancer risk. Other foods rich in anti-cancer compounds include pples, broccoli, cranberries, pineapple, cauliflower, garlic, cabbage, atomatoes and brussels sprouts.

Conversely, consumption of alcohol, foods high in saturated fats and sugars can increase breast cancer risk.

SOURCE: Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, February 2007
Published in Breast Cancer
Traditional advice for avoiding these winter ailments has been to swallow large quantities of vitamin C. But we may have been turning to the wrong vitamin.

Researchers from Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York, found that giving supplements of vitamin D to a group of volunteers reduced episodes of infection with colds and flu by 70 per cent over three years.

All the participants were Afro-Caribbean women whose dark skin means that they make less vitamin D. The researchers said that the vitamin stimulated "innate immunity" to viruses and bacteria. The decline in vitamin D levels between November and March could be the "seasonal stimulus" that accounts for the peak in colds and flu in the winter. "Since there is an epidemic of vitamin D insufficiency in the US, the public health implications of this observation could be great," the researchers from Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, New York,wrote.
Published in Cold and Flu
Many of the 10 million cancer patients in the US are taking nutritional supplements, but an accurate assessment of the frequency is not well appreciated. In the February 1, 2008 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Christine Velicer and Cornelia Ulrich report a systematic review of supplement use among US cancer patients. Prostate cancer patients are among the lowest users of supplements.

A total of 32 studies published between 1999 and 2006 met the criteria for review of prevalence of vitamin and mineral supplement use among patients undergoing active cancer treatment. The review revealed that a range of 64% to 81% of survivors reported any vitamin or mineral supplement use and 26% to 77% reported using any vitamins. Nine studies reported use among breast cancer survivors, and use of any vitamins or minerals was 67%-87% and multivitamin use was 57%-62%. The increase in use after breast cancer diagnosis was up to 32%. Complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) use was associated with younger age, higher education, greater physical activity and psychosocial factors. Use of any vitamins was 38%-43% for colorectal cancer patients and 60% for lung cancer patients.

In comparison, use of any vitamins among prostate cancer patients was 26%-35% and multivitamin use ranged from 13%-23%. Megavitamin use was 4%-24%. CAM use for prostate cancer patients was associated with higher education and higher income, but not cancer stage. Age and ethnicity were not clearly associated. In one study, 15% of patients undergoing radiotherapy used high-dose vitamins, but the treating physicians actually estimated that less than 5% were using them. After a diagnosis of prostate cancer, 15% of patients began using CAM (57% were already using CAM) but only 51% informed their physicians. In one study 20% of patients reported that their treating urologist or radiotherapist never raised the issue of CAM use with them.

The authors point out that while some therapies such as St. John's wort may interfere with drug metabolism, a great understanding of the effects and utilization of CAM among cancer patients is needed. At the very least, physicians should gather intake about CAM use among their patients.



Published in Cancer
  • Aromatherapy can promote relaxation and relieve stress and pain. Some of the herbs that are effective in relieving headaches include:
    • Chamomile--calming, soothing
    • Cinnamon--reduces stress, loosens tight muscles
    • Lavender--reduces pain, relaxes, eases tension
    • Lime Essence-reduces anxiety and stress
    • Marjoram-eases muscle tension
    • Peppermint--reduces pain, reduces tension
    • Valerian--reduces tension and pain, relaxes 


Published in Stress

headacheHeadaches (cephalalgia in medical terminology) are our country’s most common ailment and the number one reason why patients visit the doctor. 

Types of Headaches

There are five types of headache: vascular, myogenic (muscle tension), cervicogenic, traction, and inflammatory.

Published in Headache

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