Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women, and is the third most common cancer worldwide. Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of death in women. Incidences of and death from breast cancer are generally increasing throughout the world, primarily in the industrialized countries. The incidence of breast cancer increases with age, but the rate of this increase diminishes with menopause. There is no complete cure for cancer, and the five-year survival rate of patients with breast cancer stays at about 88%.
Wide promotion and use of estrogen-based therapies have been implicated in an increased risk of breast cancer as well as ovarian and uterine cancer and other health problems. This was confirmed in the largest clinical study to date conducted in more than 16,000 women taking Hormone Replacement Therapy. This study was discontinued because of increased risk of developing breast cancer, heart disease and other problems.
Conventional medicine treats breast cancer with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy. These treatments are associated with numerous and often serious side effects and the recurrence of cancer, especially when cancer is diagnosed at later stages.
We have studied the effects of micronutrients on prevention, development and progression of breast cancer using different approaches.
In vitro studies have shown that a synergy of micronutrients has anti-tumor potential by inhibiting cell growth, MMP secretion and cancer cell invasion through Matrigel of both estrogen- positive (ER+) and estrogen-negative (ER-) cancer cell lines, MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231, respectively. The effectiveness of a combination of these nutrients in inhibiting the growth of MDA-MB-231 xenografted tumors in nude mice have been documented in vivo.
Micronutrients incorporated in the diet were also effective in preventing the development of chemically-induced breast cancer. We have observed that even when these micronutrients were administered at the later stages of tumor growth (tumors were already established) there was a dramatic decrease in tumor growth rate. Interestingly, the majority of tumors that developed under micronutrient supplementation were benign.
Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer of the female reproductive tract. It is currently the third leading cause of cancer death in women. With the introduction of Papanicolaous test screening for cervical cancer its rates has been declining in the the developed world. The incidence of cervical cancer is higher among women with a history of sexually transmitted diseases.
Our in vitro studies have shown a great anti-cancer potential of the specific combination of micronutrients in cervical cancer. These nutrients were effective in inhibiting critical mechanisms involved in cancer development and spread, such as cell growth, MMP expression and invasion through extracellular matrix.
Ovarian cancer, the deadliest of the gynecologic cancers, is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women, due to metastasis. Currently, 50% of the women diagnosed with ovarian cancer die from it within five years.
Our study results indicate that a synergistically acting micronutrient mixture is effective in inhibition of ovarian cancer cells growth and their invasion through connective tissue and it can completely curtail the secretion of MMPs by these cells.
Why are cancers of reproductive organs so frequent?
Estrogen plays an important role in tissue remodeling, such as the one occurring monthly during ovulation, as well as those associated with pregnancy or breastfeeding. The restructuring of connective tissue occurring in the breast, ovaries and uterus require secretion of collagen digesting enzymes, such as MMPs, plasmin and others. These enzymes are needed for temporary dissolving of connective tissue (ie, releasing an egg from the ovary wall or formation of milk ducts in the breast). However, the activity of these enzymes remains under tight biological control so the destruction of the tissue does not continue.
Dr. Rath suggested that these body organs in which physiological functions involve enzymatic restructuring such as reproductive organs, are prone to developing aggressive cancers. In these organs, enzymatic activity can spin out of control facilitating the spread and invasion of abnormal cells in the body (For more information, please click here).