Women who use insulin to control their diabetes are more likely to have thick breasts, a risk factor for breast cancer, than women who use non-insulin drugs or follow lifestyle strategies to control their diabetes, according to new research.
“Diabetic women on insulin need their medication, but they may benefit from additional breast cancer screening,” said Zorana Andersen, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Southern Denmark in Esjberg. On March 8, she presented her findings at the 10th European Breast Cancer Conference. Studies presented at medical conferences are typically considered preliminary until the research is published in peer-reviewed medical journals.
“We know that diabetes is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer,” Dr. Andersen explains. She and other specialists, however, are unable to explain why this is the case. “Insulin’s involvement has been disputed,” she says.
According to Dr. Andersen, insulin is a “growth stimulating agent for all body tissues.” As a result, it is possible that it will increase the quantity of tissue known as epithelial or stromal tissue in the breast, thus increasing overall breast density.
Explanation of Density
Breasts with dense tissue contain little fatty tissue. Doctors divide breast density into four categories, ranging from virtually completely fatty to extremely dense. The centre contains breasts with thick and fatty tissues. Dense breast tissue, like tumours, appears white on mammography, making it more difficult to detect breast cancer in dense breasts.
Obesity is common, according to the American Cancer Society. Density can, but does not always, decrease with age. A woman’s breast thickness cannot be determined solely by their size or firmness. She can ask her doctor to notify her about her breast density after a mammogram.
Women with the highest density (more than 75%) have a 4 to 6 times higher risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest density (less than 25%), according to experts, including Dr. Andersen.
What are the interactions between insulin, metformin, and diet?
The Danish researchers examined over 5,600 women, the vast majority of whom had already reached menopause. All, on average, are 56 years old. They were all part of the large Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study Group. Mammograms between 1993 and 2001. Diabetes affected 137 people, or less than 3% of the population. She discovered that diabetic women were less likely to have thick or mixed breasts than fatty breasts.
The researchers then compared the 44 people who used diet to control their diabetes to the 62 people who used medications (such as metformin) to see if they had fatty, rather than dense, breasts. Insulin users were found to be nearly twice as likely to have thick breasts.
“We cannot conclude from this study whether taking metformin reduces breast density,” she says. More research, she claims, is required to explain the connections she discovered.
Alternative Points of View
Two endocrinologists and a radiologist contributed to the new study.
The study finding about insulin-treated women having denser breasts is predicted by Gerald Bernstein, MD, former president of the American Diabetes Association and coordinator of the Friedman Diabetes Program at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. “That’s not surprising considering insulin is a growth factor,” he says.
He does, however, warn that the research is preliminary. He suggests that metformin be added to the pharmaceutical schedule for insulin-treated women, “not so much for its glucose benefit as for its countering of the potential consequences of insulin,” depending on the findings of future research. Meanwhile, he agrees with Andersen on the significance of routine breast screening.
The discovery that insulin is linked to higher breast density, according to Wei Feng, MD, an endocrinologist and assistant clinical professor at City of Hope in Duarte, California, is likely not widely known. She, too, would like to see more research on metformin’s effect on breast density.
The discovery is intriguing, according to Debra Monticciolo, MD, a radiology professor at Texas A&M University and vice chair for research and section chief of breast imaging at Baylor Scott & White, but “it is too early to draw definite conclusions.” Dr. Monticciolo, who also chairs the American College of Radiology’s Commission on Breast Imaging, adds that if insulin use is found to be a significant risk factor, radiologists may consider adding it to the list of questions women are asked before their mammogram to assess risk.
‘Will Eating Soy Foods Disrupt Hormones?’
A: A great deal of research has been conducted on the best diets for long-term health and longevity. A Mediterranean diet can be defined in several ways, including as a plant-based diet. The Mediterranean diet is the most popular and well-documented diet with proven health benefits.
You appear to be eating a Mediterranean-style diet, albeit one that includes more soy than a true Mediterranean diet. The most common legumes consumed in a traditional Mediterranean diet are lentils and chickpeas. In traditional Asian civilizations, however, soy is the most commonly consumed legume.
There has been a lot of media hype about the dangers of soy and its isoflavones (estrogen-like chemicals found in soy) that hasn’t been proven by research. Because it is unknown how or why this relationship became so widely feared, various studies have been conducted in an attempt to shed light on the dangers.
Over 300 studies, both retrospective and prospective, have been conducted in the last two decades to investigate the link between soy consumption and breast cancer. They do, in fact, show a lower risk of breast cancer or recurrence when they consume soy. Women who ate more soy foods (such as soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and edamame) had a lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who ate little or no soy.
Obesity is the most common modifiable risk factor for breast cancer and a significant risk factor for many other cancers. Changes to a plant-rich diet, such as a Mediterranean diet with soy, have been shown to prevent or reverse obesity, as well as improve many other long-term health indicators. As a result, taking Arimidex Pill will not only not increase your risk of breast cancer, but may even help to reduce it.
What Is the Treatment for Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer can be treated in a variety of ways. It is determined by the type of breast cancer and the extent to which it has spread. Breast cancer patients frequently receive more than one type of treatment.
- An operation in which doctors remove cancerous tissue.
- Chemotherapy is the use of special medicines to shrink or kill cancer cells. The drugs can be pills that you take or medicines that are injected into your veins, or both.
- Hormone therapy Prevents cancer cells from receiving the hormones they require to grow.
Biological treatment. Helps your body’s immune system fight cancer cells or control side effects from other cancer treatments.
Radiation treatment. To kill cancer cells, high-energy rays (similar to X-rays) are used.
To treat breast cancer, doctors from various specialties frequently collaborate. Surgeons are doctors who perform surgical procedures. Medical oncologists are doctors who use Arimidex 1mg to treat cancer. Radiation oncologists are cancer specialists who use radiation to treat patients.