July 7, 2022

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Breast cancer: Sugar-sweetened beverages may increase risk of death but tea and coffee do not

Breast cancer: Sugar-sweetened beverages may increase risk of death, but tea and coffee do not



 

Breast cancer: Sugar-sweetened beverages may increase risk of death but tea and coffee do not.

 

According to the latest “2020 Global Cancer Report” released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the number of new cases of lung cancer is 2.2 million, while that of breast cancer is 2.26 million.

The position of the “first brother” of lung cancer was officially replaced by breast cancer. Breast cancer is currently the number one cancer in the world.

 

The incidence of breast cancer is not only showing a gradual upward trend, but also has the characteristics of early onset age and relatively late stage of disease. And the later the disease stage is delayed, the worse the treatment effect and the easier it is to relapse.

 

According to current research data, the five-year survival rate of people with breast cancer has continued to improve, from 75% in 1975 to 90% in 2017.

Although the five-year survival rate has increased, breast cancer still has a 30% recurrence rate, and patients with recurrence are often accompanied by distant metastasis, which affects their prognosis.

 

 


1. Why is breast cancer easy to recur?

There are many factors that affect the recurrence of breast cancer, most of which are related to 3 reasons.

The first is that surgical treatment cannot completely remove lesions or cancer cells. The current methods of treating breast cancer are mainly surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Although the treatment methods are mature, there are still some breast cancer cells that have infiltrated into peripheral parts or lymph nodes, or transferred to other parts of the body along with the blood.

It cannot be detected by examination, nor can it be completely removed by surgery.

 

The second is the influence of the degree of malignancy of the disease. The higher the malignancy of breast cancer cells, the greater the difficulty in treatment and the unsatisfactory prognosis of patients.

 

Finally, the patient’s own immune system is low . During the treatment of breast cancer, chemotherapy and radiotherapy may have a certain negative impact on the body, which will lead to a decline in the immune function of some patients and increase the difficulty of removing residual cancer cells, thereby burying the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

 

A 32-year study from Aarhus University in Denmark found that at the time of initial diagnosis of breast cancer patients, if the tumor diameter was greater than 20 mm, the number of lymph node involvement was greater than or equal to 4, and the situation of estrogen receptor-positive tumors was significantly different from that after diagnosis 10-25 years cumulative incidence of advanced breast cancer and increased risk of recurrence.

 

In addition, the physical recovery and psychological state of breast cancer patients after surgery will also affect the recurrence rate of cancer.

 

 

2. Don’t ignore the recurrence signal of breast cancer

The recurrence of breast cancer is actually traceable. When the following 4 symptoms appear in the body, patients have to be vigilant:

 

1) Unknown lump in breast

When unexplained lumps with large differences in shape appear on the outer and upper part of the breast, and the shape is irregular and the texture is relatively hard, it is necessary to be vigilant.

 

2) Breast pain

At early recurrence, breast cancer patients can detect a bean-sized lump on the breast by palpation . In addition, some patients also experience mild breast pain symptoms.

 

3) Cancer cells metastasize to the lungs

When breast cancer patients have lung metastasis, most of them will have symptoms of cough, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and hemoptysis . Breast cancer patients can have regular checkups after surgery to rule out this condition.

 

4) Cancer cells metastasize to bone

Breast cancer patients with bone metastases mostly have symptoms of local pain, pathological fractures, and nerve compression .

 

Once breast cancer recurs, the treatment difficulty will be greatly increased.

According to clinical data, when breast cancer develops lung metastases, the five-year survival rate of patients is only 20%;  

the five-year survival rate of breast cancer patients with bone metastases is 16%;

and the five-year survival rate of breast cancer patients with liver metastases is almost 20%. 0.

 

Therefore, it is particularly important to know how to prevent breast cancer recurrence!

 

 


3. Drinking more tea and coffee in breast cancer patients may prolong survival

 

A study from Harvard University published in the authoritative medical journal “Cancer” shows that drinking more sugar-sweetened beverages in breast cancer patients may increase the risk of breast cancer-specific death and all-cause death.

 

In this study, researchers investigated a total of 8,863 breast cancer patients younger than 50 years old with stage I-III breast cancer.

They were followed up every 4 years, and a total of 1,050 patients died of breast cancer during the 12-year follow-up period.

 

Among those who died, breast cancer patients who drank one to three sugar-sweetened beverages per week had a 31% increased risk of specific mortality and a 21% increased risk of all-cause mortality compared with patients who did not drink sugar-sweetened beverages.

Breast cancer patients who drank more than three sugar-sweetened beverages per week had a 35% increased risk of specific death and a 28% increased risk of all-cause mortality.

 

Another Harvard paper by the same authors, published in the British Journal of Cancer, found that among surviving breast cancer patients, drinking more coffee or tea was associated with longer survival.

 

The study surveyed 8,900 breast cancer patients younger than 50 years old with stage I-III breast cancer for up to 12 years, and the results showed that compared with patients who did not drink coffee, breast cancer who drank 2-3 cups of coffee a day Cancer patients had a 24% lower risk of all-cause mortality and a 17% lower risk of specific mortality.

Breast cancer patients who drank 2-3 cups of tea a day had a 15% lower risk of all-cause mortality and a 17% lower risk of specific mortality compared with patients who did not drink tea.

 

For the above-mentioned findings, the researchers explained that higher consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages may increase blood sugar levels and promote insulin secretion in patients.

In non-diabetic breast cancer patients, high insulin levels may worsen the disease, research shows .

 

The reason why coffee and tea lower the risk of death in breast cancer patients may be related to substances such as caffeine and phenolic compounds , which have been found in laboratory studies to help control cancer cell growth.

However, further research is needed to understand the details of the mechanism of action of coffee or tea.

 

However, because the above studies are observational, the study has certain limitations, and it is not completely certain that coffee and tea are associated with a reduced risk of death in breast cancer patients.

 

Therefore, if you want to better prevent breast cancer recurrence, you should not only drink tea and coffee, but also take care of your life, maintain good living habits and a good mood, improve your own immunity, and fight the disease with a good attitude.

In addition, pay attention to standardized follow-up, and an examination can be carried out every 3-6 months; closely observe their own conditions, and if abnormal conditions are found, they should immediately seek medical attention for detailed examination.

 

In general, preventing breast cancer recurrence is not an easy task. I hope all cancer friends can strengthen their confidence in fighting cancer and open the door to long-term survival for themselves.

Of course, family members should also give patients some support and encouragement, and accompany them to go on!

 

 

 


References:

[1] Pedersen RN, Esen BÖ, Mellemkjær L, et al. The Incidence of Breast Cancer Recurrence 10-32 Years after Primary Diagnosis. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021 Nov 8:djab202. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djab202. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34747484.

Breast cancer: Sugar-sweetened beverages may increase risk of death, but tea and coffee do not

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