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Old 07-01-2005, 08:41 AM
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Default breast cancer group won't take pharma funding

Breast cancer group picky on donors
It won't take money from pharmaceutical firms as a mark of independence.

By Dorsey Griffith -- Bee Medical Writer
Published 2:15 am PDT Sunday, June 26, 2005

Among the many national health and disease charities, a handful flat-out refuse drug company money.

One of them is Breast Cancer Action, a San Francisco-based grass-roots group that advocates research into links between breast cancer and environmental factors.

Breast Cancer Action has an extensive funding policy, which states it will not accept contributions from pharmaceutical, chemical, oil or tobacco companies, health insurance organizations or cancer treatment facilities.

"The organization was founded on the position that it could not be bought," explained Barbara Brenner, the group's executive director. "You don't have to agree with us, but at least you know we are saying it not because we were paid to say it, but because it's what we believe."

Those beliefs include a philosophy of prevention. Breast Cancer Action, for example, pushes for legislation to limit human exposure to pollutants believed to cause cancer. It also opposes drug therapy to prevent breast cancer.

Brenner acknowledged that Breast Cancer Action was not always so strict about its financial ties.

In 1997, for example, it accepted a $1,500 check from Genentech, the maker of the breast cancer drug Herceptin, for a conference in San Francisco featuring former U.S. Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders.

When Genentech sent the group another, unsolicited $1,000 in 1998, it was returned. By then, leaders of Breast Cancer Action had taken stock of public criticism of a drug company's sponsorship of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

"Some people thought we were crazy," Brenner said of the decision, which was followed by a new, far stricter policy.

Today, a little more than half of the group's $900,000 annual income comes from individual donors. Another 35 percent comes from foundations and 10 percent from businesses.

The sponsoring businesses include a clothing boutique, thrift shop, eyewear store, local magazine, organic soy foods company, sex education company and environmental products store. The only well-known corporate contributors are Wells Fargo Bank and Lifetime Television.

Brenner said the donor limits hurt Breast Cancer Action financially in 2004, forcing it to delay hiring and ask staffers to take 10 days off without pay.

But she said tough times are a reasonable tradeoff for integrity.

"What we wouldn't give to have $3 million just come in the door," she said. "But we just can't do it."

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Old 07-01-2005, 02:48 PM
bj
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Default Re: breast cancer group won't take pharma funding

So, that means they don't say anything about food (esp. soy &/or "organic") in relation to cancer, or about whatever it is that an "environmental products store" sells (& they do look at environmental factors vs cancer), or even about various types of clothing that might be useful or suitable for b/c patients & survivors?

I wonder if they vet their individual donors?
bj
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Grapefruit link to breast cancer

Eating too much grapefruit could increase risks of breast cancer
Eating grapefruit every day could raise the risk of developing breast cancer by almost a third, US scientists say.

A study of 50,000 post-menopausal women found eating just a quarter of a grapefruit daily raised the risk by up to 30%.

The fruit is thought to boost levels of oestrogen - the hormone associated with a higher risk of the disease, the British Journal of Cancer reported.

But the researchers and other experts said more research was still needed.


This is an interesting study, but is simply a piece of the jigsaw that will eventually help us to understand how our diets affect our health
Dr Joanne Lunn

The women had to fill in questionnaires saying how often they ate grapefruit and how big their portions were.

Oestrogen important

The researchers, at the universities of South California and Hawaii, found that women who ate one quarter of a grapefruit or more every day had a higher risk of breast cancer than those who did not eat the fruit at all.

Previous studies have shown that a molecule called cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) is involved in metabolising oestrogen hormones.

And grapefruit may boost blood oestrogen levels by inhibiting this molecule, allowing the hormones to build up.

The researchers found that in women who ate at least a quarter of a grapefruit daily, levels of oestrogen were higher.

They said: "It is well established that oestrogen is associated with breast cancer risk.

"Therefore, if grapefruit intake affects oestrogen metabolism leading to higher circulating levels, then it is biologically plausible that regular intake of grapefruit would increase a woman's risk of breast cancer."

More research

And they said this was the first time a commonly eaten food had been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer in older women.

However, they warned that more research was needed to confirm the findings which may have been affected because they only took into account intake of the fruit, but not grapefruit juice.

Breast cancer accounts for almost a third of all cancers in women, and previous lifestyle factors linked to the disease include drinking alcohol and being overweight.

Dr Joanne Lunn, a nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation said: "This is an interesting study of a large group of post-menopausal women whose diet and health have been followed for many years.

"However, this study is simply a piece of the jigsaw that will eventually help us to understand how our diets affect our health.

"Although we are beginning to get a better awareness of how our diets can modify the risk of diseases such as cancer, we are still a long way from identifying particular foods that might specifically increase or decrease risk."

However, she said that some dietary patterns are associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers and that a diet rich in a variety of different fruits and vegetables could help reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers. https://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6900482.stm
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