Some (possible) good news and bad news concerning breast cancer: On the positive tip is an interesting, albeit vague, article in the US News & World Report about a paper published in a recent edition of Nature Medicine concerning a possible vaccine for breast cancer.
According to the article: “The study authors gave vaccinations to mice that were genetically engineered to be susceptible to cancer. The mice that were vaccinated with an anti-cancer antigen didn’t develop tumors, but all the others did.”
Further studies have yet to be done on this potential vaccine, which would be targeted at women over the age of 40, but researchers are optimistic about the implications, citing the antigen’s effectiveness on the mice.
Less encouraging news, unfortunately, comes in the form of an article in the current issue of Hormones and Cancer (via foodconsumer.org) that claims “… fetuses exposed to chemicals like Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Diethylstilbestrol (DES) in the womb may have a higher risk of developing breast cancer in their adulthood …”
The primary indicator is the elevated presence of a certain protein called EZH2, which in turn can denote unhealthy exposure to DES and BPA – a chemical “commonly present in household products including plastic bottles, reusable food containers, and food cans.” In short – the higher your EZH2 levels, the more susceptible you are to developing breast cancer.
BPA has also been associated with developing other health problems, including asthma, obesity and other disorders, and unfortunately here in China, little has been done in the way of regulation and education, and bottles considered “BPA-free” have yet to be widely sold in stores.
For more on this discussion, check out this forum thread.
But some better news for cancer sufferers in Beijing comes out of Beijing United Family Hospital, which has just opened the New Hope Oncology Center, which claims to be the first fully Western cancer treatment center of its kind in the capital.
The center, headed by Dr. Philip Brooks, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Director of Oncology, offers a range of oncological diagnosis, consultation and treatment options ranging from “chemotherapy, biologic therapy and endocrine therapy) along with surgery, radiation oncology, and all the ancillary support that goes with it, including mental health support, physical therapy, pain control, support groups and education.”
More information can be found here.