Simple Steps to Lower Breast Cancer Risk

This post first appeared as a For Your Health column in October 2019. For a disease as scary as breast cancer, one positive and very important message that deserves to be heard more often during Breast Cancer Awareness Month is that it’s a disease that can be prevented. Research shows that about half of all […]

Understanding Breast Cancer Screening Recommendations and Average Risk

By Ashley Housten, OTD, MSCI, OTR/L Women have a decision to make. Most know they need a mammogram every 1-2 years, but determining when to start and how often to be screened can be tricky. Siteman Cancer Center radiologists recommend that every woman begin yearly screening at age 40. But you may be hearing different […]

Guiding Daughters Toward Lifelong Breast Health Habits

Originally appeared in:  TOGETHER – Every Woman’s Guide to Preventing Breast Cancer. Health is a strange thing. It is something that is both very personal and very communal.  As individuals, of course, we ultimately have control over the choices we make when it comes to what we eat, how much TV we watch, and how much […]

Physical Activity Lowers Cancer Risk – More People Should Probably Know That

A new study has found that a large majority of the public may be unaware that lack of physical activity can increase the risk of cancer. The study, out of Washington University in St. Louis and published Wednesday in the Journal of Health Communication, included a diverse sample of participants who were asked to list […]

For World Breastfeeding Week: Breastfeeding Tips & Tricks

Excerpted from TOGETHER – Every Woman’s Guide to Preventing Breast Cancer Breastfeeding for a total of one year or more (combined for all children) lowers the risk of breast cancer. It also has great health benefits for the child. Unfortunately, as natural a thing as breastfeeding is, it doesn’t always naturally fit into today’s modern […]

Celebrate National Women’s Health Week With These Five Easy Tips

Time is hard to come by.  If you’re a woman in today’s world, that’s more than likely one of the constants in your life. Between work, home, school, and family obligations, the days just fill themselves, leaving little extra. And, though that time-crunch is certainly evident to you – and those around you – federal […]

With Breast Cancer in the News – A Brief Primer on Screening and Prevention

by Katy Henke Breast cancer is back in the headlines this week with the announcement by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (Missouri) that she has been diagnosed with the disease following a routine mammogram. Because such news coverage can raise questions about current breast cancer screening guidelines and the steps women can take to prevent the disease, […]

New Study Finds High Fiber Diet Early in Life Lowers Breast Cancer Risk

by Hank Dart Though coverage of the Iowa caucuses has eclipsed most other media stories this week, there was still some important health news Monday about a large study finding that a high-fiber diet early in life may lower the risk of later adult breast cancer. The study, part of the long-running Nurses’ Health Study II, […]

Weighing Evidence: Obesity and Breast Cancer Risk Across Life

by Hank Dart In a paper published yesterday in the journal Science Translational Medicine, Cancer News in Context’s Graham Colditz and Washington University researcher, Kelle Moley, detail the important role that overweight and obesity play in the development of breast cancer. Looking at wide-ranging evidence at all periods of life — from gestation to the […]

2015’s Top Posts on Cancer News in Context

It’s been another big year of cancer prevention news, and it started with a real splash way back in January with a headline-grabbing study in Science attributing most cases of cancer to simple “bad luck.” Not surprisingly, we disagreed with that conclusion, and our post responding to the study – and the stories it generated […]

A Closer Look at Obesity, Breast Cancer, and Health Disparities

by Graham Colditz, MD, DrPH Obesity is an established cause of postmenopausal breast cancer, with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) estimating that approximately 10 percent of postmenopausal breast cancer is due to excess weight (1). Overweight and obesity also increase the risk of mortality after diagnosis. One large analysis combining data from […]

Practical Steps to Prevent Breast Cancer: Day 8 – Find Out Your Family History

It’s day eight in our nine day series highlighting key steps and practical tips that can help women lower their risk of breast cancer. Previous days. _ _ _ _ Day 8 – Find Out Your Family History Women with a strong family history of breast cancer can take special steps to protect themselves, so it’s […]

Practical Steps to Prevent Breast Cancer: Day 7 – Avoid Postmenopausal Hormones

It’s day seven in our nine day series highlighting key steps and practical tips that can help women lower their risk of breast cancer. Previous days. _ _ _ _ Day 7 – Avoid Postmenopausal Hormones The issue still comes up in the news, and study results still get parsed and discussed, but in the end, […]

