Tags: HPV vaccine | prevent | breast cancer | cervical cancer | human papillomavirus

HPV Vaccine May Prevent Breast Cancer

Monday, 01 February 2010 08:56 AM

A vaccine that prevents cervical cancer in women may also prevent some forms of breast cancer, according to Australian researchers. The team, located at the University of New South Wales, used genetic probes to test cancerous breast cells and found several strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is known to be the biggest single risk factor in developing cancer of the cervix.

The researchers found the presence of high-risk HPV in 39 percent of the ductal carcinoma in situ cancers and in 21 percent of the invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) breast cancer specimens examined. Non-invasive or in situ breast cancers are those restricted to the glands that make milk and do not spread. Invasive ductal cancers are more deadly and account for 70 to 80 percent of all breast cancers.

"The finding that high risk HPV is present in a significant number of breast cancers indicates they may have a causal role in many breast cancers," Dr. Noel Whitaker, a co-author of the report, said in a statement.

Other studies have connected HPV with breast cancer, but have been controversial because of difficulties in spotting the virus in specimens. The results have varied widely, from a low of four percent to a high of 86 percent. The Australian study addressed the problems of earlier studies and used more exacting methods.

"Confirming a cancer-causing role for HPV in some breast cancers establishes the possibility of preventing some breast cancers by vaccination against HPV," said Dr. Whitaker.

These tips from the Mayo Clinic will help prevent breast cancer:

• Maintain a healthy weight. There's a strong link between obesity and breast cancer.
• Exercise. Aim for at least 30 minutes every day.
• Limit alcohol consumption. Limit yourself to less than one drink each day or avoid alcohol completely.
• Reduce the amount of fat in your diet. A low-fat diet may decrease your risk of invasive breast cancer, and reducing dietary fats may also decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

© HealthDay

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A vaccine that prevents cervical cancer in women may also prevent some forms of breast cancer, according to Australian researchers.
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Monday, 01 February 2010 08:56 AM
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