Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

You are in control of you. Not genes, not your doctor, not fate, you.Dr. Kristi Funk, Author Breasts: The Owner’s Manual

General Information About Breast Cancer

KEY POINTS

  • Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast.
  • A family history of breast cancer and other factors increase the risk of breast cancer.
  • Breast cancer is sometimes caused by inherited gene mutations (changes).
  • The use of certain medicines and other factors decrease the risk of breast cancer.
  • Signs of breast cancer include a lump or change in the breast.
  • Tests that examine the breasts are used to detect (find) and diagnose breast cancer.
  • If cancer is found, tests are done to study the cancer cells.
  • Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.

Read the full article on the National Cancer Institute website.

Male Breast Cancer Treatment


Diagnosed noninvasive breast cancer?
You have time to consider surgery options.

This 2020 study concluded: extended treatment delay (more than 90 days postdiagnosis) resulted in worse survival, in patients with invasive nonmetastatic and metastatic breast cancer, but not in patients with noninvasive breast cancer…While patients’ preference and anxiety status need to be considered, spending more time on treatment options or to have higher considerations in cosmetic outcomes in patients with noninvasive breast cancer may be viable.


Overdiagnosis and treatment

This study sheds light on the need for new measures to avoid overdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment.

The study authors say:

A vast range of disorders—from indolent to fast-growing lesions—are labelled as cancer. Therefore, we believe that several changes should be made to the approach to cancer screening and care, such as use of new terminology for indolent and precancerous disorders. We propose the term indolent lesion of epithelial origin, or IDLE, for those lesions (currently labelled as cancers) and their precursors that are unlikely to cause harm if they are left untreated. 

Ductal carcinoma in situ

Ductal carcinoma in situ is a pathological entity that is an unintended result of breast cancer screening, rarely diagnosed before screening was adopted. Diagnosis of ductal carcinoma in situ results in immediate treatment with aggressive locoregional therapy; however, the natural history of untreated ductal carcinoma in situ has never been elucidated. Results of studies suggest that only a subset of ductal carcinoma in situ progresses to clinically significant invasive cancer during a patient’s lifetime. The result of this historically aggressive treatment approach is that nearly 50 000 women per year in the USA are diagnosed and given treatment, 20 000 of whom undergo mastectomy, with a growing proportion opting for bilateral mastectomy.

[ Note: These women then attribute screening and treatment to saving their lives when in fact they did not need any treatment because the “cancer” detected was benign.


Latest Treatments Updates

Surgery in second half of menstrual cycle increases survival.

Research shows that women with breast cancer can sharply improve their chances of survival by timing surgery in the second half of their menstrual cycle.

Women who have breast tumours removed during the first part of the cycle have a survival rate after 10 years of 45 per cent. The survival rate is 75 per cent for women who have the operation in the latter part of the month.


Flaxseed
Eating Flaxseed May Reduce Breast Cancer Mortality By Up To 70%

Posted on: Tuesday, April 9th 2019 at 5:00 am
Written By: GMI Reporter
This article is copyrighted by GreenMedInfo LLC, 2019

Mainstream medicine continues to push women to get yearly mammograms as a way to defend themselves against the epidemic of deadly breast cancer.  However, mammograms do nothing to prevent the disease or improve survival rates. But the amazing little flaxseed does.  

Scores of studies reveal the anticancer effects of flaxseed. Researchers from the University of Toronto reviewed the literature to answer questions about the compounds found in flaxseed and how effective they are in reducing breast cancer risk and tumor growth, and whether flaxseeds interact beneficially with breast cancer drugs.  

They reviewed in vitro, animal, observational, and clinical studies on flaxseed and flaxseed oil, as well as lignans found in flaxseed.   

Lignans are a class of phytoestrogens or plant estrogens that also act as antioxidants. Other foods also contain lignans including sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, grains (rye, barley, wheat and oats), broccoli and beans.   But flaxseed has hundreds of times the amount of lignans as any of the others.

