Sun Exposure Lowers Cancer Risk

A study that correlated exposure to sunlight with cancer risk found that people exposed to more sunlight had a significantly lower risk of many types of cancer (Lin, 2012). This study followed more than 450,000 white, non-Hispanic subjects aged 50-71 years from diverse geographic areas in the US. Researchers correlated the calculated ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure in these different areas with the incidence of a variety of cancers. The diverse sites included six states Continue reading

Chinese Acupuncture May be Helping with Infertility

Fertility treatments can be invasive and expensive, but many couples see it as their only option if they are having trouble conceiving. No matter how much money a couple spends, there is no guarantee that the treatments will work, and people may find themselves out thousands of dollars and still unable to conceive. Recently, couples have been turning to alternative treatments to increase fertility, such as Chinese acupuncture.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine reviewed seven clinical trials involving acupuncture and women undergoing in vitro fertilization treatments. The results suggested that acupuncture may improve fertility rates and enhance a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant. Continue reading

Castor Oil Therapy Helpful with Infertility

Castor oil therapy consists of using a warm castor oil wrap over the abdomen in order to stimulate blood flow to this uterus and ovaries. Castor oil treatments are quite often recommended by holistic practitioners to treat many gynecological disorders in women including fertility related problems, like endometriosis, fibroids, polycystic ovary syndrome, etc.

This type of treatment is very helpful in many cases to resolve infertility because the castor oil pack relieves congestion and inflammation of the uterus, ovaries, Continue reading

Insomnia can be treated with Natural Progesterone for Women

A source of great frustration for many people, insomnia is a fairly common occurrence that prevents individuals from sleeping. It can manifest in a variety of ways, including the inability to initially fall asleep and repeatedly waking up in the middle of the night. When not treated, insomnia can affect the health and productivity of an individual, and if left alone for too long, it can cause serious health problems. Many women that are undergoing premenopausal or menopause complain of insomnia, which is one of many items on a list of symptoms associated with these phases that cause the body to change in major ways (understandably throwing off several of their usually regular systems). Because sleeping aids can become addictive and cause other side effects, many women who suffer from insomnia seek out natural remedies, and some studies have shown that the intake of the hormone progesterone can relieve the sleepless nights.

A steroid hormone, Progesterone is produced in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and placenta of human beings. An important part of the female reproductive system, this hormone plays a major role in the conception, development, and birth of a child. Because the levels of progesterone are so closely tied to the cycle of a woman’s reproductive organs, premenopausal and menopause naturally leave its levels highly unbalanced, which can cause many side effects through its lack of interaction with other parts of the body. Continue reading

Erectile Dysfunction and Diabetes type 1 Linked to Soy and Soy Products

Over the past few years, soy has been hailed as a miracle health food. Unfortunately, the complete opposite is true. Soy has been linked to a myriad of health conditions such as infantile leukemia, various forms of cancer, type-1 diabetes, malnutrition, thyroid dysfunction and even erectile dysfunction.

Research has shown that babies who have been fed soy-based formulas were at higher risk for developing type-1 diabetes and thyroid disease later in life. Soy-based formulas also contain up to 1000 times more aluminum than non soy-based formulas.

Soy contains a large amount of anti-nutrients (otherwise known as toxins). One of these is what is referred to as enzyme inhibitors. Enzyme inhibitors block the action of the enzymes which are required to digest proteins. Even cooking the soy at high temperatures does not break down these inhibitors. As a result, consuming soy and soy products can lead to conditions such as reduced protein digestion, excessive bloating, a deficiency of essential amino acids, abnormal thyroid functions, a higher risk of breast cancer in women who have had ovaries removed and abnormal blood  Continue reading

Benefits Seen for High-Risk Women in Ovary Removal

Surgery to remove healthy ovaries gives a triple benefit to high-risk women: It lowers their threat of breast and ovarian cancer, and boosts their chances of living longer, new research suggests.

The study is the largest to date to find advantages for preventive surgery for women who carry BRCA gene mutations. Women with the faulty genes have a dramatically higher cancer risk than other women — five times greater for breast cancer and at least 10 times greater for ovarian cancer.

The study, appearing in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association, found benefits for women with two different BRCA gene variants whether they had previously had breast cancer or not.

The results offer more tailored evidence for women considering ovary removal, a surgery that ends fertility, fast-forwards them into early menopause and may contribute to osteoporosis or heart problems later in life.

“It’s really critical to have the best information when making such a profound decision,” said senior author Timothy Rebbeck of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

The researchers followed nearly 2,500 women with BRCA mutations in Austria, England, the Netherlands and the United States. All the women were cancer-free at the start. They were watched for an average of four years. Most of the women were younger than 50 at the start of the study.

They got counseling to help them choose between surgery or increased screening to watch for cancers early.

 Ten percent of the women chose mastectomy and 40 percent chose to have their ovaries removed; some had both. More than half the women had neither surgery.

 The women who chose ovary removal had impressive results:

 _1 percent were later diagnosed with ovarian cancer that showed up in cells missed by surgeons, compared to 6 percent of the women who kept their ovaries.

 _11 percent were diagnosed with breast cancer, compared to 19 percent of the women who kept their ovaries.

 _3 percent of those who had surgery died, compared to 10 percent of the others.

The study also found preventive mastectomy lowered the risk of breast cancer. No breast cancers were seen in the women who had their breasts removed. That may seem unsurprising, but mastectomy can leave behind breast tissue that can turn cancerous.

The study was observational, meaning it can’t prove one choice was better than another. Other factors could have caused differences in the women’s cancer rates.

But the results will help doctors counsel their patients, said Dr. Virginia Kaklamani of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, who wrote an accompanying editorial in the journal.

“I’ll use it mostly in talking to people considering genetic testing,” Kaklamani said. “I can tell them, ‘If we know you test positive, there are things to do that will help you live longer.'”

The increased risk for BRCA carriers is frightening. In the general population, about 12 in 100 women will get breast cancer during their lifetimes, compared to about 60 in 100 women who have faulty BRCA genes, according to the National Cancer Institute. For ovarian cancer, the lifetime risk in the general population is a little more than 1 in 100 compared to 15-to-40 in 100 women with BRCA mutations.

For women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, the decision to get tested can be agonizing. The $3,300 blood test, while often covered by insurance, can disrupt families, force decisions on childbearing and leave a woman feeling stigmatized. Surgery costs thousands of dollars, not including lost time at work. Without preventive surgery, a woman faces a regimen of mammograms, MRIs and blood tests to look for cancer.

But several signs point to “the beginning of a new era” for high-risk women, said Joanna Rudnick, a 36-year-old Los Angeles filmmaker. She has known for nine years that she carries a breast cancer gene mutation. Engaged and planning to have children, she’s also planning to have her breasts and ovaries removed when she’s 40. Her documentary “In the Family” tells about her choices and those faced by other “BRCA-positive” women.

With testing more than a decade old, researchers are just beginning to have better data to understand the benefits of risk-reducing surgery. For high-risk women, equally important are the breakthroughs in cosmetic breast reconstruction, laws to prevent genetic discrimination and evolving attitudes toward removing body parts to avoid cancer, Rudnick said. A federal judge recently struck down patents on the two genes held by Myriad Genetics Inc., which may widen research possibilities and testing options.

Rudnick’s glad to hear ovary removal may reduce her risk of breast cancer as well as ovarian cancer.

“This is one of the rare silver linings that has been learned from these prospective studies,” Rudnick said