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Breast Cancer Prevention Study with Vitamin D Launched by GrassrootsHealth

Enrollment Open for Community Groups.

August 5, 2011 - "75% of breast cancer could be prevented with higher vitamin D serum levels" says Dr. Cedric F. Garland of the Moores Cancer Center and UCSD School of Medicine. 

“This will potentially be the most important study ever conducted toward prevention of breast cancer.

The more women who participate in this study, the greater the chance that we will defeat breast cancer within our lifetimes.”

This new study will seek to examine the occurrence of breast cancer among a population of women 60 and over who achieve and maintain a targeted vitamin D serum level in the bloodstream. In addition to breast cancer prevention, short-term effects of vitamin D such as hypertension, falls, colds and flu will also be tracked. A minimum of 1000 women are expected to participate.

Community groups as well as individuals can still enroll in this study, which differs from previous studies in that it will examine outcomes related to achieved vitamin D serum levels rather than to a specific dosage. Interested community group leaders should contact Carole Baggerly, director of GrassrootsHealth, at mailto: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for additional information.

“We have designed this public health study to explore the role of vitamin D in the prevention of breast cancer by focusing on women realizing a physiological vitamin D serum concentration (40-60 ng/ml) instead of giving a fixed amount by mouth,” says Robert P. Heaney, MD, Creighton University, a co-investigator of the study.

The study is being launched with a community group in Northwest Arkansas and is sponsored by local individuals and philanthropic groups. Bio-Tech Pharmacal, based in Fayetteville, AR, will provide supplements at no cost to study participants.

The women in the study must be free of cancer at the time of enrollment (they may have had it in the past). Participation will include a home vitamin D test and an online health questionnaire to be completed each 6 months for a period of 5 years.

The need to try something different in the area of breast cancer research was recently brought home by the National Breast Cancer Coalition’s “Ending Breast Cancer: A Baseline Status Report” in which they acknowledged, “Breast cancer outcomes that matter most have not changed much over the last 20 years. The rate at which women are diagnosed with metastatic disease has remained constant for more than 40 years, and mortality from the disease has declined only slightly.”

In addition to changing the focus from dosage to vitamin D serum level, this study will also change the focus from finding a cure for cancer or early detection to primary prevention. “Many breast cancer organizations are trying to help women deal with breast cancer, but ‘primary prevention’ is virtually unheard of” says Baggerly,. “We don’t do prevention,” said one organization, “we have to care for the patients who have cancer.” According to Baggerly, “No organization will be able to truly prevent the occurrence of breast cancer or to reduce the recurrence without attention to vitamin D.”

Press here to enroll in this study Free Northwest Arkansas Breast Cancer Prevention Study.

For further information, please contact Carole Baggerly, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .