The human gut has become a treasure map which leads us to some of the best treasures in life. Yes, I am talking about the cure to various illnesses and diseases that are held by the gut microbiota within each of us. At the same time, failing to do justice to our gut bacteria also opens the doors to various problems relating to our body. The latest is that dealing with an unhealthy gut is not only disruptive to general health but also increases the risk of breast cancer-a cancer that’s generally passed on through generations and almost 5-9% of breast cancer cases are in metastasis at the time of diagnosis. Though knowledge about this cancer has improved preventing and predicting the spread of cancer to other parts of the body remains a challenge.
Hormone receptor status stays as one of the important factors for the spreading of breast cancer. Most breast cancers, almost 65% of them, are hormone receptor positive and they are driven by either estrogen or progesterone hormones. These cancers respond positively to hormone therapy treatment while the hormone receptor negative ones spread faster. On the other hand, high levels of collagen in the tissue and tumor increases breast cancer metastasis and so does the presence of macrophages within tissues. The gut comes into play here as having an unhealthy microbiome increases the levels of both collagen and macrophages that can have debilitating effects on the human body. Such a microbiome causes tissue changes that are early predictors of metastasis breast cancer.
The link between unhealthy microbiome and breast cancer risk was confirmed by using a mouse model of hormone receptor-positive mammary cancer. The researchers changed the mice’s gut bacteria with the help of antibiotics and fecal transfer of dysbiotic or macrobiotically unbalanced fecal content. Such treatment increased inflammation within the animal’s tissues. In an inflammation-dominant environment the tumor cells disseminated from the tissues into the blood and to the lungs which prevails as a major site for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer to metastasize. This clearly shows that an unhealthy microbiome and the tissue changes that occur as a result of it are cure predictors of metastatic breast cancer. But no false intentions and this clearly doesn’t mean that introducing breast cancer patients to antibiotics are devastating for their health. While the result on humans might be quite different from that on mice the underlying concept remains that an unhealthy microbiome is surely not good for the body. This also proves that the health of the gut microbiome is essential for good health of individuals. An individual is recommended to eat a healthy diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains, sleep well, exercise regularly and stay active to keep their health in good shape. This is also required for a healthy microbiome which in turn helps to protect against breast cancer risk. Get in touch with reputed dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to improve your lifestyle habits and fix your haphazard eating styles such that the gut microbiome stays healthy!
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.