particularly focuses on the impact of Vitamin D on Breast Cancer. Since health concerns have become a widespread issue, thus researcher on a constant basis are carrying out investigations that can determine the exact causes of diseases like breast cancer. One particular study has come under focus in this dissertation that lay key emphasis on African and European-American descents and how these races are vulnerable to breast cancer. Moreover, the impact of vitamin D on breast cancer has also been widely included in the study.
Health on a broad spectrum has become an emerging and grave concern, as the populace is experiencing the advancements of the competitive and industrialized world. Besides, the well-being and welfare of the citizens of the nations has also become significant that can lead to an affluent, flourishing and successful civilization. Considering the health issues that have become prevalent in the today’s time, cancer is one of the devastating and overwhelming diseases amongst the mankind that has become widespread and common in the twenty first century (Trump, 2011).
It is a severe disease that has been recorded amongst the humans since a long time; however, medical science has determined its true image since almost a century ago. The unprecedented advancements in the field of medical science have brought new ways to cure the disease, indeed the researchers are continuously working on for the better treatments of this disease (Trump, 2011).
Breast cancer is one of the branches of cancer that is most commonly detected in women, which clearly means that women are more vulnerable o this disease in contrast to men. Even though breast cancer cannot be completely be claimed as a lethal disease but thousands of patients die on a yearly basis from it all across the globe. Studies have brought the fact to the forefront that women living in western region of the world are more exposed to this disease in comparison to the women residing in the developing nations (Trump, 2011).
While on the other hand, Vitamin D is one of the dietary factors that help in maintaining the health of a person, since it is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a significant role in the functioning of the body. The immune system as well as few body cells is regulated with the involvement of the Vitamin D (Dowd & Stafford, 2010).
Amongst the cures of breast cancer, recent studies have found out that exposure to sunlight helps in reduction of the prevalence of breast cancer. This is particularly due to the reason that the ultraviolet rays that come from the sunlight arouse the human body to produce vitamin D that protects them from the breast cancer. Moreover, the Vitamin D present in the sunlight is considered to be good for the patients that are suffering from breast cancer (Dowd & Stafford, 2010).
In fact, according to the epidemiological analyses, low intake of vitamin D is closely associated with augmented risk of breast cancer. Amongst the numerous studies that are being carried out by the researchers, a team of researchers have conducted an extensive study on Vitamin D and Breast Cancer with the title of the study as “Variants in the vitamin D pathway, serum levels of vitamin D, and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer among African-American women: a case-control study” (Yao, 2011).
Summary of the Study
This empirical study is a recent research conducted by a team of researchers with the primary aim to determine the association between Vitamin D and Breast Cancer. The researchers intended to discover if vitamin D can be a source of cure to the disease of breast cancer, due to which this study was conducted on a wide scale specifically with the American women of African ancestry in contrast to the women of European Ancestry (Yao, 2011).
From the investigation, it came to an observation that females of African-American origin are more susceptible of developing much extensive and severe form of breast cancer compared to European women. The reason for it is particularly the difference in genetic makeup of female individuals of both races that is specifically responsible for controlling the metabolism mechanism of vitamin D This describes the cause of variation with regard to the severity of breast cancer amongst women population of both races (Yao, 2011).
During the research study, the researcher also determined that there is couple of alternate forms of genes that is involved in metabolic processes related to vitamin D, which make African-American women more vulnerable of developing estrogen-receptor negative breast cancer. However, such effects of these gene variations are uncommon amongst the female individuals of European origin. Furthermore, the deficiency of Vitamin D in the African-American women made them more vulnerable to breast cancer. Indeed, lack of presence of chemical agents that determine the vitamin D concentration and its overall activities with regard to metabolism amongst African-American women make them further predisposed to breast cancer in comparison to European women (Yao, 2011).
The data gathered from the research also advocated that genetic variations in those genes that are responsible for metabolism of vitamin D are majorly conducive to development and growth of estrogen-receptor breast cancer amongst women of African-American race. Together with it, the lack of chemical agents involved in vitamin D metabolic pathway amongst African-American females results in severity of tumors that develop in them. These factors chiefly contribute to the variations in the characteristics of tumors that develop in individuals of both races (Yao, 2011).
