While breast cancer incidence rates in the United States have been dropping since 2000, it’s estimated that approximately 40,000 women will die from the disease this year. Researchers have recently discovered an unexpected risk factor that may surpass known ones such as obesity and postmenopausal hormone use.
Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) causes malignant lymphoma and lymphosarcoma in up to five percent of infected beef and dairy cattle. Until recently, the medical community believed that BLV could not be transmitted to humans.
That idea was shattered by a University of California-Berkeley team led by Professor Gertrude Buehring of its School of Public Health. In 2014, the group of researchers turned up the first-ever evidence of BLV in humans.
Prof. Buehring then had her team turn their attention to investigating a link between BLV and breast cancer. Samples were obtained from 239 women, some of whom were breast cancer patients. BLV was discovered in 59 percent of samples from the latter, compared to 29 percent in those who were cancer-free.
At this point it’s not known how BLV infects breast tissue, although Prof. Buehring speculates that possible causes are unpasteurized milk, unprocessed meat or human-to-human transmission. She also states that there is no proof at this point that BLV is a direct cause of breast cancer. Further studies will focus on determining whether BLV is present before tumors develop.
Breast cancer patients are among the thousands who have received treatment with the non-toxic personalized therapies at our Issels® immuno-oncology clinics. Visit our website to view testimonials and subscribe to our newsletters.
Smoking tobacco has long been a known risk factor for lung cancer. Surprisingly, as smoking rates have declined, non-smokers have accounted for a higher percentage of lung cancer cases. In addition, these patients are more likely to be women.
Data comes from studies in Great Britain and the United States involving non-small cell cancer, which constitutes 85 to 90 percent of all lung cancer cases. This type is aggressive and usually detected at a later stage, particularly in non-smokers who are not screened as often due to fewer risk factors.
Over a seven-year period, British researchers discovered that the percentage of never-smokers with lung cancer more than doubled from 13 percent to 28 percent. Subjects included 2,170 patients between 2008 and 2014.
Their American counterparts had similar results in a study of lung cancer patients between 1990 and 2013. According to lead researcher Dr. Lorraine Pelosof, nine percent of non-small cell patients between 1990 and 1995 were never-smokers. In the period of 2011-2013, the percentage had grown to nearly 15 percent.
At present, researchers are stumped as to the reason for these increases, or why women are more susceptible. Ongoing studies are focusing on genetic risk and family history as possible causes in the absence of tobacco use. Dr. Pelosof also commented on the need to confirm her team’s findings, noting limitations such as the smoking history of subjects being self-reported.
Our Issels® immuno-oncology protocols take into account your lifestyle, genetic history, environment and other factors that affect your case. The result is a personalized, non-toxic course of treatment that addresses your specific needs. Visit our website to learn more.