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A diagnosis of breast cancer can be devastating, and the consequences of treatment can be lasting. To prevent the cancer from metastasizing (spreading), standard surgical treatment involves removing the axillary (armpit) lymph nodes on the affected side. This can cause permanent lymphoedema (fluid swelling) of the arm due to lack of lymphatic drainage.
The first regional lymph nodes draining a primary tumour are known as the sentinel lymph nodes. Sentinel node biopsy, used since 1999 is a surgical technique for predicting histological findings (microscopic examination) in the remaining lymph nodes. This can predict the outcome of the spread of the cancer.
A new technique uses a radioactive dye to find the sentinel node without removing at least 20 lymph nodes under the arm to check if the disease has spread. Only one lymph node is removed, and lymphoedema is avoided in those whose cancer is limited to the breast only.
It is better to take steps to prevent breast cancer rather than have to treat it. A non-radioactive way of detecting blood flow and drainage in the breasts (which can be altered in tumour development) is by using thermal imaging. It is important to make sure that the clinic uses the correct procedure to get a valid image.
Secretors of blood groups A and AB, and also people of blood group MM are statistically more likely to get breast cancer, and also of the kind that progresses more rapidly. Rhesus positive blood group possibly influences levels of natural killer cells, which help to defend against breast cancer.
The M antigen (from the MN blood grouping system) is a precursor of the Thomsen-Friedenreich (T) antigen, which is expressed in some types of breast cancer. The T antigen allows your immune system to recognise when a cell has become malignant. People who already have similar antigens to the T antigen are those with the A antigen (blood groups A and A and also those with the M antigen.
As many breast cancers are oestrogen-dependant, one simple way for women and men to prevent breast cancer is to avoid using underarm deodorants that contain chemicals that mimic oestrogen in the body.
Recent research shows that the preservative parabens (alkyl esters of p-hydroxybenzoid acid), used in many cosmetics, foods and medicines, is known to have œstrogen-like properties in human breast cancer cells. Some cosmetics also contain pthalate plasticisers, which are also known to have œstrogenic activity.
Some chemicals in underarm cosmetics may also bind with DNA and promote growth of these genetically damaged cells. For example, aluminium-zirconium salts form a major constituent of many underarm cosmetics. Both zirconium and aluminium-zirconium complexes have been linked to the development of granulomas (granular lymphatic tumours).
Certain foods have specific cancer-preventative actions. The natural medicine ‘TFA Plus’ helps stimulate the body’s defence against the T antigen. For more information on foods for cancer prevention see ‘Cancer – Fight it with the Blood Type Diet’
Dadamo, P. The Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia.
Darbre P. Underarm cosmetics and breast cancer. Journal of Applied Toxicology, Vol. 23, 2 , 89 – 95.
Goyal A et. al. Sentinel lymph node biopsy in patients with multifocal breast cancer. Eur J Surg Oncol. 2004 Jun;30(5):475-9.
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