Practical Steps to Prevent Breast Cancer: Day 5 – Breastfeed, If Possible

It’s day five in our nine day series highlighting key steps and practical tips that can help women lower their risk of breast cancer. Previous days. _ _ _ _ Day 5 – Breastfeed, If Possible Breastfeeding for a total of one year or more (combined for all children) lowers the risk of breast cancer. It […]

Practical Steps to Prevent Breast Cancer: Day 2 – Be Physically Active

It’s day two in our nine day series highlighting key steps and practical tips that can help women lower their risk of breast cancer. Previous days.   _  _  _  _ Day 2 – Be Physically Active Exercise is as close to a silver bullet for overall good health as there is, and those benefits […]

9 Days of Practical Steps to Prevent Breast Cancer: Day 1 – Keep Weight in Check

We know. You’ve been awash in pink for the past three weeks.  So you’re forgiven if you’re a bit tired of reading about breast cancer and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  But, we at Cancer News in Context hope to help you work past any late October doldrums by closing the month out with an engaging […]

Room for Improvement: Most Breast Cancer Risk Sites Fall Short in Readability

by Katy Henke Breast cancer is one of the most well known cancers as well as the leading cause of cancer death in women worldwide (1). In an effort to educate and prevent future breast cancer cases and deaths, online health assessment tools have been created to help women understand their risk for developing breast […]

CNiC’s Colditz Honored for Contributions to Prevention – Highlights Importance of Early Life in Breast Cancer Risk

Cancer News in Context’s Graham Colditz is being honored tonight at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as an AACR 2014-2015 Scientific Awardee. In the announcement of his 2014 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Cancer Prevention, AACR describes the honor and Colditz’s contributions to the field: The award is given […]

Current Evidence on Smoking and Breast Cancer

Photo: flickr/saneboy (Creative Commons lic; cropped) Though the most recent Surgeon General’s report on the health effects of tobacco stops just short of classifying smoking as a cause of breast cancer, current evidence seems compelling enough to finally push tobacco smoke from simple risk factor to full-fledged “cause.” While research into the tobacco/breast cancer link […]

Setting the Record Straight on Cancer Prevention: Lifestyle Trumps “Bad Luck”

While the paper by Tomasetti and Vogelstein is certainly intriguing and will help guide future research on targeting prevention and early detection efforts, it is still a preliminary finding and does not reverse the long-term conclusion that is supported by decades of well-designed research in people:  that cancer is largely preventable. –     –   […]

2014’s Top Posts on Cancer News in Context

Amidst the crush of year-end top ten lists filling your news feeds this week, we present our own: the top posts of 2014 from Cancer News in Context. Covering topics from aspirin to healthy eating to the importance of starting healthy behaviors in childhood, these posts show the prominent place that cancer prevention has had […]

The Power of Youth: Beginning Breast Cancer Prevention in Childhood

Creative Commons photo: Flickr/CatDancing (cropped) We’ve written a lot recently about the importance of breast cancer prevention starting early in life, both here on Cancer News in Context and in a guest post on the American Association for Cancer Research blog, Cancer Research Catalyst.  Though most breast cancer research focusses on women in midlife and […]

Breast Cancer Prevention Now

By Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH It is time to bring our focus back to lowering the risk or reducing the onset of new cases of breast cancer at all ages. Worldwide incidence of the disease is rising as societies across the globe modernize, which brings with it higher rates of breast cancer risk factors, […]

PALB2 Mutation: A “New” Gene That Greatly Increases Breast Cancer Risk

Photo: Flickr/Micahb37 by Sarah CortezThere’s been a recent surge in women asking for genetic testing for breast cancer, due in large part to Angelina Jolie’s public decision last year to get a prophylactic mastectomy after discovering she had a mutation in the BRCA1 gene. These days, another breast cancer gene has been making headlines, a gene […]

Hormonal IUDs and Breast Cancer: Is There a Link?

by Sarah Cortez It certainly goes without saying that birth control has been a major news story the past couple of months. Much of this coverage, of course, has revolved around the recent Supreme Court ruling and reactions to it. Outside of that media storm, there have been some other health-related birth control stories as […]

