‘SCAREMONGERING’ STUDY CLAIMS STATINS DOUBLE BREAST CANCER RISK

July 24, 2014 – 9:46 am by Genesis

An American medical body has made the bold claim that statins can double the risk of developing breast cancer.

The National Cancer Institute studied 3,000 women and claimed that those who took the cholesterol-lowering drugs were more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer later in life, especially if they took the drugs for more than 10 years.

The findings, which were reported by the Sunday Express, come as the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) encourages doctors to prescribe statins to millions of people in a bid to lower the risk of heart attack or stroke. However, the breast cancer study has led experts to call for a re-think on the new recommendations, according to news reports.

What the reports don’t tell you is that they have been extremely selective in quoting this one study published in September 2013 which is potentially biased and should therefore be viewed with the utmost of caution. It is worth noting that the same journal in which this study featured last September also included a much larger study a month later, which showed no increased risk of breast cancer following long-term use of statins.

There is a lot of evidence available from cohort studies and randomised clinical trials into the possible link between the statin drugs and breast cancer, none of which points to anything like what this particular study showed.

It is worrying that many women – and men – will have read this article and panic that they are increasing their risk of breast cancer by taking statins. But this is simply not the case.

Here at Genesis, we work tirelessly to research how the disease can be prevented and therefore welcome any new findings which might help us to achieve a future free from breast cancer. However, we also believe that claims, such as this one from the National Cancer Institute, shouldn’t be taken at face value and should be read in context with other research.

In summary, we believe this article is somewhat irresponsible, suggesting that such drugs as statins – which are essential for some people and are proven to have a host of health benefits – can double the risk of breast cancer.


THE ‘ANGELINA EFFECT’ – ONE YEAR ON

July 4, 2014 – 9:10 am by Genesis

Just a little over a year ago, Angelina Jolie grabbed the headlines after announcing she had undergone a double mastectomy. Having discovered that she was a carrier of the BRCA gene mutation – meaning she had an 80 per cent chance of developing the disease – the actress took the drastic step in a bid to cut her risk of developing breast cancer later in life.

Having a high-profile celebrity that attracts so much media attention has shed a lot of light onto BRCA carriers, their breast cancer risk and this particular course of action. I’m sure many women will find comfort and strength knowing that Angelina, a woman famed for her good looks as much as her talent, proudly announced this decision, which is often a taboo subject.

A recent study found that an increasing number of breast cancer sufferers are opting for a double mastectomy, despite having no family history of the disease or carrying the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations – two of the primary motivators for undergoing risk reducing surgery.

The study – highlighted on last night’s Tonight programme – suggested that a bi-product of the media attention surrounding Angelina’s decision, is that many women are also considering and even taking this dramatic step, when it may not be necessary or in fact appropriate for them to do so.

This is quite alarming. To say that all breast cancer sufferers should think about having both breasts removed would be incorrect. Equally so, to state that they have no risk of developing the disease in their healthy breast would also be wrong. In fact, the risk in the unaffected breast of a woman with breast cancer is usually twice that of those who have never suffered from the disease. It can be confusing.

A woman with breast cancer aged 40 with no family history has a five per cent risk every 10 years. So, if she has normal life expectancy, she will have a 20 per cent risk in her unaffected breast.

However, even after taking this into consideration, a mastectomy may not be necessary in all cases. There are other alternatives to surgery, such as tamoxifen or other endocrine therapy, which can halve the potential risk.

Also, by following a healthy diet, such as The 2-Day Diet and taking regular exercise, women can significantly reduce their risk of having breast cancer later in life.

Here at Genesis, we’re committed to creating a future free from breast cancer and in order to do that, we’re constantly evolving our research and looking at how women (and men) can adapt their lifestyles to prevent the disease, ensuring they receive the correct type of treatment that’s right for them.

Thankfully, contrary to this study, which refers to the ‘Angelina Jolie effect’, we’re mainly seeing an increase in appropriate requests for risk reducing mastectomy from women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.

While a double mastectomy may be the answer for some, it is by no means the correct course of action for everyone.

For more information about Tonight: Can women save themselves from breast cancer? visit http://www.itv.com/news/2014-07-03/tonight-beating-breast-cancer.


COULD A NEW BLOOD TEST PREDICT BREAST CANCER RISK?

June 27, 2014 – 3:14 pm by Genesis

Research released today has revealed a new blood test could have the ability to predict a woman’s risk of breast cancer up to 10 years before she is diagnosed. Here at Genesis, we know how important prediction and prevention is to create a breast cancer-free future, so we were eager to learn more about these new findings from the University College London.

The test, which could be carried out on women every five years, could identify those who are in danger of developing the disease, allowing them to work with their doctors to find out how to reduce their risk.

While Professor Gareth Evans, head of the Family History Clinic at Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention, welcomed the findings, he commented that more detailed research is needed to ensure the test is worthwhile.

Professor Evans said: “This is an important finding which can certainly add to breast cancer risk profiling and give hope to millions of women. However, it should be viewed with a degree of caution as more research is needed before it can enter practice.

“For example, the test isn’t specific enough to use alone and, therefore, women shouldn’t undergo radical procedures, such as a mastectomy, because the test does not predict a high enough risk.

“It may be that a positive result could indicate the need for more sensitive tests, such as MRI scans, to hopefully detect signs of breast cancer earlier, so that patients have a better chance of survival.

“Here at Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention, we’re uniquely placed to validate this research as we’ve collected 10,000 DNA samples from women in Greater Manchester as part of a population study on breast cancer screening.”

This test may not be a fix-all solution, but it’s a step in the right direction towards a future free from breast cancer.

To read more about the research, visit:
The Telegraph
The Daily Mail


CAN RED MEAT INCREASE BREAST CANCER RISK?

June 24, 2014 – 8:29 am by Genesis

With new research breakthroughs and landmark scientific findings occurring almost weekly, it seems as though we can’t pick up a newspaper or turn on the television without being told to cut yet another dish from our daily menus. Last week, the Harvard School of Public Health suggested that in order to reduce the risk of breast cancer, women should reduce their intake of red meat.

According to the US study, eating a lot of red meat during early adulthood could increase the risk of developing the disease and it should be replaced by beans, peas, lentils, poultry, nuts and fish. However, UK health experts urged us to view the research with caution, as other trials have not shown a clear link between the two.

Here at Genesis, we fully support the notion that being a healthy weight and eating a balanced diet can help to reduce the risk of breast cancer and we’ve spent 11 years developing The 2-Day Diet. We know that being overweight can increase the risk of developing breast cancer and that losing and maintaining a healthy, lower weight is one of the best ways to reduce this risk. One of the most effective ways to do this is with a diet which includes healthy protein foods such as fish , poultry and lentils beans low fat dairy, fruit and vegetables and also includes healthy fats and high fibre starchy foods

The Harvard study is not consistent with many other trials which have shown that meat intake in women is not specifically linked to breast cancer risk.

Dr Michelle Harvie, who helped to develop The 2-Day Diet for weight loss, said: “This study shows that women who had a high intake of red meat were likely to have breast cancer. This group were also heavier and had higher energy intakes, and were also more likely to be smokers – which are all risk factors which could explain their higher risk The study did not take into account weight gain or sedentary behaviours which are risk factors which may have been found in the meat eaters

“The study does not suggest that meat needs to be omitted totally from the diet. The harmful effects of meat intake at a younger age were seen at very high daily intakes – more than 120g (4 oz) per day.”

Although we don’t believe this study proves a direct link between high red meat intake and breast cancer, we always welcome new research into possible links to the disease. This study raises the important issue that we should consider a lifelong approach to healthy living to reduce risk of breast cancer. By ensuring we have as much information as possible, we become closer to creating a breast cancer free future.


Do breast cancer survivors exercise enough?

June 9, 2014 – 11:36 am by Genesis

Following the article released earlier today by BBC Health, Genesis dietitian, Dr. Michelle Harvie, discusses the link between exercise and breast cancer risk, and the important work The Nightingale Centre & Genesis Prevention Centre is undertaking in this area.

The BBC article cited an American research study published in the Journal of Cancer, which looked at the pre and post-diagnosis exercise levels of 1,735 women aged 20-74. All women involved had breast cancer between 2008 and 2011 in North Carolina.

In the US and the UK, adults are recommended to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week.
This study found only 35% of women who had experienced breast cancer met the physical activity guidelines.

Dr. Harvie commented;

“Here at Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention, we know that most people can benefit from doing more exercise and breast cancer patients tend to do less exercise when going through treatment due to the effects they encounter. There is increasing evidence that doing moderate or vigorous exercise is beneficial to breast cancer patients. It may reduce the chances of recurrence, improve overall health, reduce fatigue and improve bone health. We are studying the best ways to keep breast cancer patients a healthy weight and active during treatment in our B-Ahead 2 study. Further information can be found here on our website”.

