Which Countries Have The Highest Breast Cancer Rates?

Around the world, more than 1.38 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 with more than 458,000 women dying from the disease.

There is considerable variation in breast cancer rates between countries. Belgium and Denmark have the highest rates of breast cancer in the world with age standardized rates of 109.2 and 101.1 cases per 100,000 adult women per year respectively. A Belgian women has around a 1 in 7 chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. Bhutan and Mongolia have the lowest rates with just 8 cases per 100,000 women per year (although rates in these countries are almost certainly under-reported due to poor health systems).


Popular Statin Cuts Breast Cancer Recurrence Rate By 30%

Simvastatin, a popular statin, may cut the rate of breast cancer recurrence by as much as 30% according to the results of a recent study conducted by American and Danish researchers.

The study, published in October, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, involved almost 18,769 Danish women who were diagnosed with stage 1-3 breast cancer between 1996 and 2003. The women were followed up for an average of 6.8 years. Slightly under 20% of breast cancer patients were prescribed statins following their diagnosis.


Do Soy Foods Promote Breast Cancer?

Soy beansThere has been alot of debate recently about the safety of soy with respect to the development of breast cancer. One theory that hs been promoted by the anti-soy lobby over the years is that because soy contains estrogen-like compounds, it has the potential to enhance the growth of breast cancer, particularly ER-positive tumours.

The Weston A. Price foundation, which is an organisation funded primarily by meat and dairy farmers, is a classic example of the anti-soy lobby.


Olive Oil Linked To Lower Risk Of Breast Cancer

Olive OilOlive oil, which is a key component of the Mediterranean diet, has long been known as a heart-healthy oil due to its high levels of mono-unsaturated fat which help keep LDL cholesterol levels in check. Recent studies have also suggested a link between olive oil and a reduced risk of various types of cancer. The most convincing evidence is for breast cancer where numerous studies have found reductions in breast cancer risk of between 20-40% for those who regularly consume olive oil. Some of these studies are summarised below.


Waist Size Linked To Increased Risk Of Breast Cancer

A tape measureFor many years, obesity has been suspected of playing a role in breast cancer risk. Most studies find little association between obesity and breast cancer risk in pre-menopausal women but a significantly increased risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Recent research suggests that measures of central obesity such as waist circumference and the waist-to-hip ratio may be more accurate predictors of breast cancer risk than BMI alone.


The Link Between Sun Exposure, Vitamin D, & Cancer Prognosis

The sunDid you know that your chances of beating cancer depend on the season you are diagnosed in? It may seem bizarre but a large number of studies have found that individuals who are diagnosed with cancer in the summer have a better cancer prognosis than those diagnosed in the winter, apparently due to increased production of vitamin D by the body over the summer months.

A 2004 study, published in the journal Cancer Causes and Control, looked at the effect of sunlight on the prognosis of colon, breast, and prostate cancer in Norway. The researchers found that the case-fatality rate was higher in winter than in other seasons for all three forms of cancer.


5-Year Cancer Survival Rates Are Increasing

A quick look at the latest figures from SEER, the statistical database provided by the National Cancer Institute, shows that survival rates for most forms of cancer have increased dramatically over the past 30 years or so. Overall, 5 year cancer survival rates have increased from 48.9% in 1975 to 66.7% in 2003. The following graph shows 5-year survival rates for some of the most common forms of cancer.


Lack Of Sleep Increases Breast Cancer Risk By Inhibiting Melatonin Production

A recent Japanese study, published by the British Journal of Cancer in September this year, has found that women who get six or less hours sleep a night are much more likely to develop breast cancer than the rest of the population.

The study involved 23,995 Japanese women aged between 40 and 79 who were followed for an eight year period. Over the course of the study, 143 women developed breast cancer. The researchers found that women who slept for 6 or less hours a night were 62% more likely to develop breast cancer compared to women who slept for an average of 7 hours a night.


Walnuts Slow Growth Of Breast Cancer Cells

A study, published in the peer reviewed medical journal Nutrition and Cancer, has found that walnuts can dramatically cut the growth rate of breast tumors in mice.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the Marshall University School of Medicine in West Virginia, USA, involved the implantation of human breast cancer cells in a group of 22 mice. The tumors were allowed to grow to between 3mm and 5mm in size at which point the mice were divided into two groups.


Eight Drinks A Day Almost Doubles Overall Cancer Risk

A cup of beerA report, published by the Cancer Institute NSW in Australia has found that alcohol might be more strongly linked to cancer than previous thought.

The authors of the report reviewed the findings of 634 previous studies to determine the link between alcohol consumption and the risk of various cancers. In total, cancer risk was found to be 22% higher in people who consumed four alcoholic drinks a day compared to non-drinkers and 90% higher in those who consumed eight alcoholic drinks a day. On the other hand, consumption of two alcoholic drinks a day appeared to have little or no effect on cancer risk.


Regular Aspirin Use Leads To A Small Reduction In Breast Cancer Risk

Some pills in a bottleA new study, published in the journal Breast Cancer Research in April this year has found that women who take an aspirin a day have a modestly reduced risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who never use aspirin.

The study, conducted by researchers at the US National Cancer Institute in Rockville, USA, focused on 136,408 women aged between 51 and 72 and who were free of cancer at the beginning of the study in 1996-1997.


Heavy Drinking Ups Risk Of Cancer In Mouth, Esophagus, Breast & Liver

A recent analysis of 156 research studies has found that moderate alcohol consumption can increase the risk of developing several forms of cancer including cancers of the mouth, larynx, esophagus, breast, colon, and liver.

The study, published in the journal Preventive Medicine in 2004, involved the analysis of data from 156 studies involving a total of 116,702 individuals in order to determine the effects of alcohol consumption on cancer rates.


Two Drinks A Day Increases Breast Cancer Risk By 32%

A beerEven relatively low levels of alcohol consumption may increase a womens risk of developing one form of breast cancer by a significant amount according to a recent American study of almost 200,000 women.

The research, conducted by the National Cancer Institute looked at data from 184,418 women in order to explore the link between breast cancer and alcohol consumption.


Study: Hypnosis Reduces Cost Of Breast Cancer Surgery

A new study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute has suggested that a session of hypnosis prior to breast cancer surgery can reduces the overall cost of the procedure by over $750.

The study, conducted by researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York found that patients who received hypnosis prior to undergoing breast cancer surgery recovered much faster from the procedure, required less medication, and experienced less anxiety, discomfort, and pain than patients who did not undergo hypnosis.


Obesity Linked To Cancer Of Pancreas, Liver, Bladder & Prostate

Most people know that being overweight increases your risk of developing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. What a lot of people don’t realise however is that being overweight also increases your risk of developing many forms of cancer.

The most comprehensive study on the environmental and lifestyle factors responsible for cancer is known as “The Cancer Prevention Study 2″. The study was conducted from 1982 to 1997 and followed 1.2 million American men and women


Breast Cancer Strikes Black Women Earlier And Harder

Black women both develop breast cancer at an earlier age and are more likely to die from it according to a new study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

The study, conducted using patient data from Homerton University Hospital in Hackney from 1994 to 2005 found that black women were diagnosed with breast cancer a massive 21 years earlier on average than white women. The study also suggested a poorer survival rate amongst black women diagnosed with breast cancer


Breast Cancer More Likely In Overweight Women

Women who are overweight have a greater risk of developing breast cancer according to a recent American study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

The study, conducted by several scientists of the Hormel Institute at the University of Minnesota found that people with lower levels of a protein hormone known as adiponectin or Acrp30 were much more likely to develop breast cancer.