A study published in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention by researchers at the Catholic University of Korea has added its support to a growing body of evidence that suggests that women whose vitamin D levels are adequate have a greater chance of survival following a diagnosis of breast cancer.
What they determined was that women who maintained a level of 20 ng/ml or higher of 25(OH)D experienced a considerable improvement to their rate of survival when they had breast cancer. This research represented the first time vitamin D levels were measured steadily over time and that used alterations of the status of that nutrient as a breast cancer prognostic predictor. It also provided confirmation between the levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream of a patient and the likelihood of survival, studied in detail by using stratifications of age and cancer stage.
The researchers conducted a retrospective review(i) of 491 breast cancer patient medical records at St Vincent hospital in Korea. The data reviewed was from January 2000 through December 2008. The patients whose medical record data was analyzed had received baseline vitamin D level tests before having undergone surgery, as well as during their annual follow-ups over a period of four years. The survival results among stage 3 patients with higher vitamin D levels were particularly remarkable.
The researchers also took note of considerable vitamin D level fluctuations throughout the 4 year follow-up period and conducted an analysis on associations with survival rate.
The conclusion of the authors were that the vitamin D levels upon diagnosis of breast cancer and at the 1 year follow-up date is significantly linked with a breast cancer patient’s chances of survival. They stated that the findings of this study could show that an effort to maintain an adequate vitamin D level among patients through the use of supplementation or lifestyle modification may be considered to be worthwhile for improving survival from breast cancer.
- (i) Association Between Alterations in the Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Status During Follow-Up and Breast Cancer Patient Prognosis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25824788
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