The University of Toronto review documents the amazing power of flaxseed to prevent and slow the growth of breast cancer.   Here’s what the studies tell us:

  • The majority of animal studies show a diet of 2.5%-10% flaxseed or the equivalent amount of lignan or flaxseed oil reduces tumor growth.
  • Diets consisting of 10% flaxseed and the equivalent amount of lignans do not interfere with but rather increase the effectiveness of tamoxifen.  A diet of 4% flaxseed oil increases trastuzumab/Herceptin effectiveness.
  • Observational studies show flaxseed and lignan intake, urinary excretion, or serum levels are associated with reduced breast cancer risk, particularly in postmenopausal women.
  • Lignans reduce breast cancer mortality by 33% to 70%.  They also reduce all-cause mortality by 40%-53%.  In both cases, lignans do not reduce the effectiveness of Tamoxifen.
  • Clinical trials show that taking 25 grams per day of flaxseed (containing 50 mg lignans) for 32 days reduces tumor growth in breast cancer patients
  • Taking 50 mg of lignans for one year reduces breast cancer risk in premenopausal women.

Flaxseeds protect women from breast cancer in a variety of ways.  Here are just a few:

  1. Flaxseeds decrease tumor cell proliferation.  When eaten, lignans in flaxseeds are broken down by bacteria in the gut into 2 estrogen-like compounds that circulate through the liver. These compounds have been proven in animal studies to help prevent breast cancer by preventing tumor growth.
  2. Lignans block tumor blood supply.  Tumors need angiogenesis – new blood vessels – to supply oxygen and nutrients for growth.  Flaxseeds inhibit the growth factor needed to stimulate angiogenesis according to animal studies.   
  3. Lignans lower estrogen production. Lignans block aromatase, the enzyme involved in the production of estrogen.  Blocking the enzyme lowers estrogen production.  High estrogen levels have been linked to the growth of breast cancer. 
  4. Lignans block estrogen receptors.  Phytoestrogens like lignans have been estimated to be hundreds of times weaker than human estrogen.  But these plant estrogens dock on estrogen receptors and prevent the activity of stronger cancer stimulating human estrogens and environmental or xenoestrogens.  In that way their effect is similar to the cancer drug Tamoxifen.    
  5. Lignans help generate more protective estrogens. Estrogen is broken down in the liver into three different metabolites.  Two of those metabolites are linked to the growth of breast cancer cells.  But the third type – 2-OH estrone – does not stimulate cancer growth and is considered protective.  Lignans influence how the liver breaks down estrogen and encourages more of the protective 2-OH estrone and less of the other cancer producing metabolites.   
  6. Flaxseeds lower the risk of metastasis.  Flaxseeds may substantially decrease cases of metastasis.  In one animal study, a high flaxseed diet reduced the incidence of metastasis by 82% compared to the control group.

An earlier meta-analysis showed that flaxseed can prevent and kill breast cancer.  It cited observational studies suggesting the consumption of flaxseed may:

  • Decrease risk of primary breast cancer by 18%
  • Improve mental health of breast cancer patients by 76%
  • Lower mortality among breast cancer patients by 32%

Adding cancer-protective flaxseed to your diet is easy. 

Many of the studies show just 25 grams (2.5 tablespoons) per day is effective. Studies also show that up to 40 grams per day are safe in postmenopausal women.   

Choose either golden or brown flaxseeds but make sure they’re organic to avoid agrochemical laden varieites. 

Grind the seeds in a coffee bean grinder.  But ground flax will go rancid so grind only a week’s worth and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Add 1 or 2 tablespoons to cereals, smoothies, yogurt or salads. You can also add it to baked breads and muffins. Aim for 2 to 4 tablespoons per day but work up to that gradually so that your digestive system adjusts to the high fiber content.

Originally published: 2014-06-08  Article updated: 2019-04-09

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.

© [2019] GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here http://www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter.


Iodine Deficiency and Cancer, a Closer Look

A deficiency of iodine has been found to influence the occurrence of many cancers. In Turkey (the country), gastric cancers are most common in areas where iodine deficiency is high. Increased iodine intake over the past several years has been strongly correlated with a reduction in stomach cancers.

Researchers have attributed the low rate of breast cancer in Japan to high dietary iodine (and selenium). Breast cancer cells need iodine to facilitate cell death and suppress tumor growth.
Source: The Truth About Cancer
Read more

Mistletoe
This Review says:
The majority of the included clinical trials suggested a beneficial effect with good evidence with respect to survival,HRQoL,[Quality of Life] positive remission rate, and reduction of chemotherapy causing side effects for breast cancer patients treated with mistletoe extracts.