Method and Participants of the Study
The target audience that was selected for the study was gathered from the identified cases that were diagnosed with breast cancer in the hospitals of the metropolitan city of New York. Women of both African-American and European-American ancestry were selected with fluency in English language that ranged from 20 years to 75 years of age diagnosed with breast cancer. All of these women had no previous historical records of suffering from breast cancer (Yao, 2011).
Random selection of African-American women was the method for the target population of the study. Participation consent was taken from the respondents. In-Person interviews were the primary method that was used for data collection. The data was collected from the participants on various aspects that included medical history, family history of cancer, diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle factors (Yao, 2011).
In order to determine the true relationship of genes to the disease Anthropometric measures were employed in which samples of biological components were gathered. At the beginning, blood specimens of the participants were collected to examine the genetic makeup and any possible variations. However, after some time the number of participants increased which resulted in high cost of tests and examinations. Consequently, saliva samples were collected in place of blood to make the process cost effective and reasonable (Yao, 2011).
The study received a relatively good proportion of participation from the respondents, where the participation rates of both African and European-American women were more than 55% (Yao, 2011).
Results of the Study
The overall results of the study concluded that a greater population of African-American women had severe deficiencies of Vitamin D due to which they were more exposed to the risk of suffering from breast cancer in comparison to the European-American descents. This was mainly determined by the serum levels that were high amongst the African-American women. Furthermore, the research results also brought the fact to the forefront that body mass index of African-American females was more than European women that makes them more vulnerable of having vitamin D abnormalities; thus, they are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. These aspects of the study bolstered the arguments of the author that vitamin D is closely associated to the breast cancer (Yao, 2011).
Findings of the study also depict that several types of genetic variations were observed amongst the African-American female participants that were linked to vitamin D metabolic pathway. Moreover, experts state that higher existence of breast cancer amongst African-American women is significantly related to these genetic differences (Yao, 2011).
From the analysis it is apparent that racial differences play a vital role in the incidences and prevalence of breast cancer amongst female population. However, there is an aspect that makes this argument weak. Findings of the study claim that higher body mass index of African-American women make them more vulnerable of suffering from breast cancer, whereas facts and figures depict that generally women of European ancestry also have higher BMI. This creates a contradiction that despite of having higher BMI, European women are not as susceptible of suffering from breast cancer as African-American women (Yao, 2011).
Conclusion of the Study
Level of vitamin D is closely associated with the incidences of breast cancer (Higdon & Drake, 2011). The article presented by Yao provided a clear and apparent idea that variations in the genes couple to the lack of chemical agents involved in vitamin D metabolism is connected to development of breast cancer amongst ladies of specific races. This has been indicated in the introduction of the research study.
The results of the study should definitely be incorporated in real life, as this is one of the excellent pieces of material that is creating an understanding about how breast cancer can be prevented or be cured at early stages. Indeed, this article has created immense awareness about how significant vitamin D can be in the prevention of breast cancer (Rakel, 2007). In this regard, the research study should be broadcasted and shared with the nutritionists and other related people so that they can create more awareness amongst the general population.
Awareness programs are considerably one of the finest options that can be applied to create a deeper level of understanding and awareness amongst the general public so that masses can live a healthy and safe life with some precautionary measures. Moreover, the community health services should also conduct free or less expensive checkups on regular basis so that the general public can gain benefit from it and can have early diagnosis of the disease that can be easily cured.
Dowd, J. & Stafford, D. (2010). The Vitamin D Cure. Canada: John Wiley & Sons.
Higdon, J. & Drake, V. (2011). An Evidence-Based Approach to Vitamins and Minerals: Health Benefits and Intake Recommendations. 2nd Edition. China: Thieme.
Rakel, D. (2007). Integrative Medicine. 2nd Edition. USA: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Trump, D.L. (2011). Vitamin D and Cancer. London: Springer.
Yao, S. (2011). ‘Variants in the vitamin D pathway, serum levels of vitamin D, and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer among African-American women: a case-control study.’ Breast Cancer Research, Volume 14, Issue 2. DOI: doi:10.1186/bcr3162. Retrieved from: http://breast-cancer-research.com/content/14/2/R58#sec8
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