Turmeric in Breast Cancer

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Newly published cell research performed by at the Zheijian Provincial People's Hospital in Zheijiang China indicates that the key compound in turmeric known as curcumin is capable of inducing programmed cell death in triple-negative breast cancer cells, the most feared and prognosis-poor type of breast cancer currently recognized. The information sheds light on how turmeric, a substance even recognized by Cancer.gov as a potential cancer fighter, could play an active role in the inhibition of breast cancer. 

The Chinese study is not the first to identify anti-breast cancer activity exhibited by the popular spice. A natural medicine database known as GreenMedInfo has identified over 60 in vitro and animal studies demonstrating either curcumin's direct anti-cancer activity, or its ability to enhance breast cancer's sensitivity to conventional treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. Topics that the third most popular natural health website in the world NaturalSociety has covered in-depth. Also, the open access project has organized over 1,500 turmeric research study citations from the National Library of Medicine on its potential value in over 500 health conditions.

Previous work by UCLA and other institutions have also observed turmeric to be capable of inhibiting cancer cell growth. In the UCLA study, participants with head and neck cancer were given just 1,000 milligrams of curcumin each via chewable tablets. After consuming the tablets routinely, an independent lab in Maryland verified that the growth of cancerous cells had been suppressed.

Promising preclinical research on natural substances like turmeric rarely make it to the far more capital-intensive phase one,two, and three clinical trials required for FDA drug approval due to the fact that natural substances cannot be patented and made to produce a return on investment. However, this most recent study, in conjunction with numerous other peer-reviewed studies referenced at the  National Library of Medicine, underscore how much promise natural, relatively safe, food-grade remedies may hold for those suffering from difficult to treat, or conventional treatment-resistant diseases.

Around 15-25 percent of all breast cancer cases are classified as triple negative. Major organizations focused on triple negative cases, however, focus almost exclusively on raising money to find a pharmaceutical answer to the condition. These organizations should consider the latest Chinese study and the role turmeric may play in helping breast cancer sufferers through the induction of programmed cell death in triple-negative breast cancer cells.