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Vitamin C, E cut breast cancer recurrence and death risk

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By David Liu, Ph.D.

Saturday Oct 29, 2011 (foodconsumer.org) -- Breast cancer patients should take vitamin C and E supplements and avoid use of combination carotenoids, a new study in the Sept 2011 issue of Cancer suggests.

The study shows that breast cancer patients who frequently  used vitamin C and vitamin E were almost 30 percent less likely to have recurrence of breast cancer and die from all causes.

The study led by H. Greenlee at Herbert Irving Comprehensive Center of Columbia University in New York, New York also shows frequent use of combination carotenoids was correlated with 107 percent increased risk of death from breast cancer and 75 percent increased risk from all-cause death.

The researchers found the associations after analyzing data from 2264 female breast cancer patients in the Life After Cancer Epidemiology cohort. Of the participants, 81 percent reported use of antioxidant supplements after diagnosis. These women were diagnosed with the disease in its early stage from 1997 through 2000 and enrolled within two years of diagnosis on average.

The study suggests that not all antioxidants have the same benefits for breast cancer patients.

Another new study in the Nov 2011 issue of In Vivo shows that intravenous vitamin C helps reduce side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in breast cancer patients.

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