Vitamin D and Better Survival
This needs to be read with at least a small grain of salt--not because it is necessarily wrong, but because any single study needs to be repeated and duplicated before we can have full confidence in the results. Having said that, it is lovely to think that there is another thing that we can easily do for ourselves to possibly extend our lives and keep the cancer at bay.
A new study published in Anticancer Research (and that is definitely not one of the top journals) found that women who had high levels of Vitamin D at the time of breast cancer diagnosis were almost twice as likely to survive as women with lower levels. We can't very well go back and start swallowing tablets or exposing ourselves to the sun (and there is another quandry: sun exposure for good Vit D or bad because of the melanoma risk), but the same study found that women who had previously been diagnosed can help themselves by taking Vit D supplements.
This is one to think about and possibly discuss with your doctor. Your Vit D level can be tested with a blood test, and you can then consider supplements.
Here is the start and link to read more:
Vitamin D Enhances Breast Cancer Survival
Women with high levels of vitamin D in their blood when they are diagnosed with breast cancer are almost twice as likely to survive as those with low levels of vitamin D, according to a meta-analysis published in the March issue of Anticancer Research.
The meta-analysis looked at 5 studies of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) that reported hazard ratios for mortality from breast cancer by quintiles of the vitamin. Combined, the studies involved 4443 patients with breast cancer. Over an average of 10 years, breast cancer mortality was 44% lower in patients in the quintile with the highest levels of serum 25(OH)D than in the quintile with the lowest levels.
For the 5 studies, the pooled hazard ratio summarizing the estimated risk for breast cancer mortality in the lowest
quintile, compared with the highest quintile, was 0.56 (P < .0001). In 3 of the studies, fatality rates were substantially lower in the highest quintile than in the lowest quintile. In 2 of the studies, there was a trend in that direction.
"Doctors should emphasize the importance of maintaining adequate serum vitamin D levels, which would be 40 to 60 ng/mL for cancer prevention, and encourage their patients to have their vitamin D status regularly checked,
especially in winter, to ensure that adequate serum levels are being maintained," said first author Sharif B. Mohr, MD, from the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego.
For women already diagnosed with breast cancer, vitamin D levels could go as high as 80 ng/mL, he told Medscape Medical News.