Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Risk Decreases Rapidly After Starting Regular Physical Activity
Postmenopausal women have been told to use exercise as a means to prevent breast cancer. However little has been known about how often she should exercise, or how long it would continue to work. Researchers at the American Association for Cancer Research recently published a study in their journal, Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, stating that postmenopausal women who engaged in exercise within the last 4 years for at least 4 hours per week had a 10% decreased risk for invasive breast cancer than those who did less exercise. The exercise can be as simple as moderate walking for 30 minutes per day, as well as cycling and other kinds of sport activities.
FDA Approves First DNA Test for Colon Cancer
Did you know that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., with over 50,000 deaths expected this year, according to the American Cancer Society? The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first screening test for colon cancer that utilizes the patient’s own DNA to assist in spotting tumors. How does it work? The Cologuard test detects irregular mutations in stool samples. If found, this may be an early sign of colon cancer. Those who test positive for the mutations will then get a colonoscopy to confirm results. Prior to the new DNA test, doctors looked for signs of blood in the stool as a signifier for colon cancer. Studies from Cologuard show that it had been successful in detecting 92% of colon cancers and 42% of advanced polyps in over 10,000 patients. Traditional blood tests only detected 74% of cancers and 24% of advanced polyps.
Drug Used to Improve Bone Density No Longer Said to Reduce Risk for Breast Cancer
If you are taking bisphosphonates to improve your bone density, you may have been told that it may reduce your risk for invasive postmenopausal breast cancer. Prior research studies have suggested that there was a connection between women with osteoporosis taking bisphosphonates and its presumed ability to prevent tumors. However researchers who recently published an article in JAMA Internal Medicine say otherwise. Their analysis of the relationship between bisphosphonate use and invasive breast cancer in two randomized, double blind, placebo controlled trials showed that there was no significant difference in the rates of breast cancer occurrence between the bisphosphonate and placebo groups.
More Research on How Women and Men Respond Differently to Treatment for Common Diseases
We all know that women and men are different. However it has only been within recent years that the medical community has begun to look at women as more than just a smaller version of men! It was not until the late 1980’s that doctors began to see that women’s health was more than just obstetrics and gynecology; there was a stark difference in the way women experienced gender-common conditions like diabetes and heart disease. This led medical researchers to believe that there would have to be a profound effect on the way women responded to treatment as well. The difference is that cellular biology in women and men is specific to sex. Medical researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem, NC are now analyzing the biological differences in women and men who have suffered from ailments like depression, stroke, arthritis, etc. There has also been an increase in research analyzing why certain conditions like obesity, thyroid disease, and asthma occur more frequently in women than men.