X-Message-Number: 10662
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 20:46:58 -0800 (PST)
From: Doug Skrecky <>
Subject: dietary methods for retarding breast cancer

  I recieved an inquiry about treating breast cancer. I thought others
might be interested in my reply, which I reproduce below:

 If you want to possibly buy a little time with dietary treatments I can
recommend the consumption of large quantities of tomato and possibly
carrot products. Giving lycopene (the red pigment in tomatoes) to mice
that tend to develop breast cancer slows down the development of this
disease by about 2 months. (Anticancer Research 15: 1173-1178 1995) While
tomatoes are associated with reductions in cancer risk with a variety of
cancers, the data linking to breast cancer is less solid, possibly because
few people are willing to consume the large quanities of tomato products
needed to achieve an effect in this tissue. 
  Human epidemiological data does support an anti-breast cancer effect of
high consumption of carrots - about a 20% reduction in risk. (Epidemiology
9: 338-341 1998)
  Again I emphasize that only consumption of large quantities of tomato
and carrot products can be expected to exert any significant effect on
late stage malignant breast cancer - say 2 liters of tomato juice and
carrot juice per day. Boiling the tomato juice with a little olive
oil in it would greatly increase the absorption of lycopene, so this is
what I recommend. The bottom line is that amounts of these foods which can
be expected to significantly affect matters will result in a change in
skin coloration. This is harmless.
  As a additional adjunctive intervention a vitamin E supplement might be
tried. This does not affect cancer itself, and it greatly increased the
effectiveness of lycopene as an anti-cancer agent in a recent test.
(Biochem Biophys Res Commun 250(3): 582-585 Sept 29,1998) This is so new
that the local university library does not yet have in this issue of the
journal. I spotted this on medline.
  Good luck.

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