Curcumin, the active ingredient in the Indian spice turmeric and part of the ginger family, is noted for its powerful antioxidant, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties. In recent years, curcumin has become known as a potent cancer-preventing agent. According to Bharat Aggarwal, Professor at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, “No cancer has been found, to my knowledge that is not affected by curcumin”.
There are many ways that curcumin affects cancer cells.
- Decreases inflammation in the body (known precursor to cancer)
- Inhibits the proliferation (rapid increase) of tumor cells
- Help body destroy mutated cancer cells so they can’t spread (metastasis)
- Inhibits the transformation of cells from normal to tumor
- Helps prevent angiogenesis (blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth)
- Initiates paraptosis (programmed cell death) in breast cancer stem cells
- Increases effectiveness of certain drugs while inhibiting their toxicity to healthy cells
According to a recent article in the New York Times, “for the first time, the incidence of breast cancer among black women is equal to that of white women”. They continue by saying, “black women are more likely to be found to have an aggressive form of the disease called triple-negative breast cancer, which has a poorer prognosis”.
The encouraging news is that, according to many published studies, curcumin has been found to induce apoptosis (programmed cancer cell death) and inhibit proliferation of triple-negative breast cancer cells as well as other cancer cells throughout the body. This makes curcumin a promising and encouraging addition in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer.
Prevention is the cure! Thermography is able to provide an early indication of increased blood supply (angiogenesis) to an area where cancer cells are beginning to multiply and grow. By being aware of early changes going on within the breast, prevention can become a reality.