Depressing News for Breast Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer to affect women after skin cancer. An estimated 1 in every 8 women is likely to be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer which is the second leading cause of death from cancer. Breast cancer claims the lives of about 40,000 women each year, although this figure is going down, thanks to early detection and better treatment of the disease.
Researchers tell us that 70% of breast cancer in women is caused by estrogen. A recent study looked at whether there is a connection between the estrogen-affecting antidepressant Paroxetine, branded as Paxil, and the development of breast cancer. Fortunately, not all hope is lost. You can take your health into your own hands by taking natural supplements such as fish oil to combat depression.
Study on Paroxetine and Breast Cancer
The clinical study was organized by the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California, which specializes in cancer research. Researchers screened a total of 446 widely prescribed drugs to identify which may disrupt the balance of hormones such as estrogen. The study found that Paroxetine (Paxil) in particular increases estrogen levels which could promote the development and progress of breast cancer.
The team found that approximately 25% of breast cancer patients had been treated for depression. Physicians commonly prescribe selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's) such as Paxil to alleviate depression. In the U.S., almost a quarter of women in their 40s and 50s take an antidepressant or SSRI, which clearly affects their estrogen levels detrimentally.
Others chemicals tested and found to affect estrogen levels are bisphenol A, commonly used in the manufacture of plastics, and the antifungal medications miconazole and oxiconazole. Brisdelle is another FDA approved medication which contains a low amount of Paroxetine and is often prescribed to treat menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.
Natural Ways to Treat Depression
Women who are suffering from depression and are concerned about taking antidepressants such as Paxil may find effective relief in other safe and natural forms.
Exercise is known to produce endorphins in the body which are the body's natural feel-good chemicals. By embracing regular physical activity such as walking, yoga or dancing, people with depression have found it helps lift their depression and spirits. Exercise boosts blood flow through the body and appears to encourage the brain to be more positive.
Reducing your intake of alcohol and other drugs can be beneficial as they are known to suppress the production of serotonin and dopamine. A lack of serotonin naturally creates depression and can only exacerbate negative feelings for anyone struggling with depression. Dopamine activates the brain's pleasure centers and creates a feeling of peace and contentment. It's vital that anyone with depression does not take anything that may quell these natural boosters.
Several natural remedies are known to help treat depression without the nasty side effects of chemical medications. 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) amino acid supplements naturally produce serotonin in the body, although they should not be combined with antidepressants.
Over 20 clinical trials show that St. John's Wort is an effective antidepressant for mild to moderate depression. However, you need to allow four to six weeks for it to be fully effective.
Low levels of Omega-3 are known to be linked to depression. Make sure you maintain good levels of Omega-3 and EPA by eating salmon and oily fish regularly, topped up by a natural fish oil supplement. EPA has been shown to be an effective treatment for bipolar disorder and depression without any of the alarming side effects of SSRIs such as Paxil.
By looking for more natural ways to treat depression, you can avoid the estrogen-tweaking medications that may indirectly contribute to breast cancer.