Beating Cancer Without Drugs

So oftentimes people use the phrases "personalized medicine" and "pharmacogenomics" interchangably, in the sense that "real" personalized medicine means finding out about your risks and predispositions early, then taking treatments personalized to your genetic profile. But that's only one aspect of how things might play out. Before turning to drugs, it's likely physicians will recommend lifestyle changes - exercise, diet, etc - to ward off possible risks. The question is: Do such behavior modifications actually work? And do they take?

New research from Cancer Research UK indicates that the answer to the first question - do they work - is likely yes. Relatively simple behavior changes could eliminate 10 percent of future breast cancer cases in the UK. The main changes: reduce the use of hormone replacement therapy, increased exercise, and reduced alcohol consumption. It's not clear from the BBC story just what sort of research this is based on, but it's clearly a forward looking projection. So what about the other issue - do they take? That's still an open question.

Thomas Goetz1 Comment