Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Possible Virus Risk Factor In Breast Cancer

Possible Virus Risk Factor In Breast Cancer

A study just published in the prestigious British Journal of Cancer by researchers at the University of Otago’s Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences and Dunedin School of Medicine, and the University of Melbourne, has found evidence of a link between a common virus and breast cancer in women under the age of 40 years.

The research suggests that those women who are exposed in adulthood to the virus, cytomegalovirus, may have a greater risk of developing breast cancer, the most common cancer affecting women in New Zealand. 377 women were included in the study, and blood samples were taken to measure antibody levels to cytomegalovirus, and to another virus; Epstein-Barr virus.

“Countries where most people are exposed to cytomegalovirus and other viruses in childhood, have lower rates of breast cancer, “ says principal researcher Dr Ann Richardson.

”Our study found that women with breast cancer had higher cytomegalovirus antibody levels than women without breast cancer. The higher antibody levels could be the result of more recent infection with cytomegalovirus. This may mean that late infection with cytomegalovirus,rather than in childhood, is a risk factor for breast cancer”

Dr Richardson says that it is not unusual to find links between viruses and increased cancer risk. Several cancers such as cervical, liver, and some forms of leukaemia are known to be caused by viruses. Breast cancer in mice can also be caused by a virus. Cytomegalovirus or CMV is a common virus that is shed in breast milk as well as saliva, urine, cervical secretions and semen.

The study also investigated links between another virus, Epstein-Barr, and breast cancer but the results are negative.

At present it is still scientifically unclear exactly how CMV might cause or influence the development of breast cancer. Dr Richardson says that further research is needed. The most exciting possibility is, if late infection with CMV does increase the risk of breast cancer, it could be possible to decrease the risk by exposing people to the virus by immunisation in childhood.

Around 2000 women develop breast cancer every year in New Zealand, but most are over the age of 40. Further research is needed to investigate this possible link between cytomegalovirus and breast cancer. This study was supported by the Cancer Society of New Zealand, which funded the antibody testing of the blood samples.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Reuben Moss' Property is Theft! & Kaitani at The Physics Room

Property is Theft! continues Moss’ interest in the contemporary urban environment as a space controlled by pulsing and unequal flows of capital and labour. Kaitani features work by the University of Canterbury Fijian Students Association and Kulimoe’anga Stone Maka. More>>


Handcrafted Form: Rare Treasures From Japan

This unique exhibition at Expressions Whirinaki represents 90 everyday objects made by contemporary Japanese artisans who employ various traditional craft techniques made in regional workshops. The works used in daily life are crafted from raw materials with techniques appropriate to bringing out the best of its medium, balancing ease of use with aesthetic appeal. More>>

Howard Davis Article: A Musical Axis - Brahms, Wagner, Sibelius

Brahms' warm and exquisitely subtle Symphony No. 3 in F major, Wagner's irrepressibly sentimental symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll, and Sibelius' chilling and immensely challenging Violin Concerto in D minor exemplify distinct stages of development in a tangled and convoluted series of skirmishes that came to define subsequent disputes about the nature of post-Romantic orchestral writing well into the following century. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: A Pale Ghost Writer

Reviewed by Ruth Brassington, Richard Flanagan's new novel is about a novelist hastily ghost-writing the biography of a crook about to go to trial. The reader is kept on a cliff-edge, as the narrator tries to get blood out of his stone man. More>>

New Zealand Wars Commemoration: Witi Ihimaera's Sleeps Standing Moetū

The second of several articles to mark Rā Maumahara, remembering the New Zealand Land Wars. The first was a Q&A with Vincent O’Malley, author of The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800–2000. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland