Can Green Tea Improve Your Chances Of Surviving Breast Cancer

Can Green Tea Improve Your Chances of​ Surviving Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is​ one of​ the​ most frightening diseases faced by today’s women. in​ fact, breast cancer is​ the​ second most common cancer among women, after nonmelanoma skin cancer. About 13% of​ American women will develop breast cancer at​ some point in​ their lifetime. And, it​ is​ the​ second leading cause of​ cancer death among women, after lung cancer.
Scientists are continuing to​ look for​ new information to​ determine what causes breast cancer as​ well how to​ prevent and​ treat this disease. Today, we still don’t know what causes breast cancer, but we do understand some of​ the​ risk factors.
In addition, we have come a​ long way in​ treating breast cancer though many women still die each year. Some of​ the​ research is​ very promising, including research on green tea.
One group of​ breast cancer sufferers who cause doctors a​ great area of​ concern are those who have a​ higher than average expression of​ the​ epidermal growth factor Her2/neu. Her2/neu is​ a​ growth factor that sometimes presents itself in​ a​ tumor. An over expression of​ this growth factor is​ a​ concern for​ breast cancer patients.
During routine testing of​ patients who have been recently diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, doctors will determine the​ level of​ Her2/neu. if​ the​ level is​ high, this information is​ used to​ guide treatment. the​ level of​ this growth factor is​ important because studies have shown that patients with an over expression of​ Her2/neu have a​ higher likelihood of​ their cancer metastasizing, and​ have an overall lower survival rate. the​ Her2/neu is​ high in​ about 30% of​ breast cancer patients.
As part of​ the​ ongoing research to​ find effective treatments for​ breast cancer, scientists have been looking seriously at​ the​ benefits of​ green tea, both on preventing cancer and​ treating it. Asian cultures have used green tea for​ its healing properties for​ centuries, and​ their overall rate of​ cancer is​ much lower than that of​ the​ Western world.
Tea is​ derived from the​ Camellia sinensis plant. You’ll hear tea referred to​ as​ green, white or​ black. These differences do not result from actual different types of​ tea leaf, but rather from differences in​ how the​ tea leaves are processed. Green and​ white teas are not fermented during processing, but black tea goes through such a​ processing.
Tea leaves contain catechins, part of​ the​ flavan3ol class of​ flavonoids, which are antioxidants. EGCG is​ one of​ the​ catechins contained in​ tea, and​ is​ a​ potent antioxidant. Fermenting the​ tea leaves converts the​ catechins to​ other compounds that are not as​ healthy as​ those in​ unfermented tea. So, the​ focus of​ research has been on green tea, because of​ its healthier form of​ antioxidants.
What’s So Great About AntiOxidants?
During our body’s process of​ converting food to​ energy, we create free radicals in​ our body. These free radicals are damaging to​ our cells and​ DNA if​ we don’t combat them. Left unchecked, free radicals contribute to​ speeding up the​ aging process and​ to​ causing diseases such as​ cancer, heart attack and​ stroke.
Antioxidants, however, can help us combat these free radicals, and​ a​ diet in​ antioxidants is​ linked with preventing cancer, heart disease and​ stroke. So, doctors recommend a​ diet high in​ antioxidants which means eating lots of​ fresh fruits and​ vegetables and​ drinking green tea each day.
However, scientists also seem to​ be finding out that green tea may be able to​ increase the​ effectiveness in​ some cancer treatments. Several studies conducted on mice already diagnosed with cancer have shown that taking green tea along with the​ cancer treatments can increase the​ effectiveness of​ the​ traditional therapy and​ may slow down the​ progression of​ cancer to​ other cells. There is​ promising research; some of​ it​ directly related to​ breast cancer treatment.
One particular study of​ interest was conducted by the​ Boston University School of​ Medicine. in​ this study, female mice with breast cancer whose Her2/neu levels were very high were treated with green tea along with their regular cancer treatment. Mice that ingested the​ green tea showed a​ slower growth of​ their tumors and​ a​ slower progression of​ their cancer than those who were treated with the​ same medicine without green tea as​ an adjunct therapy. *
Researchers who found these results also believe that if​ green tea can inhibit the​ growth of​ tumors in​ patients already diagnosed with cancer, it​ may also be effective in​ preventing cancerous cells from forming and​ growing in​ the​ first place. This coincides with other research that indicates that green tea may be significant in​ preventing cancer. in​ addition, it​ helps explain why Asian cultures have such a​ low cancer incidence compared to​ the​ Western world.
This is​ very promising news for​ a​ group of​ breast cancer sufferers who have traditionally had a​ lower survival rate than others with breast cancer. if​ we can slow the​ rate of​ cancer progression in​ those with over expression of​ Her2/neu to​ approximately the​ same rate as​ other breast cancer patients, we may be far more effective at​ treating these patients.
Far more research is​ needed in​ the​ area of​ breast cancer prevention and​ treatment. in​ addition, scientists will be spending more time examining the​ benefits of​ green tea in​ cancer prevention and​ treatment. But, it​ seems clear that green tea has a​ place in​ the​ prevention and​ treatment of​ many diseases, including cancer.
Even though there is​ more research to​ be done, there is​ no downside to​ adding green tea to​ your diet to​ help prevent disease or​ to​ improve your health if​ it​ is​ already failing. Scientists have found no risks involved with drinking green tea. it​ has no side effects, and​ is​ a​ healthy alternative to​ coffee because of​ its high level of​ antioxidants and​ because it​ is​ much lower in​ caffeine than coffee. So, get a​ jump start on your antioxidants by drinking green tea!

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