Curcumin: A Household Spice That Also Shrinks Tumors

You probably know curcumin best for being the spicy, orange powder added to flavor our favorite curry dishes. A product of the southeast Indian plant, turmeric, curcumin may be the next promising, potential cure for breast cancer. A recent study published in Cancer Prevention Research shows that inserting curcumin directly into a tumor can shrink it. According to Dr. Ramesh C. Gupta, “curcumin administered via implants resulted in significant reduction in both the tumor multiplicity, and tumor volume."

Eating Curcumin VS. Injecting Curcumin

In Dr. Gupta's study, there were two sets of mice with cancer: mice who consumed curcumin, and mice that were implanted with curcumin. The mice that ate curcumin showed no effects from the diet change. As for the mice that were implanted, their tumors shrank significantly in size and spread at a slower pace over the course of a few months. This shows that implanting curcumin into cancerous tissue reduces the spread and growth of tumors.

It's important to understand that while incorporating more turmeric into your diet may help reduce the risk of breast cancer, it has no positive impact on an already diagnosed disease. In order to affect someone with breast cancer, curcumin needs to be directly injected into the tumor to be effective.

Curcumin Also Prevents Alzheimer's

Curcumin was first acknowledged by the medical community for its ability to relieve inflammation and pain—which it has since been used for in India for centuries. More recently, curcumin has made headlines for not only reducing cancer risk, but also preventing Alzheimer's disease. Although there is no cure yet for either, India, the country with the second highest population in the world, ranks among the countries with the lowest cases of both diseases. This may be due to the prevalence of curcumin in Indian cuisine acting as a preventative force.

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Mastectomies May Be A Thing Of The Past

Surgeons try their best to preserve the shape of the breast when performing a mastectomy, but not all surgeries leave patients with asymmetrical breasts. More often than not, patients will undergo some degree of breast augmentation after their mastectomy. But if curcumin treatment allows patients to receive an injection instead of forcing them to go under the knife, mastectomies and post-op breast augmentation could be a thing of the past.

The ability to shrink tumors predicts a future with less tumor removal surgeries. In the case of breast cancer, the number of mastectomies and lumpectomies will decrease if this cancer treatment proves to be successful.

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