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A Swedish Ounce of Prevention

May 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 134

Several thousand women a year are diagnosed with breast cancer in Sweden, making it the country's most common form of cancer in women. Thus, its prevention would improve quality of life and rate of mortality for a significant part of the population.

Studies so far confirm that there can be a genetic defect involved in some occurrences of breast cancer in women. But the picture is much more complex, as those without any such genetic mutation can also be affected.

So, the questions remain: why do some women get it, despite a healthy life style and others do not? How much do genetic factors influence one's risk?

If one is genetically predisposed to develop this disease, can other factors prevent it? In addition to lifestyle factors, are there environmental triggers that may be involved?

Considering the potential savings of lives and health care costs, this field has become more and more interesting to researchers in Sweden.

One such researcher, a professor at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Dr. Per Hall, recently devised a way to study the occurrence of breast cancer by following 100,000 women living in Sweden for ten years.

Named "The Karma Study" (Karolinska Mammogram Project) it will recruit women from different parts of Sweden during the coming two to three years.

The women all fill in a questionnaire on lifestyle and family history. At the time of their routine mammogram screening, they also leave a blood sample. Those who have previously been treated for breast cancer are also invited to participate in the study.

The study will try to identify those who risk getting the disease and discover if it is possible to prevent it. Researchers at Lund University will also be involved as major collaborators.

In an interview for Helsingborgs Dagblad, Professor Hall said, "It has been so frustrating to not have had the time and opportunity to get the answers to the questions about which women will get breast cancer."

Now with over $10,000,000 of funding from the EU, Swedish Research Council and Marit & Hans Rausing (Tetra Pak heirs) the opportunity has materialized.

http://karmastudy.org/sources/

For several thousand women a year, their findings may mean knowing how to avoid getting this disease. Others may benefit from less anxiety about a loved one becoming ill.

For the entire population of Sweden, The Karma Study will hopefully mean economic savings that can be applied to the next health mystery awaiting investigation.

Until then, "ounces of prevention" via healthy diets, regular, vigorous exercise, limited alcohol consumption and no smoking are surely worth much more than we can ever imagine... until we fall ill.

May, 2012

Lund, Sweden

About the Author: Janet Boynton Runeson is a freelance web copywriter and director of Entrepreneurial Copy. With several advanced degrees in the humanities, fine arts and economics, she has extensive experience in international marketing and specializes in cultural awareness.

Source: EzineArticles
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