Bisphosphonates
Source: National Cancer Institute
To better understand the potential role of adjuvant bisphosphonate treatment for women with early-stage breast cancer, the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group (EBCTCG) conducted a meta-analysis of individual patient data for 18,766 participants in 26 randomized trials. These trials compared adjuvant bisphosphonate use for 2 to 5 years with no bisphosphonate use…The study was funded by Cancer Research UK and the Medical Research Council.

…When the study authors looked at the findings according to the trial participants’ menopausal status, they found that treatment with adjuvant bisphosphonates had no effect on any of the outcomes for premenopausal women. However, among the 11,767 postmenopausal women included in the analysis, the use of bisphosphonates was associated with statistically significantreductions in distant recurrence, in bone recurrence, and in death from breast cancer.

Soy food intake after diagnosis of breast cancer and survival

This study analysed 9514 breast cancer survivors with a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer between 1991 and 2006 from 2 US cohorts and 1 Chinese cohort. Soy isoflavone intake (mg/d) was measured with validated food-frequency questionnaires. After a mean follow-up of 7.4 years, postdiagnosis soy food consumption of ≥10 mg isoflavones/day was associated with a nonsignificant reduced risk of breast cancer–specific mortality and a statistically significant reduced risk of recurrence.

Osteoporosis drug could be used to treat aggressive form of breast cancer, researchers say

This study says an enzyme called UGT8 drives the progression of basal-like breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease that is largely untreatable. It found that the widely used osteoporosis drug zoledronic acid inhibits UGT8 and prevents the spread of basal-like breast cancer in mice, suggesting that this drug could also be used to treat the disease in humans.

Carotenoids and Selenium prevent Recurrence
This study found that Carotenoids and Selenium can prevent breast cancer returning. Cruciferous vegetables contain Carotenoids and Selenium is available as a supplement.

Flax and Breast Cancer:
This study says:
Observational data suggest that flaxseed may be protective against breast cancer, with intakes of ¼ cup (~32 g ground flaxseed) or approximately 160 mg SDG demonstrating the strongest can­cer protective effects thus far. Biomarker studies in breast cancer patients indicate increased tumor cell apoptosis, decreased HER-2 expression, decreased tumor cell prolifera­tion, and anti-angiogenic activity in vivo at doses between 25 g ground flax or 50 mg SDG per day…Current evidence suggests that flax consumption may decrease risk of breast cancer development and may exert antitumor effects in women with breast cancer when used at doses of 25 g ground flaxseed or 50 mg SDG per day.

[SDG = Secoisolariciresinol diglucoside, an antioxidant phytoestrogen present in flax seeds.]

Propranolol (Beta-blocker)
This study says: Propranolol was also shown to have an effect on metastasis to the brain – the other major site of interest in breast cancer. Choy et al assessed retrospective data that showed that for stage II breast cancer patients beta-blocker usage was associated with a significantly reduced risk of post-operative recurrence or distant metastasis…The recent studies outlined in this paper add to the weight of evidence to support the use of propranolol as an anti-metastatic agent in breast cancer.

DHA oil inhibits breast cancer cell growth
This study
demonstrated that Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) oil inhibited the growth and induced the death of Breast Cancer cells.

DHA is an omega-3 fatty acid found in cold-water oily fish and in seaweed. DHA is also widely available in supplement form.

Blueberries
This study
says eating blueberries can inhibit breast cancer tumor growth.

Scientists tie walnuts to gene expressions related to breast cancer

New research from Marshall University links walnut consumption as a contributing factor that could suppress growth and survival of breast cancers.

Led by W. Elaine Hardman, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, a Marshall University team revealed that consumption of two ounces of walnuts a day for about two weeks significantly changed gene expression in confirmed breast cancers. This pilot, two-arm clinical trial is the latest of a series of related studies at Marshall University related to dietary walnut links to tumor growth, survival and metastasis in breast cancer. The work is described in a March 10 paper published in the journal Nutrition Research.

