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Breast cancer

Blaming bad genes for breast cancer is a medical myth

Thursday, October 14, 2010 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: breast cancer, genes, health news

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(NaturalNews) It is common to hear both medical professionals and the population at large talk about certain diseases as if they are inherited from the family genes. Breast cancer is one such disease for which many women assume they have no control over its development because it "runs in the family". But a new study published in the journal Breast Cancer Research helps put this medical myth to rest, noting that lifestyle habits and diet play a much more critical role in cancer development.

Dr. Robert Gramling, associate professor of Family Medicine, and Community and Preventive Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC), author of the study, found that regardless of whether or not women have a family history of breast cancer, staying physically active, eating well, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption reduces their risk of developing breast cancer to the same degree.

"It's important to note that a family history of breast cancer can arise in part due to shared unhealthy behaviors that have been passed down for generations," Gramling explained. "Untangling the degree to which genes, environments, and behaviors contribute to the disease is difficult. But our study shows that engaging in a healthy lifestyle can help women, even when familial predisposition is involved."

Gramling's study illustrates the importance of breast cancer prevention, a concept largely absent in society's breast cancer awareness campaigns. There are plenty of ways women can avoid breast cancer right now simply by eating a nutritionally-rich diet packed with anti-cancer foods and herbs. And of course exercising and avoiding cancer-causing toxins help as well.

"Given the strong awareness of breast cancer and distress about inheritable risk, it is essential that scientists understand the actions women can take to reduce their risk," noted Gramling.

To learn more about breast cancer and ways to help prevent and treat it, please visit:

Sources for this story include:

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