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US women in rural areas 'at higher risk of serious breast cancer'

Tuesday 25th October 2011
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    Women who live in rural areas are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with a more serious form of breast cancer, research has shown.

    A study conducted at the University of Missouri revealed that women living in rural areas are much more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer, the most severe form of the condition.

    It was found that women who have to travel between 50 and 75 miles to reach a healthcare facility are ten per cent more likely to be diagnosed when the condition is in its later stages.

    Those living in rural areas are less likely to seek preventative treatment and testing due to the high cost and time it takes.

    However, researcher Faustine Williams noted that the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed has a "tremendous impact" on the type of treatment prescribed, as well as recovery and survivability.

    "By strategically placing health screening facilities in poor and rural areas, women would have better access to healthcare and it would increase the likelihood that rural women would seek medical care and be diagnosed with breast cancer earlier," she said.

    This follows a paper published in the FASEB journal which revealed a red wine ingredient could halt the malignant progression of breast cancer.

    Researchers believe that resveratrol, which blocks the growth effect of oestrogen on cancer, could stop such growths.

    It also inhibits the proliferation of hormone resistant breast cancer cells, meaning it could potentially stop the disease's growth.

    However, editor of the journal Gerald Weissman noted that these findings did not mean red wine and reveratrol should be used as a treatment for the condition.

    "What it does mean, however, is that scientists haven't finished distilling the secrets of good health that have been hidden in natural products such as red wine," he said.

    Posted by Alex Franklin Stortford

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