Dr. Harvie’s work includes the publication of the international best selling book ‘The 2-Day Diet’ which focuses on how to achieve and maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle – more information can be found here.


In the press – Former New South Wales premier praised for raising men’s awareness of breast cancer

May 2, 2014 – 2:06 pm by Genesis

At Genesis we strive to promote breast cancer awareness not only for women but also for men.

Currently 1 in 1000 men will develop breast cancer in their lifetime yet many men still do not realise that they can develop the disease.

Nick Greiner, former New South Wales premier in Australia has spoken out about his personal experience with breast cancer leading to the Cancer Council Australia calling for greater awareness of the disease in men.

Nick Greiner

The chief executive of Cancer Council Australia, Professor Ian Olver, said men who noticed changes to their breasts or nipples should act quickly and be tested.

“There’s a pretty high cure rate for men if they present early. The problem is that men don’t believe they can get breast cancer,” he said.

“So the first message is ‘yes, you can get breast cancer’, and the second message is that if you see blood or you feel a lump get it checked out as soon as you can. Don’t ignore a change.”

The Guardian have recently published the article in which Greiner discusses the impact his breast cancer had on him and the comfort he found to tackle the disease through telling family and friends about it.

Greiner discovered the cancer after finding a red dot on his shirt, and said talking about his cancer helped him through the difficult period.

“I think it helped by telling my family and, when I knew I was going to have surgery, telling others.”

Greiner had a mastectomy to remove the cancer and the operation was successful.


DO FATTY DIETS LEAD TO A HIGHER BREAST CANCER RISK?

April 14, 2014 – 8:19 am by Genesis

With a new diet or weight loss plan filling column inches almost every week, it’s sometimes difficult to know what to believe and what to dismiss as the latest fad. This week’s papers broke the news that, following new research, high fat diets can increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

This study, which was published by the National Institute of Cancer, links dietary intake to whether participants subsequently developed breast cancer over the next 11 years. The results showed that women with the highest fat and saturated fat intake were more likely to develop breast cancer, especially the type which is linked to oestrogen levels.

Women who ate the most saturated fat – 50 g per day, which is double the recommended level – were 30 per cent more likely to develop the disease.

However, these population studies are sometimes difficult to interpret. We know that women with more fat in their diets will often be heavier and less active, which has the potential to increase breast cancer risk. Although researchers try to take these factors into account, we need to consider whether or not these other factors may account for the relationship between fat and cancer risk.

Provided you are a healthy weight and don’t consume too many calories overall, the amount of fat in your diet shouldn’t make a difference to the risk of developing breast cancer.

At Genesis, our evidence suggests women should maintain a healthy weight by controlling their calorie intake and undertaking regular exercise to have the best chance of preventing the disease.

We developed The 2-Day Diet to encourage people to make small adjustments to their lifestyles and in turn, cut their risk of developing breast cancer later in life. Through a low calorie, low carb diet two days a week and a healthy, Mediterranean-style diet during the rest of the week, followers can lose almost twice as much fat around their waist than those who are trying to follow a daily calorie-controlled diet.

Find out more about The 2-Day Diet here: http://www.thetwodaydiet.co.uk/


Genesis welcomes two new members of staff to the team!

March 11, 2014 – 11:26 am by Genesis

Genesis is pleased to welcome Natasha Rowson and Suzanna Dhawan to the team as two new full time members of staff.

New members of staff

Natasha right and Suzanna left


As a new fundraiser, Natasha will be working closely on community projects and helping to educate the public about Genesis and the importance of the prediction and the prevention of breast cancer.

“Hello! I would like to introduce myself as a new member of staff at Genesis! My name is Natasha Rowson and I am a Fundraiser looking to both inspire and encourage groups, individuals and businesses to support Genesis and the wonderful work that we do. I am based full time at the Nightingale Centre & Genesis Prevention Centre but you may also see me working in the community, participating in our campaigns and helping to run some of our upcoming events. I am always looking for fun and creative ideas from supporters and I am not afraid to get stuck in and gets my hands dirty!

You can contact me directly by email at natasha.rowson@genesisuk.org and I will be happy to help to get those creative fundraising juices flowing! I am thrilled to be working for such an impactive charity and I look forward to contributing to the development of Genesis into the future.”


Suzanna, is the new Event Coordinator for Genesis and will also be working on fundraising.