“Consumption of walnuts has slowed breast cancer growth and/or reduced the risk of mammary cancer in mice,” Hardman said. “Building on this research, our team hypothesized that walnut consumption would alter gene expression in pathologically-confirmed breast cancers of women in a direction that would decrease breast cancer growth and survival.” Read full article

N-Acetylcysteine

This study: NAC as a single agent reduces MCT4 stromal expression, which is a marker of glycolysis in breast cancer with reduced carcinoma cell proliferation. This study suggests that modulating metabolism in the tumor microenvironment has the potential to impact breast cancer proliferation.

NAC was safe and well tolerated in this clinical trial. This is consistent with previous clinical trials and the pharmaco-vigilance data, which has detected only mild side effects and little toxicity.

In sum, this pilot clinical trial of NAC shows that it is safe and has biological activity in breast cancer.  


Oncolytic Virotherapy

This 2020 study says:
The development of new oncolytic virus for the treatment of breast cancer includes new viral vectors targeting tumour cells with high affinity without perturbating normal cells, improving immune system activity against cancer, reducing adverse events and ensuring safety. In particular, in breast cancer, novel reovirus, vaccinia virus and HSV are been developing. Among these, vaccinia virus is considered to be very promising candidate, due to its transfection capacity, easy manipulation, good safety profile and inability to integrate into the host genome.


Silver Nanoparticles kills breast epithelial cancer cells

This study says: Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) show promise for treatment of aggressive cancers including triple‐negative breast cancer (TNBC) in preclinical cancer models…We establish that AgNPs, regardless of size, shape, or stabilizing agent, are highly cytotoxic to TNBC cells at doses that are not cytotoxic to non‐malignant breast epithelial cells.

Antitumor activity of colloidal silver on MCF-7 human breast cancer cells
This study says: Our in vitro [laboratory] studies showed that colloidal silver induced a dose-dependent cell death in MCF-7 breast cancer cell line through apoptosis, without affecting the viability of normal PBMC control cells…The overall results indicated that the colloidal silver has antitumor activity through induction of apoptosis in MCF-7 breast cancer cell line, suggesting that colloidal silver might be a potential alternative agent for human breast cancer therapy
.


Aggressive treatment of D.C.I.S. with radiotherapy or mastectomy does not prevent death from breast cancer.

This long-term study was published in the journal JAMA Oncology in 2015. The analysis of 20 years of patient data made the case for a less aggressive approach to treating a condition known as ductal carcinoma in situ, or D.C.I.S., for which the current practice is nearly always surgery, and often radiation. The results suggest that the form of treatment may make no difference in outcomes.

Overdiagnosis of breast cancer

Definition of Overdiagnosis (National Cancer Institute)
Finding cases of cancer with a screening test (such as a mammogram or PSA test) that will never cause any symptoms. These cancers may just stop growing or go away on their own. Some of the harms caused by overdiagnosis are anxiety and having treatments that are not needed.

Some cancers that are diagnosed early do not develop symptoms requiring treatment, while others grow so slowly that the patient outlives the cancer and dies of other causes. Many of these are treated unnecessarily, leading to:

  • Unnecessary tests and treatment
  • Exposure to dangerous side-effects
  • Radiation-induced cancers
  • Mental and physical pain
  • Infertility
  • Inflated survival rates

The authors of this study which looked at cancer overdiagnosis stated: We estimate the magnitude of overdiagnosis from randomized trials: about 25% of mammographically detected breast cancers

This Article, published in 2012 in the New England Journal of Medicine, found: 31% of all breast cancers are over-diagnosed.

This 2016 review concluded:
· At least 20% of Breast Cancer patients, if left untreated would be alive after 5 years
· limited evidence suggests that around 10% of screen detected Breast Cancers may regress.

TAILORx trial finds most women with early breast cancer do not benefit from chemotherapy

June 3, 2018
Source:National Cancer Institute

New findings from the groundbreaking Trial Assigning Individualized Options for Treatment (Rx), or TAILORx trial, show no benefit from chemotherapy for 70 percent of women with the most common type of breast cancer. The study found that for women with hormone receptor (HR)positive, HER2-negative, axillary lymph node­–negative breast cancer, treatment with chemotherapy and hormone therapy after surgery is not more beneficial than treatment with hormone therapy alone. The new data, released at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago, will help inform treatment decisions for many women with early-stage breast cancer.

