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  • Health & Medicine

Preventing breast cancer – the IBIS-II trial

by Henry Scowcroft | Analysis

15 July 2008

2 comments 2 comments

It’s a bit of a quiet week on the blog, so apropos of nothing much, here’s a little video we made about the IBIS-II trial that Professor Jack Cuzick‘s running, with Cancer Research UK support.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAkR80sMOLc]

Enjoy.

More info, and a transcript, here

More Cancer Research UK videos on YouTube here

Henry


    Comments

  • Henry Scowcroft
    1 August 2008

    Thanks for your comments Chan. The issue of folate for cancer prevention is an interesting one. There’s reasonable evidence that folate could help to reduce the risk of bowel cancer, as well as other cancers that affect the digestive system such as pancreatic, oesophageal and stomach cancers.

    But in our opinion, the evidence linking folate and breast cancer is still relatively weak. Recently, two research groups (papers here and here) combined all the available evidence and found that folate levels do not affect a person’s chances of developing breast cancer.

    Many scientists are nervous about recommending folate as a way of reducing the risk of cancer. This is because some studies have found that while high levels of folate could prevent some cancers from developing, they could also speed up the growth of cells that have already turned cancerous.

    It’s clear that we need a lot more research on the risks and benefits of folate.

  • Chan
    1 August 2008

    Vitamin B12 stops the growth of cancer cells. Therefore it is given to breast cancer patients as part of the chemotherapy, which helps to keep the cancer under control. Low folic acid intake is linked to the development of all cancers. Folic acid is crucial to the making and continual repair of DNA which carries our genetic code. High intake of folic acid might reduce the risk of breast cancer.

    Comments

  • Henry Scowcroft
    1 August 2008

    Thanks for your comments Chan. The issue of folate for cancer prevention is an interesting one. There’s reasonable evidence that folate could help to reduce the risk of bowel cancer, as well as other cancers that affect the digestive system such as pancreatic, oesophageal and stomach cancers.

    But in our opinion, the evidence linking folate and breast cancer is still relatively weak. Recently, two research groups (papers here and here) combined all the available evidence and found that folate levels do not affect a person’s chances of developing breast cancer.

    Many scientists are nervous about recommending folate as a way of reducing the risk of cancer. This is because some studies have found that while high levels of folate could prevent some cancers from developing, they could also speed up the growth of cells that have already turned cancerous.

    It’s clear that we need a lot more research on the risks and benefits of folate.

  • Chan
    1 August 2008

    Vitamin B12 stops the growth of cancer cells. Therefore it is given to breast cancer patients as part of the chemotherapy, which helps to keep the cancer under control. Low folic acid intake is linked to the development of all cancers. Folic acid is crucial to the making and continual repair of DNA which carries our genetic code. High intake of folic acid might reduce the risk of breast cancer.