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Almost all breast cancer patients vitamin D deficient

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By Jimmy Downs

Tuesday Sept 18, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- A new cases-control study in Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism found almost all  breast cancer patients who participated in the small study conducted in Pakistan were vitamin D deficient.

The study led by S.  Imtiaz of  Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Lahore, Pakistan and colleagues found 95.6 percent of breast cancer suffered vitamin D deficiency, compared to 77 percent among those without the disease.

The study was intended to determine an association between serum vitamin D levels in breast cancer patients and grade and stage of the tumor.

For the study, the researchers analysed data from 90 breast cancer patients at a mean age of 46 years and 90 age-matched healthy females whose blood samples were tested for 25(OH)D levels and CT bone mineral density.  Age, marital status, menopausal, body mass index, residential area among other factors were similarly distributed among cases and controls.

Breast cancer patients were found to have a mean serum level of vitamin D at 9.3 ng/mL, compared to 14.9 ng/mL in controls.  A total of 86 out of 90 patients were vitamin D deficient, compared to 69 out of 90 in controls who were vitamin D deficient.

Among breast cancer patients, tumor characteristics including history, grade, stage and receptor status were not significantly associated with serum levels of vitamin.  Low bone mineral density was not significantly correlated with vitamin D deficiency.

Menopause status was linked to serum levels of the vitamin among breast cancer patients.   Of breast cancer patients, premenopausal women had lower serum vitamin D levels than postmenopausal women, 10.5ng/mL versus 13.5 ng/mL

The study confirmed early epidemiological studies that showed vitamin D deficiency is linked with increased risk of breast cancer.  Early studied suggest that maintaining sufficient vitamin d may prevent 75 percent cases of breast cancer.

Breast cancer is expected in 230,000 women in the United States in 2012 and the disease and its complications/treatment may kill nearly 40,000, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Breast cancer in many cases is preventable.  In addition to maintaining high levels of vitamin D, avoiding medical radiation and hormone therapy are two major things women can do to reduce their risk of breast cancer.

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