The trial was supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and designed and led by the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group. Findings from the study will be published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

“The new results from TAILORx give clinicians high-quality data to inform personalized treatment recommendations for women,” said lead author Joseph A. Sparano, M.D., associate director for clinical research at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center and Montefiore Health System in New York City and vice chair of the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group. “These data confirm that using a 21-gene expression test to assess the risk of cancer recurrence can spare women unnecessary treatment if the test indicates that chemotherapy is not likely to provide benefit.”

TAILORx, a phase 3 clinical trial, opened in 2006 and was designed to provide an evidence-based answer to the question of whether hormone therapy alone is not inferior to hormone therapy plus chemotherapy. The trial used a molecular test (Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score) that assesses the expression of 21 genes associated with breast cancer recurrence to assign women with early-stage, HR-positive, HER2-negative, axillary lymph node­–negative breast cancer to the most appropriate and effective post-operative treatment. The trial enrolled 10,273 women with this type of breast cancer at 1,182 sites in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Peru.

When patients enrolled in the trial, their tumors were analyzed using the 21-gene expression test and assigned a risk score (on a scale of 0­–100) for cancer recurrence. Based on evidence from earlier trials, women in the trial who had a score in the low-risk range (0­–10) received hormone therapy only, and those who had a score in the high-risk range (26 and above) were treated with hormone therapy and chemotherapy.

Women in the trial who had a score in the intermediate range (11­–25) were randomly assigned to receive hormone therapy alone or hormone therapy with adjuvant chemotherapy. The goal was to assess whether women who received hormone therapy alone had outcomes that were as good as those among women who received chemotherapy in addition to hormone therapy.

“Until now, we’ve been able to recommend treatment for women with these cancers at high and low risk of recurrence, but women at intermediate risk have been uncertain about the appropriate strategy to take,” said Jeffrey Abrams, M.D., associate director of NCI’s Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program. “These findings, showing no benefit from receiving chemotherapy plus hormone therapy for most patients in this intermediate-risk group, will go a long way to support oncologists and patients in decisions about the best course of treatment.”

The researchers found that the primary endpoint of the trial, invasive disease-free survival—the proportion of women who had not died or developed a recurrence or a second primary cancer—was very similar in both groups. Five years after treatment, the rate of invasive disease-free survival was 92.8 percent for those who had hormone therapy alone and 93.1 percent for those who also had chemotherapy. At nine years, the rate was 83.3 percent for those with hormone therapy alone and 84.3 percent for the group that had both therapies. None of these differences were considered statistically significant.

The rates of overall survival were also very similar in the two groups. At five years, the overall survival rate was 98.0 percent for those who received hormone therapy alone and 98.1 percent for those who received both therapies, and at nine years the respective overall survival rates were 93.9 percent and 93.8 percent.

The researchers also found that women with a score of 0–10 had very low recurrence rates with hormone therapy alone at nine years (3 percent). This confirms similar findings from earlier studies. In addition, they found that women with a score of 26–100 had a distant recurrence rate of 13 percent despite receiving both chemotherapy and hormone therapy. This finding indicates the need to develop more effective therapies for women at high risk of recurrence.

According to the authors, the new findings suggest that chemotherapy may be avoided in about 70 percent of women with HR-positive, HER2-negative, node-negative breast cancer:

  • older than 50 and with a recurrence score of 11–25 (45 percent)
  • any age with a recurrence score of 0–10 (16 percent)
  • 50 years old or younger with a recurrence score of 11–15 (8 percent)

The findings suggest that chemotherapy may be considered for the remaining 30 percent of women with HR-positive, HER2-negative, node-negative breast cancer:

  • any age with a recurrence score of 26–100 (17 percent)
  • 50 years old or younger with a recurrence score of 16–25 (14 percent)

The new results demonstrate that chemotherapy is not beneficial for most women in the intermediate-risk group. This data adds to findings from a TAILORx analysis published in 2015 that provided prospective evidence that the gene expression test could identify women with a low risk of recurrence who could be spared chemotherapy.

