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Breast Cancer

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This research aims at finding out the reasons behind the low rates of cancer in South Asian women living in New York, USA as compared to the indigenous white women. As it’s well known, breast cancer rate among South Asian women is much lower compared to other racial groups. However, being born in Asian does not make you immune from contracting the disease. Scientists have discovered that this group of people becomes vulnerable to the disease when they adopt the Western culture. This is evident because of the contrasting statistics done on both native south Asian women and the immigrants (University mirofilms international, 1985). Those South Asians living in New York, USA are affected more compared to those back home. This discovery applies to also the duration one has been in the foreign country. Those who have stayed longer in the USA seem to be at a higher risk compared to those who arrived later. That South Asian individual born in New York, USA has equal chances of getting breast cancer as the white women (Association for community organization and social administration, 1998).    

The common belief is that the difference may be have been brought about by diet. The native group sticks to their traditional food while the immigrants deviate to the western meal that constitute of meat and a lot of sugar (McKeith, 2006). On the other hand, scientists do not see it as wise to change diet in that people take more of the traditional delicacies and avoid the beef and sweet foods; rather they advice on eating a  healthy balanced diet and going for regular screening. They insist that this is the best way of minimizing the risk of getting breast cancer (Beliveau, 2007). 

Scientists find it hard to single out a particular food that causes cancer. They have suggested that there could be ingredients in the diet that increase mutations to the DNA (Biosciences information service of abstract experts, 1998) or that is causing changes to the hormonal balance. Both of these factors can lead to cancer. However, there has been no study on this subject that could identify the reason why this is so.

Dietary as a factor causing cancer is still debatable. Results from related studies do not support the concept that taking in fat at middle age increase the risk of breast cancer (Carol, 2004).  However, the gaining of weight in middle life does. The consumption of alcohol is seen as a major contributor to high risks. Western culture consumes food that is rich in fat. Such foods could lead to obesity and consequently increases the chances of southern women of contracting the disease. (Mary, 2010) As much as the immigrants have low incidences of getting cancer, this advantages gradually changes for the worst. These observations support the concept that nutrition is an environmental determinant of breast cancer (Simone, 1994).

Experiments done on rodent’s show that a diet of high fat increases the occurrence of mammary tumors in them though results coming from animals can be controversial. It is difficult to distinguish the effects of fat and that of energy intake in the studies of cancer. It’s in studies specifically created to show the independent effects of fat and energy intake that the effect of fat has been determined to be weak in relation to that of energy or simply failed to exist. The hypothesis on high fat diet is therefore most reliable when based on observation. High consumption rates leads to high breast cancer mortality rates. Just as seen in south Asian women who migrated to New York.

It is the great difference created by South Asian women that we have to the conclusion that food is a major factor when it comes to cancer. It also could be an answer that would curb the current epidemic (Salaman, 1983). It is no wonder that food such as flaxseed has become very popular in America (American public health association, 2003) since its thought to have healing effects. The cereal is made out of flax oil which is a very nutritious fat. The other component very vital is a fiber very special known to protect against breast cancer and heart diseases (Kilham, 1991). With the right diet the need of surgery that’s required from a mastectomy to a lumpectomy is greatly reduced.    

Diet can therefore be said to play a major role in fighting cancer as shown by the South Asian immigrant women in New York (Eidem, 2009). They changed their diets and moved from being cancer resistant to people vulnerable to the disease. Nutrition is emerging as the most effective way to prevent breast cancer (Kushi, 1993). An experiment on done rats whereby rats induced with cells of human breast cancer developed at a fast rate tumors when fed a diet heavy in omega-6 fat and the opposite happens when fed in omega-3 fats. This diet is to be taken by people who have survived cancer. It’s highly recommended that people once victims of cancer should take large amounts of fish oil (Weil, 1990).

Limitations

The strengths

This study is based on observing the treads of the South Asian women living in New York City USA. This particular group shows a high resistance to the disease before their immigration. This immunity seems to reduce down the generation; and this is a fact that cannot be denied. Offspring currently born in the city show those Asian women are better at fighting cancer than the white women. (Rebecca, 2009). This change can be said to have been brought about by the change of lifestyle. This is also so because those who remained in Asia; and therefore kept to their traditional diet still remain strong to the malignant cells. By observation exhibited by this group of people then a deduction can be made that diet has a lot to do with risks of getting breast cancer.

These observations are also reliable because there is a distinct difference on the kind of delicacies taken by the South Asian women back at home and what has been introduced to the immigrants in New York (Hofstetter, 2001). In the Western culture, food is high in fat and cholesterol while their traditional meals are about low fat meals like vegetables. The latter on does not promote obesity which is one of the factors promoting the chances of having cancer at adult age. The data collected based on these two observations are undisputable and clear. The nutrients proposed for prevention of breast cancer also help in preventing other diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, other kinds of cancers, diabetes and obesity (Quillin, 2001).

Food is a lot kinder (Carlos, 2007) to one’s body than drugs. With drugs there could be side effects especially with very strong ones. However with diet, things are flexible. Changing what you eat can interrupt many places in the sequence that causes cancer without having toxic implications as drugs have (Patrick, 2007). Diet is actually capable of altering the structure of the breast. It is also able to changing the flow of hormones in the body’s blood stream that causes breast from the beginning. It’s also not cumbersome and offers a variety of options to choose from (Kelly, 1994).

There are different categories of women pruned to breast cancer and for unique reasons. Therefore a variety of diets are prescribed to cater for their needs (Beliveau, 2007). This are:

  • A diet for women who have high levels of estrogen, basically women who have not reached menopause yet
  • A diet for women with low estrogen (George, 1982).
  • A woman once a victim of breast cancer but survived
  • A diet for women at high risk of contracting the disease, powerful supplements are recommended for such patients.

This diet designed and purposed to fight cancerous cells is both a preventive mechanism and a treating tool (Marchetti, 1988). However, though primary, it shouldn’t dispose of the secondary prevention. Finding tumors at their earliest stages is very vital. This is to say that one has to self-examine herself; so is mammography. This two do still play a major role when it comes to minimizing the risk of death from breast cancer (Corrigan, 2008).      

Weakness

The hypothesis largely depends on per capita fat consumption which in turn relies on economic development; not only that but also low parity and having a first child at an old age; such things as much body fat and high levels of physical inactivity also affects the concepts. The data could also be unreliable because its estimates are based on the disappearance of food. It looks on the food available rather than the amount of food consumed. Food alone as a factor is not sufficient enough to show how it affects the immune system of people. One might take a balanced diet but also being a heavy drinker or smoker and this equally increases the chances of getting cancer (Eugene, 2009). Moreover, there is no substantial connection between animal fat intake and chances for getting breast cancer.  

Conclusion

It is with hard and dedicated studies on South Asian women living New York that food has become of importance in trying to not only prevent cancer but also eradicate the pandemic it so greatly caused (Livingston, 1983). It’s this particular group that show clearly the impact food has on one’s health. The matter of food as a means of fighting such a deadly disease was taken skeptically at first. However, after a collection of data showing how unlikely South Asian immigrants were to having food was greatly advanced and has proved to be working for the best. A healthy balanced diet and early screening is excellent ways of fighting breast cancer (Ernie, 2002).          

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