Breast cancer is one the most dreadful cancer that affects millions of women every year. There are a few lucky ones who get diagnosed quickly, get the correct treatment on time and gets successfully treated.
However, due to lack of awareness and failing to get the right treatment, few of them succumb to the disease. Well, if you or any of your family members is suffering from breast cancer then here is some good news.
A new study has found that a compound found in soy food products may help suppress the development of breast cancer.
Researchers at University of Arizona in the US suggest genistein - a component of soy foods - can protect BRCA1, a gene that plays a pivotal role in thwarting tumour development in breast tissue.
BRCA1 is a tumour-suppressor gene. When working normally, it helps keep DNA stable, protecting against genetic diseases like cancer; when BRCA1 is performing abnormally, the body's defences against breast cancer are impaired, researchers said.
A small percentage of breast cancers are caused by mutations in BRCA1, many other breast cancer patients have normal copies, but the genes have been "methylated" - wrapped in strands of carbon-based molecules that render them unreadable. The BRCA1 gene "silenced" in this manner is unable to do its job as a tumour suppressor, they said.
One receptor, the aromatic hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), silences BRCA1, triggering a cascade of undesirable effects. When BRCA1 is unable to carry out its duties as a tumour suppressor, cancerous cells can proliferate, researchers said.
The study found that AhR can be targeted by genistein. The team hopes this discovery will lead to a genistein- based therapy that can block the harmful actions of AhR. One weapon that may be used to target AhR is found in soy, a protein-packed legume that is a major source of compounds called isoflavones, they said.
"Lifetime intake of soy in Asian women has been linked to reduced risk of breast cancer. Genistein is the predominant isoflavone found in soy and it may actually block DNA methylation" - the silencing of the BRCA1 gene," said Donato F Romagnolo, professor at University of Arizona.
The study was recently published in the journal Current Developments in Nutrition.
Meanwhile, here are a few of the best ways to prevent the risk of breast cancer. Take a look.
1. Healthy Diet:
Having a healthy diet is very essential to cut down the risk of breast cancer.Include high-fibre foods, fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. Cut down on processed foods. It helps.
2. Regular Exercise:
Exercise does not only mean that you need to hit the gym. Physical activity, that might be walking or jogging for 30 minutes everyday help to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
3. Quit Alcohol & Smoking:
Apart from healthy diet and regular exercises, avoiding bad habits like smoking or alcohol abuse should be avoided. Several studies have pointed out that smoking or use of tobacco not just harms your lungs but it affects other organs as well. There are studies which shows that drinking alcohol even in low quantity can increase breast cancer risk.
(With Agency Inputs)