New Study Confirms Weight is a Major Cancer Risk Factor

Photo: Flickr/Kizette The subjects of weight gain, the obesity epidemic, and their major impact on health are brought up so much these days that they’re easy to tune out.  So, if a few articles and news reports here and there pass you by – on accident or on purpose – we understand.  But we won’t […]

Evolution of the Science on Aspirin Use and Colon Cancer Prevention

Yesterday, we posted about a new analysis suggesting that long term aspirin use is likely to have an overall health benefit in the general population even when its side effects are taken into account.  At risk of being wonky, we wanted to follow up on that with a figure that shows the general evolution of […]

An Aspirin a Day…May Have Overall Health Benefits

Photo: Flickr/JenR The writing was on the wall a few years ago, but it seems that we may have finally reached a point where the scientific evidence points pretty convincingly to the potential health benefits of long-term regular aspirin use outweighing the potential risks for most people. That’s the conclusion of a new analysis appearing last […]

Missed Opportunities to Prevent Cervical Cancer: Use of HPV Vaccine Still Low

Photo: Flickr/Melissa Wiese  To work in the field of cancer prevention one has to be an optimist at heart.  In the science, in the statistics, and in the news, you see not only the broad burden of cancer but also the vast opportunities that exist to lower risk and prevent the disease. At the same […]

Alcohol and Health: Three New Studies and What They Mean for Youth and Young Adults

Photo: Flickr/Tim RT It’s been a big week in the news for alcohol and health. Three separate studies were released that helped shed light on a key issue we often discuss here at Cancer News in Context: the important impact that drinking has on cancer risk – particularly when started early in life. The first […]

(Video) Nuts Cut Risk of Cancer, Heart Disease, and Early Mortality

Earlier this month, we posted about recent findings linking nut consumption with a lower risk of benign breast disease in young women.  Further confirming the power of nuts, new results from a large study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that men and women who are frequent nut eaters (7 or more […]

Obesity shortening life among breast cancer survivors, national US data

Obesity is a strong driver for postmenopausal breast cancer. Consistent data from around the world show that overweight and obese women are at increased risk of breast cancer through their postmenopausal years. It is estimated that obesity causes more than 10% of postmenopausal breast cancer. Mechanisms for this include higher circulating estrogen levels among overweight […]

Obesity, hormones, and breast cancer

We continue the theme of progress in understanding the causes and potential for prevention of cancer. This understanding has advanced substantially over the 30 years since Doll and Peto published their landmark report. Today I return to obesity, hormones, and breast cancer. Doll and Peto noted that obesity was related to increased risk of postmenopausal […]

More on estrogen as a cause of breast cancer

For more details on our editorial this week in JAMA see the story from the Washington University School of Medicine news office.We caution physicians and women to consider the broader body of evidence that even use of estrogen alone increases risk of breast cancer. This has been reiterated in several media stories covering the changing […]

Smoking, Breast Cancer, and One More Reason to Keep up the Fight Against Tobacco

It may not fall into the “shocking” category, but a new Harvard study by our colleagues at the Nurses’ Health Study has provided further insight into the links between smoking and breast cancer (study).  To date, many studies have had waffling results on the subject.  Some showing smoking raising risk; some showing it not affecting […]

Diet after breast cancer and survival

More data have come to light reinforcing messages we have summarized in previous posts on lifestyle changes for cancer survivors. Following more than 4,400 women with breast cancer and assessing dietary intake after diagnosis, Beasley and colleagues report that higher saturated and trans fat intake are both associated with higher total morality 1. 135 women […]

Strengthening your future after breast cancer

For a long time, breast cancer survivors were told by physicians and others on the cancer care team to avoid overuse of their arms after breast cancer surgery. Told to avoid lifting items over 5 pounds (or sometimes as little as 2 pounds), women were functionally limited from activities of daily living – no lifting […]

8 Ways to Prevent Breast Cancer

In our previous posts we have written about the role of postmenopausal hormones as a cause of breast cancer, the value of weight loss and increasing physical activity for prevention and improved quality of life. Here we list 8 major opportunities to reduce the chances of developing breast cancer. When in life they apply can […]

More potential for breast cancer prevention

In the Journal of the National Cancer Institute a new study shows promise for reducing risk for beats cancer through another osteoporosis drug (Lacroix, Powles et al. 2010). Risk of breast cancer is reduced but the small number of women in the trial does not rule out side effects similar to tamoxifen.  The potential for […]