There is one caveat to the new findings. When the researchers analyzed premenopausal women and those younger than 50 years old at the higher end of the intermediate-risk range (16–25) separately, the results showed there may be a small benefit from chemotherapy, and thus these women should consider chemotherapy with their doctor. However, it is unclear if this benefit is due to the effect of chemotherapy or to endocrine suppression caused by chemotherapy-induced menopause.

“Before TAILORx, there was uncertainty about the best treatment for women with a mid-range score of 11–25 on the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score test. The trial was designed to address this question and provides a very definitive answer,” said Dr. Sparano. “Any woman with early-stage breast cancer age 75 or younger should have the 21-gene expression test and discuss the results with her doctor to guide her decision to the right therapy.”

TAILORx was one of the first large-scale trials to examine a methodology for personalizing cancer treatment. When the trial was activated, the best available genomic profiling data in women with early-stage breast cancer were retrospective.

The study was supported in part by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Komen Foundation, and the Breast Cancer Research Stamp. The stamp funding provided more than $5 million to the trial. Since 1998, when the charity stamp was authorized by Congress and first issued by the United States Postal Service, more than $86 million has been raised for breast cancer research. The net proceeds from sales of the stamp are transferred to NIH and the Medical Research Program of the Department of Defense to fund breast cancer research.

The genomic assay used in the trial was the Oncotype DX Breast Recurrence Score test from Genomic Health, Inc., Redwood City, California.

Here are a few quick facts about the trial:

It was the largest randomised adjuvant breast cancer treatment trial ever conducted.
It
found most women with early breast cancer do not benefit from chemotherapy

Study details:
10,273 Patients
1,182 Trial Sites
6 participating countries: United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and Peru.
9 year outcomes
Sponsored by the US National Cancer Institute
Study Results published in The New England Journal of Medicine

The purpose of the trial was to find out whether women treated with Hormone therapy alone would fare as well over time as those treated with Hormone therapy plus Chemotherapy.

The findings: At 9 years, the two treatment groups had similar ratesof invasive disease–free survival (83.3% in the hormone-therapy group and 84.3% in the Hormone plus Chemotherapy group),
freedom from disease recurrence at a distant site (94.5% and 95.0%)
or at a distant or local–regional site (92.2% and 92.9%),
and overall survival (93.9% and 93.8%).
You can see the study at The New England Journal of Medicine

The following News Release was published on Oct 3, 2019. Source: Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Doctors Petition FDA to Require Breast Cancer Warning Label on Cheese

WASHINGTON – “Dairy cheese contains reproductive hormones that may increase breast cancer mortality risk.” That’s the warning label the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine—a nonprofit with more than 12,000 doctor members—is petitioning the Food and Drug Administration to require cheese manufacturers to prominently display on all dairy cheese products. The petition is being submitted on Oct. 3, as Breast Cancer Awareness Month begins.

Dairy products contain traces of estrogens from cows, and as milk is converted to cheese, the estrogens are more concentrated. While they are only traces, they appear to be biologically active in humans, increasing breast cancer mortality.

The Life After Cancer Epidemiology study found that, among women previously diagnosed with breast cancer, those consuming one or more servings of high-fat dairy products (e.g., cheese, ice cream, whole milk) daily had a 49 percent higher breast cancer mortality, compared with those consuming less than one-half serving daily.

“Instead of cheese manufacturers like Kraft slapping a pink ribbon on products like Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Macaroni & Cheese, as they have done during previous Breast Cancer Awareness Months, they should be adding warning labels,” says Physicians Committee president Neal Barnard, MD, author of The Cheese Trap and Your Body in Balance. “We want women to be aware that dairy cheese could put them at risk of dying from breast cancer.”

The petition cites several studies linking consumption of cheese and other high-fat dairy products to increased risk of breast cancer.

A 2017 study funded by the National Cancer Institute that compared the diets of women diagnosed with breast cancer to those without breast cancer and found that those who consumed the most American, cheddar, and cream cheeses had a 53 percent increased risk for breast cancer. The authors say that components in dairy such as insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) and other growth hormones may be among the reasons for the increased risk for cancer.

 “To ensure that Americans understand the potential significant risks, and resulting long-term costs, of consuming dairy cheese products, the FDA should ensure that the notice above is prominently placed on product packaging and labeling for all dairy cheese products,” says the petition.

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