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 Her-2/neu. Her-2/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 Her-2/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 Her-2/neu have a higher likelihood of their cancer metastasizing, and have an overall lower survival rate. The Her-2/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 乳房超聲波 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 flavan-3-ol class of flavonoids, which are anti-oxidants. EGCG is one of the catechins contained in tea, and is a potent anti-oxidant. 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 anti-oxidants.
What’s So Great About Anti-Oxidants?
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.
Anti-oxidants, however, can help us combat these free radicals, and a diet in anti-oxidants is linked with preventing cancer, heart disease and stroke. So, doctors recommend a diet high in anti-oxidants – which means eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking green tea each day.