PVM Involved in Breast Cancer Prevention Recommendations

November 15, 2013

An international group of experts, including Purdue Veterinary Medicine Associate Professor of Basic Medical Sciences Sophie Lelièvre, has issued recommendations emphasizing that the time from before birth to puberty is a critical window for breast cancer prevention, when diet and exercise could have a significant positive impact.  "Windows of opportunity for positively impacting the genes that control breast health are very important in terms of preventing breast cancer," said Dr. Lelièvre, who is co-chair of the International Breast Cancer and Nutrition Project and the leader of the breast cancer discovery group at the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research. "From fetal life to puberty is a very sensitive time for these genes and a time when introducing positive and protective environmental factors like limiting fatty and sugary foods and regularly exercising should be emphasized."

The recommendations came from a think tank of 25 leaders in the field from eight countries who met Oct. 9-12 in Saumur, France. The think tank was co-organized by Purdue, the French School of Public Health (EHESP) and the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and was part of the International Breast Cancer and Nutrition Project (IBCN). The project task force is preparing a manuscript detailing its recommendations for prevention and for the future of international primary prevention research. Dr. Lelièvre co-chaired the think tank with Connie Weaver, a distinguished professor and head of the Department of Nutrition Science at Purdue.

The group also highlighted the need to measure the psychological aspect of prevention approaches, according to Dr. Lelièvre.  "Primary prevention of chronic diseases is a relatively new facet of health care and it involves working with healthy patients with no clinical signs of the disease.  As scientists develop new ways to assess and decrease breast cancer risk, it is essential to measure the psychological impact of these procedures," Dr. Lelièvre said.  To view a complete news release about the recommendations, click here.  Additional information is available at www.purdue.edu/breastcancer.

Writer: Kevin Doerr, pvmnews@purdue.edu

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