Research reveals whether turmeric helps in breast cancer treatment
The UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center conducted a study to investigate the usage of the South Asian spice Turmeric to reduce joint pain and discomfort during breast cancer treatments.
Approximately 70 per cent of breast cancer cases are hormonally driven, and treatment involves oral oestrogen blockers. However, the medications can induce joint pain, which is why many women stop taking them, placing them at an increased risk of a relapse.
The Safeway Foundation awarded UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Centre a $50,000 grant to investigate the usage of the South Asian spice Turmeric to alleviate joint discomfort in breast cancer patients on anti-estrogen medicines.
"This gift will have a tremendous impact on our program," said Mili Arora, UC Davis associate professor of haematology and oncology. "We thank the Safeway Foundation for supporting our efforts to help breast cancer patients live their lives to the fullest extent possible."
Turmeric, a flowering plant in the ginger family, is used by some arthritis sufferers who say it reduces their joint pain. The Safeway Foundation grant will help UC Davis test giving turmeric in a pill form in combination with oral anti-estrogen drugs. The goal is to see if the spice can successfully reduce joint pain in breast cancer patients and explore whether it improves the quality of their lives.
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"It's an honour to support the work of the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Centre. Every day we learn about organizations that go above and beyond to help people and the cancer centre is an excellent example," said Wendy Gutshall, director of public affairs for Safeway.
The study will allow Dr Arora and her team to provide breast cancer patients with important data on the safety and effectiveness of using turmeric with oral anti-estrogen therapy.
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Centre is the only National Cancer Institute-designated centre serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 15,000 adults and children every year and access to more than 150 active clinical trials at any given time.
Its innovative research program engages more than 225 scientists at UC Davis who work collaboratively to advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Patients have access to leading-edge care, including immunotherapy and other targeted treatments. Its Office of Community Outreach and Engagement addresses disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations, and the cancer center provides comprehensive education and workforce development programs for the next generation of clinicians and scientists.