Vitamin D helps prevent breast cancer recurrence, death - new study
A new study suggests that taking high doses of vitamin D supplements may help prevent recurrence and death from breast cancer in patients with early stage breast cancer.
A new study in the Aug 2010 issue of Journal of Clinical Oncology suggests that high levels of vitamin D in the blood may help prevent breast cancer patients from having recurrence or dying from the disease.
The study led by Goodwin P.J. and colleagues from Mount Sinai Hospital in Ontario Canada showed that women with deficient vitamin D levels were 94 percent more likely to have distant recurrence and 73 percent more likely to die from the disease compared to those with sufficient levels.
The study involved 512 patients with early breast cancer diagnosed between 1989 and 1996. Vitamin D levels were measured in stored blood. All clinical, pathological and dietary data were available for the researchers to examine the prognostic effects of vitamin D on the risk of recurrence and death from the disease.
Only 24 percent of patients had sufficient vitamin D compared to 37.5 percent deficient and 38.5 percent insufficient. During an average 11.6 years of follow-up, 116 women had distant recurrences and 106 died.
For the study, vitamin D deficiency was defined as having less than 50 nmol per L, insufficiency as having 50 to 72 nmol per L and sufficiency as having higher than 72 nmol per L.
The researchers also found that the reduction in recurrence and death from breast cancer was attenuated, but was still significant. Specifically, those with deficient vitamin D were 71 percent more likely to have distant recurrence and 60 percent more likely to die compared to those with vitamin D sufficiency.
Numerous studies have suggested that vitamin D may help prevent breast cancer and death from the disease. In fact, may organizations are working to invent some vitamin D analogs as drugs to fight breast cancer.
It should be noted that only high doses of vitamin D may render a protective effect against breast cancer, which is diagnosed in more than 175,000 women and kills about 50,000. each year in the United States.
More reports will be published here in the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help readers better understand the disease and how to prevent it.
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