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June 2009 Mayo Clinic Health Letter Highlights Probiotics, Carotid Artery and Breast Cancer Treatments
Date:7/7/2009

a larger percentage of people with carotid artery stenosis -- not just those at high risk for carotid endarterectomy.

Researchers Finding New Ways to Prevent, Diagnose and Treat Breast Cancer

ROCHESTER, Minn. -- Breast cancer is the most common cancer specific to women. An eight-page "Special Report" on breast cancer in the June issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers recent advancements in prevention, detection and treatment.

Overall, breast cancer survival rates are among the highest of all cancers, and the number of deaths is declining. Nearly 89 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer live for at least five years after treatment. Still, 40,000 Americans died from this cancer last year. Here are some advancements making a difference in breast cancer outcomes:

Prevention: Healthy lifestyles reduce the risk of breast cancer. Studies have shown that women who exercise about 30 minutes three or four times a week can decrease their breast cancer risk by about 26 percent. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that women who lost 22 pounds after menopause reduced their risk of developing breast cancer by 45 percent.

Other studies have shown that women who drink one to two alcoholic drinks a day increase their risk of breast cancer by 10 percent. That risk jumps to 30 percent when women consume three or more alcoholic beverages a day.

Screening: Mammography is still the standard of care for screening and remains the only screening test shown to decrease the chance of dying of breast cancer. But recently, several cancer organizations have recommended that women who are at very high risk of developing breast cancer also undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) annually. This technique uses a magnet and radio waves to create detailed two-dimensional images. It's especially helpful in eva
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