“Hello! My name is Suzanna Dhawan and I am thrilled to be part of The Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Team. May main aim is to proactively involve the Businesses, Communities and individuals of Manchester City Centre to come and join this fabulous journey helping to create a future FREE from Breast Cancer. I’ll be creating some fabulous unique offers and events by partnering up with the Bars, Restaurants and top nightlife spots in Manchester so everyone can enjoy and support all at the same time- make sure to look out for our logo when you’re next in town!

Do you think out of the box? Are you fun loving, creative and planning an event? Want to support the research that will change the future? Contact me at Suzanna.dhawan@genesisuk.org and come join the party!”


“Generosity consists not the sum given, but the manner in which it is bestowed”Mahatma Gandhi


THE ‘DANGERS’ OF HIGH PROTIEN DIETS

March 7, 2014 – 11:15 am by Genesis

This week’s papers broke the news of new research, which states that high protein diets are as bad for the health as smoking. This damning statement is based on a study by the University of Southern California, but the results should not be taken at face value – the headline misrepresents the data in this paper.

The study is a relatively small one, based on a one-off 24 hour recall of dietary intake, which has been linked to the risk of developing diseases in the following 18 years.

The authors state that the group which consumed the lowest amount of protein had the smallest risk of dying from a major illness, including cancer. However, the study as a whole was based on only 6,000 people, and only 400 of these were in the healthy low protein group. Studies based on such small numbers can often produce unpredictable results, so in this instance we should be cautious.

The paper goes on to report that a high protein diet increases cancer risk up to the age of 65 years, but a higher protein intakes after the age of 66 actually reduces cancer risk. This doesn’t make good biological sense, and again, may be a chance finding based on small numbers.

At Genesis, we have spent 11 years researching The 2-Day-Diet. The diet itself existed in a number of forms and was carefully clinically trialled before it was published. Being overweight can increase the risk of developing breast cancer by up to 40 per cent and maintaining a healthy weight is the one of the best ways to reduce this risk. One of the most effective ways to do this is with a diet which is moderately high in protein (providing 20–25per cent of a person’s daily calorie intake), and also include healthy fats and high fibre carbohydrates.

To say that a ‘high protein diet is as bad for health as smoking’ is incredibly misleading; the harmful effects of smoking have been repeatedly and consistently shown in numerous trials, but the harmful effects of high protein diets are not backed up by other larger, higher quality studies.

A much larger Women’s Health Initiative study, showed that women with a higher protein intake had an 8 per cent fewer cancers overall and found high calorie intakes increased the risk of developing cancers, including breast cancer.

Too much of any nutrient, including protein, can cause health problems, but protein is important for weight loss, as it’s satiating and helps maintain muscle mass. In this instance, it seems that the results of a rather small study, which has not conclusively proved that high protein diets are dangerous, has been picked up by the media and sensationalised.


The 2-Day Diet has been made even easier!

January 2, 2014 – 4:49 pm by Genesis

The 2-Day Diet is the only clinically-proven 5:2 diet. It has been developed by award-winning research dietician, Dr Michelle Harvie, and internationally renowned Professor of Oncology, Tony Howell, who are both based here at the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Centre. Since its release in 2013, it’s taken the nation by storm; so much so that it was listed as the forth bestselling paperback manual of the year by the Sunday Times.

Following its success, we’re excited to bring you ‘The 2-Day Diet Quick and Easy Edition’. This new version of the 2013 bestselling book, which is being featured in the Daily Mail this weekend, makes long-lasting weight loss even more attainable by simplifying the science and giving dieters new tools to stay on track. It includes a progress tracker, case studies and practical advice on how to get the most out of the diet. It also contains meal plans and delicious, healthy recipes for diet and non-diet days.

Clinical trials have shown that followers of The 2-Day Diet lose more weight, almost twice as much fat and more centimetres around their waist than those on a continuous calorie-controlled diet. The diet also helps retrain the appetite, with dieters inclined to eat less, even on non-diet days. Even better, 2-Day Dieters are much more likely to keep off the weight lost, making this the perfect approach for anyone trying to lose weight permanently.

As you’re probably aware, here at Genesis, it’s our mission to create a future without breast cancer. Our experts, Dr Harvie and Professor Howell, have proved that The 2-Day Diet is not only an effective and sustainable way to lose weight, but it also has numerous health benefits associated with it, including: reducing insulin and levels of other hormones and inflammation in the body known to cause cancer.

For more information, visit: http://www.thetwodaydiet.co.uk and to purchase ‘The 2-Day Diet Quick and Easy Edition’ through Amazon, click here.