Breast cancer (BC) is the most common tumour in women around the world impacting over 2.4 million each year and responsible for more than 500,000 deaths worldwide. BC is the most common type of cancer in the UK. Most women diagnosed with BC are over the age of 50, but younger women can also get BC. There’s a good chance of recovery if it’s detected at an early stage.
We now know that 90-95% of tumour origin can be explained by environmental factors or unhealthy lifestyles.
Survival and secondary effects
Lifestyle adjustments focused on diet and exercise have been shown to affect BC survival rates.
A New Area of Research
The diversity of the gut microbiota appears to be an essential component of overall health, including breast health.
The Importance of Prevention
About 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with BC during their lifetime
It is essential that health practitioners focus on prevention measures since, as Dr. Capelán explains, many cancers originate 30 or 40 years prior to diagnosis.
We support you
Contact our Biomedical department and Oncology advisors for personalised mycotherapy advice, and access to resources and training materials for health professionals.
“We have to educate to avoid new cases and for newly diagnosed cases, we need to help them to live better”
Dr. Marta Capelán, Oncologist of the Breast Cancer and Melanoma Group of the VHIO
Screening or early detection techniques have been found to be clearly effective for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer. These techniques detect the disease before it appears. In breast cancer, there are three fundamental techniques:
· Self-examination · Clinical examination · Mammography
Ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are the most commonly used screening techniques in gynecology consultations for the early detection of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Treatments
Protocols or therapeutic plans for people diagnosed with BC depend on a range of factors such as patient age, general health status, location of tumour(s), etc., as well as the type of tumour cells. 66% of BCs are classified as hormone dependent and have a higher prevalence in postmenopausal women. The most common hormonal drugs (hormone therapy) used to treat BC are tamoxifen, anastrozole, letrozole, and exemestane, among others.
Surgical treatments, chemotherapy (antineoplastic drugs), radiation therapy, and biological therapy complete the cancer treatment options.
How to reduce secondary effects
Among various modifiable risk factors that are known to affect breast cancer risk and mortality, diet is considered one of the most important, and most modifiable (seiler a et al., 2018).Focus: anti-inflammatory balanced diet emphasising fresh unprocessed foods, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruit (high in antioxidants and fiber), rich in omega 3 (fish and some seeds) and minimal animal protein (especially from red meat) is recommended.
A chronic exposure to stress has been linked to negative changes in body homeostasis. The role of stress in cancer has been extensively studied. Qualitative analysis has shown possible association between stressful events and breast cancer (BC) incidence.
A study of 77,173 women diagnosed with BC between 2000 and 2009 found: mood disorders appear to indicate worse survival in BC patients. Depression is a clear predictor of reduced survival in BC patients.
A UK Study of more than 400,000 women found: “Early birds” may have a lower risk of breast cancer and sleeping more than the average seven to eight hours per night has been found to correlate with a slightly increased risk of BC. This study also found there was slight link with insomnia.
Integrative Oncology is an evidence based multidisciplinary patient-centered approach to cancer treatment. This approach complements hospital therapies with mind-body techniques (yoga, mindfulness, acupuncture, etc.), physical exercise, specific nutrition (including supplementation), herbs, other therapies, and lifestyle modifications that have proven to be effective in influencing cancer progression.
Live, live longer, but also live better
As conventional techniques advance to achieve higher cure rates, Integrative Oncology can support you throughout the process.
Mushrooms in Integrative Oncology
Ebook 12 Medicinal mushrooms
Mushrooms have more than 150 bioactive compounds such as beta-glucans, prebiotics, pro-vitamin D, B vitamins, natural antimicrobials. We present the most important medicinal mushrooms and their properties in the following book.
How to reduce secondary effects
Innovation and advances in recent years have contributed to moving toward a cure for BC. Right now, 5-year BC survival is 90%. However, oncology professionals point out that consistent high quality of life is both an unmet need and an unaddressed need.
Survival and quality of life
Oncologists Dr. Gascón and Dr. Capelán, among others, point out that, based on their international experience, integrative oncology can help minimize the direct side effects associated with cancer treatments (nausea, vomiting, etc.) as well as those that manifest long-term such as fatigue, inflammation, or peripheral neuropathies, which are present in one in 3 women who have suffered from BC.
Breast cancer research
Hifas da Terra is leading the collaborative R&D project, Microimmunomama, that aims to develop a new product capable of modulating the intestinal microbiota and immune function in BC patients.
The role of microbiota in Oncology
· Recent research suggests that the microbiota of women with breast cancer (BC) differs from that of healthy women, indicating that certain bacteria may be associated with cancer development and with varying responses to therapy.
· One of the most prominent functions of gut microbiota is the regulation of steroid-hormone metabolism, such as estrogens, levels of which are an important risk factor in BC development, especially in postmenopausal women.
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Bodai BI, Nakata TE. Breast Cancer: Lifestyle, the Human Gut Microbiota/Microbiome, and Survivorship. Perm J. 2020;24:19.129. LINK
Chiriac VF, Baban A, Dumitrascu DL. Psychological stress and breast cancer incidence: a systematic review. Clujul Med. 2018;91(1):18-26. doi:10.15386/cjmed-924 LINK
Kanani R, Davies EA, Hanchett N, Jack RH. The association of mood disorders with breast cancer survival: an investigation of linked cancer registration and hospital admission data for South East England. Psychooncology. 2016;25(1):19-27. doi:10.1002/pon.4037 LINK
Hetland E. Johnson T. Lyberg S. Bernardshaw A. M. A. Tryggestad B. Grinde (2008) Effects of the Medicinal Mushroom Agaricus blazei Murill on Immunity, Infection and Cancer. Scandinavian Journal of Immunology. Volume 68, Issue 4. Pages 363-370 LINK