(NaturalNews) At the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Breast Cancer Symposium held in San Francisco recently, researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Center made an announcement that at first glance may seem startling -- at least it may startle people who are unaware of the preventive and healing power of nutrients. When they studied 166 women undergoing treatment for breast cancer, the scientists found the vast majority, about 70 percent, had something other than their cancer in common: they had very low levels of vitamin D in their blood. What's more, women whose disease had progressed to late-stage (i.e. terminal) cancer had the lowest levels of all.
According to the researchers' statement to the media, their take away message about the breast cancer study seems to be simply that women with breast malignancies need to take high-dose vitamin D supplements to help protect bone mass and decrease fracture risk during cancer treatment. They recommend that women with breast cancer take weekly high doses of vitamin D, at least 50,000 international units or more.
"Vitamin D is essential to maintaining bone health, and women with breast cancer have accelerated bone loss due to the nature of hormone therapy and chemotherapy. It's important for women and their doctors to work together to boost their vitamin D intake," said Luke Peppone, Ph.D., research assistant professor of Radiation Oncology at Rochester's James P. Wilmot Cancer Center and a member of the National Cancer Institute's Community Clinical Oncology Program research base in Rochester.
The scientists also pointed out that symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include muscle pain, difficulty sleeping, weak bones resulting in fractures, low energy, fatigue, lowered immunity, symptoms of depression and mood swings. And these symptoms are also commonly seen in women who are undergoing breast cancer treatment with chemotherapy and/or radiation.
Fortunately, some mainstream Western physicians are becoming aware of the value of vitamin D to prevent and treat malignancies. In a paper recently published paper in the Journal of Environmental Pathology, Toxicology and Oncology, a team of doctors from Legacy Emanual Hospital in Portland, Oregon, stated: "Because most physicians do not appreciate the role of vitamin D deficiency in predisposing the development of cancer, we have written this important report as a wake-up call to physicians and other healthcare workers in documenting the relationship of vitamin D deficiency and cancer. Epidemiological data show an inverse relationship between vitamin D levels and breast cancer incidence..." In addition, the Legacy Emanual Hospital physicians pointed out that low vitamin D intake has been indicated in colorectal carcinogenesis and vitamin D deficiency has been documented in people with prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and multiple myeloma, too.