1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, a time to remind women (and men) to check their breast health. Early detection is important. Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death in women.

Self-checks and clinical exams are a part of the early detection process. However, new research suggestions that understanding what’s inside the breasts could lead to new advancements in preventing or treating breast cancer.

The human body is its own environment, taking in nutrients, producing new cells, and fighting off diseases.  Notably the gut has its own microbiome of bacteria, In charge of maintaining digestion and a majority of the body’s immune system. A new study by Gregor Reid from Western University in Ontario shows that the breast has its own microbiome.

The study used  81 women who’d undergone surgery for various reasons. They found women with breast cancer had higher levels of certain types of bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae, Staphylococcus and Bacillus. Also, women without cancer had higher levels of types like Lactococus and Streptococcus. But direct connections between cancer being prevented or caused by bacteria have not been established yet.

Bacteria are like weights on a scale, good and bad. Thus the greater amount of one type dominates the other, tipping the scale  positive or negative.

Earlier studies link breast feeding to a reduced  risk of breast cancer.  Consequently, scientists believe this is because the bacteria in breast milk supports the growth of beneficial microorganisms.  Reid and his team want to track and tag bad bacteria. They plan to use microbiology to improve detection methods.


An unknown combination of genetics and environmental factors cause breast cancer. The National Breast Cancer Foundation suggestions a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise reduce your risk. When we take care of our body’s nutritional needs, our body takes care of us. Nutrients support our immune system and  an environment for good bacteria to grow. Of course, you should always discuss with your doctor before you begin new health regiments, check on your cancer risks, and for prevention methods.


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