Over 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, the second most common cancer among women. One factor that may increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer is long-time exposure to estrogen. Tamoxifen, a drug that interferes with the activity of estrogen is useful for women trying to overcome this risk factor. Recent research has found that omega-3 fatty acids, like those found in fish, could be a safe and useful booster for tamoxifen therapy.
Studies from the Fox Chase Cancer Center found that tumors being treated with tamoxifen became smaller and less aggressive, in addition to becoming more responsive to tamoxifen with the addition of an omega-3 fatty acid diet. Experiments conducted on rats showed that the combination of fish oil and tamoxifen reduces the expression of genes linked to the growth and spreading of mammary tumors.
More research is necessary to completely understand the relationship between fish oil and the immune system. The studies are being supported by a grant from Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
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