Herbal active substances against breast cancer

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Prevention and treatment of breast cancer with plant hormones

So-called plant hormones (phytohormones) can be used to treat breast cancer patients. As researchers at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg found, the plant-like hormone-like substances reduce the risk of mortality and the risk of secondary tumors and metastases in women who develop breast cancer (breast cancer) after the menopause.

The plant hormones contained in linseed, for example, so-called lignans, reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer and the likelihood of developing metastases and secondary tumors in breast cancer patients after menopause by up to 40 percent, according to the DKFZ scientists. For the first time, the researchers were able to demonstrate that the phytoestrogens contained in various cereals and vegetables have a clear effect in the treatment of breast cancer. It has been known from previous studies that a diet high in phytoestrogens in women helps prevent breast cancer after menopause.

Plant hormones have a positive effect on breast cancer Jenny Chang-Claude from the German Cancer Research Center regularly took blood samples from 1,140 breast cancer patients between 2002 and 2005 to check their intake of phytoestrogens. The blood values ​​obtained were then compared with the course of the disease over an observation period of six years. The DKFZ researchers found that lignans (special phytoestrogens) reduced the risk of mortality and the formation of metastases or secondary tumors by up to 40 percent. This clearly proves that the plant hormones have an extremely positive effect in the treatment of breast cancer, report Dr. Jenny Chang-Claude and colleagues. Previous studies have not been able to provide clear results, since the intake of the phytoestrogens was not checked on the basis of blood values, but was only based on the information provided by the patients. However, despite the same intake amount, there may be considerable differences in blood values, since the plant hormones are processed very differently depending on the metabolism of women, the DKFZ experts explained. The scientists therefore checked the patients' blood values ​​to determine how much of the plant hormones in the digestive tract were actually processed into so-called enterolactone and absorbed by the intestinal mucosa.

Natural active ingredients to reduce the risk of breast cancer The current results of the DKFZ scientists support the statements of earlier studies, according to which the herbal hormone-like substances reduce the risk of breast cancer. According to the scientists, the assumption that the natural active ingredients reduce the risk of breast cancer is also supported by the fact that Asian women are generally less likely to develop breast cancer. This is presumably due to the soy-rich Asian diet, since it contains so-called isoflavones, which also belong to the plant hormones from the group of phytoestrogens, the DKFZ experts explained. In the future, the herbal active ingredients could possibly be a good option to positively influence the hormone balance and thus prevent breast cancer after the menopause. An alternative to the so-called hormone replacement therapies can also be derived on the basis of the plant substances. In the past, these were often used to treat typical menopausal symptoms, but were found to be a particular risk factor for the development of breast cancer in studies by the German Cancer Research Center.

Ten percent of women develop breast cancer As DKFZ expert Karen Steindorf explained in a previous publication, hormone replacement therapies and sedentary lifestyle are the most common causes of breast cancer, and if “behavioral changes can be brought about in these two areas” could “almost 30 percent of all Cases of breast cancer can be prevented after the menopause ”. According to the DKFZ, about one in ten women in Germany will develop breast cancer in the course of their lives, with breast cancer being the most common form of cancer in women, accounting for 28 percent of all new cancer cases per year. Overall, more than 57,000 people develop breast cancer throughout Germany each year and then have to undergo surgery, cytostatics, hormone and / or radiation therapy. According to the German Cancer Research Center, the death rate for breast cancer is around thirty percent. Breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 30 and 60 in industrialized countries. The herbal active ingredients could possibly bring about a significant reduction in deaths in the future, but the effects of the lignans and other phytoestrogens must first be examined in more detail in further studies, the DKFZ scientists explained. (fp)

Also read:
New drug for breast cancer prevention
Hormones can cause breast cancer
Breast cancer in men
Study: bitter melon against breast cancer?
Breast cancer: help from beta blockers?

Image: Dieter Schütz / pixelio.de

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Video: Dr. Saraswati Sukumar,. Cancer Prevention with Foods and Herbs

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