By Vera Gruessner
While Breast Cancer Awareness Month drew to a close, this does not make much of an impact on the thousands of women around the country that are living with breast cancer and continually endure chemotherapy, mastectomies, lumpectomies, and the many hospitalizations associated with this disease.
With many still believing that the typical “pink” product and donation to Komen will make a difference in the search for a cure, it is important to continue pushing real research in the breast cancer community, especially the studies behind the human mammary tumor virus. If we can determine that the virus causes breast cancer, the rates of women around the world diagnosed with this disease can drop provided an effective vaccine is developed.
Prevention is key to making a real difference in the cancer community. Information from the American Cancer Society about breast cancer research is still mainly surrounding treatment instead of prevention. Radiation treatment, chemotherapy, and other targeted therapies are mainly the focus of the oncology field. This is a real problem when prevention such as vaccination could make a real impact on reducing the rates of breast cancer around the world.
For example, ScienceDaily reported last month about the connection between alcohol intake and breast cancer. A large study looking at more than 330,000 women from ten European countries found exactly how much the risk of breast cancer rose with each glass of alcohol.
”A woman’s average risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer increases by 4 percent with each additional 10 grams/day of alcohol. In other words, a daily intake of one glass of wine or beer — or less — would correspond to a risk value of 1. However, if we increase our intake to two daily glasses of wine or beer, our risk would rise by 4 percent,” María Dolores Chirlaque, one of the Spanish scientists working on the study, told the news source.
Also, it is important to know that the number of years a woman drinks alcohol corresponds to the risk they have of contracting this disease. Therefore, the older a woman is before beginning to drink, the less her risk of breast cancer. Preventing disease by following a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and avoiding excessive alcohol intake is key to overall health and wellness.
Breast cancer research must move past treatments and focus on prevention such as the research behind the virus and breast cancer vaccine. This could make a real impact on reducing the number of women diagnosed with breast cancer worldwide.