October is designated as Breast Cancer Awareness month. With the exception of skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the US, and about 1 in 8 women are likely to develop it during their lifetime. According to 2022 estimates, approximately 339,250 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women, and 2710 new breast cancers will be diagnosed in men in the USA. Although, breast cancer is rare in males it still contributes to 1% of all breast cancers and this number is rapidly increasing. Due to lack of awareness regarding male breast cancer, it is often diagnosed at a later stage and is therefore difficult to treat.
Despite advances in understanding the development of cancer and how it spreads, the method of cancer treatment has not changed much. For the past several decades the main treatment options for a cancer patient have been surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Although there are newer chemotherapy drugs available to treat cancers, the cancer death rate continues to rise. Each of the current treatment options is associated with inherent risks and side effects and most patients are submitted to some combination of these options.
After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the US, and about 1 in 8 are likely to develop it during their lifetime. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 62,930 of noninvasive (in-situ) breast cancers will be diagnosed in the US this year.
Despite expensive treatment options and the availability of pharmaceutical drugs, the long-term outlook for curing breast cancer remains poor. While women are aware of breast cancer, very few take steps towards prevention other than mammogram screenings. Men can also develop breast cancer and one percent of all breast cancers are in males. However, male breast cancer is difficult to treat, which is mainly due to lack of awareness and a delay in diagnosis resulting in the cancer having already spread.
Polyphenols are the compounds present in various fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, and nuts. They are being found to have certain health benefits. Resveratrol is a polyphenol present in very high concentrations in grapes, red wine, and purple grape juice, and in smaller proportion in peanuts, blueberries, bilberries, cranberries and dark chocolate. It is believed that plants produce resveratrol for protection from bacterial and fungal infection. Resveratrol is commonly known for its anti-aging actions. Most of the anti-aging properties of resveratrol could be attributed to its potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory actions. Additionally, resveratrol is also proven to have anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive actions. One of the proposed mechanisms of action of resveratrol may be that it affects the energy production pathways within the cells by preventing degradation of specific molecules called Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate (cAMP).
Today women are well aware of their 1 in 8 lifetime risk of breast cancer. Every year multiple awareness campaigns focus on identification of risk factors, yearly screening, early diagnosis, and subsequent treatment of breast cancer. Many women are subjected to yearly mammography screening in the hopes of early detection of breast cancer. However, after many years of its repeated use on thousands of women, the risks are being highlighted and new guidelines are being discussed. It is up to the individual woman and her physician to determine the usefulness of a routine mammogram, however many experts are now critical of yearly mammography for every woman over 40 years old.
Excluding skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the US, and about 1 in 8 women are likely to develop it during their lifetime. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2014, about 232,670 new cases of invasive breast cancer, and 62,570 of noninvasive (in-situ) breast cancers will be diagnosed in the US. Worldwide approximately 1.38 million new cases are diagnosed and 458 000 deaths occur from breast cancer each year.