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Women who have received positive breast cancer tests may benefit from increasing the amount of vitamin A they get in their diet. A new study has shown that a derivative of the nutrient may control the growth of tumor cells and keep them from becoming an issue.
A group of researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Center examined the effects of retinoic acid, which the body produces from vitamin A, on the growth of several types of breast cancer cells. They showed that the substance can keep tumor cells from replicating and spreading throughout tissue.
Past studies showed similar results, but it was not clear how retinoic acid stopped cancer growth. The new study indicates that it appears to regulate the expression of certain genes within tumor cells. This may instruct these cells to halt their growth or even instruct them to self-destruct.
However, this action was only possible in early-stage cancer cells. This underscores the need for maintaining proper vitamin A levels and receiving regular breast cancer testing to catch any potential problems in their early stages.
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