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Breast cancer is cancer that affects breast cells. Contrary to what many believe, breast cancer can affect both men and women. However, the likelihood of a man getting breast cancer is less than one percent while women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than any other cancer. The survival rate for people with breast cancer decreases rapidly with increasing stages of the cancer. However, early detection and treatment contribute significantly to higher survival rates. There are many different types of breast cancer, which are distinguished by the appearance of the cancer cells. A particularly threatening type of breast cancer is triple negative breast cancer, named for the lack of three receptors present on the cancer cells that are usually targeted for treating other types of breast cancer. Although other treatment methods such as chemotherapy may be effective, triple negative breast cancer is likely to recur after remission. Fortunately, a recent study reveals a new possible treatment that may increase the likelihood of survival for those affected by this specific type of breast cancer.

 Breast cancer cells.

Image Source: Cultura RM Exclusive/Rolf Ritter

Researchers discovered that rosehip extracts can reduce the reproduction and spread of triple negative breast cancer cells. The researchers introduced concentrations of rosehip extracts, ranging from 0.025 milligrams per milliliter to one milligram per milliliter, to human tissue cultures containing these cancer cells. They discovered that exposure to one milligram per milliliter of rosehip extract reduced the reproduction of triple negative breast cancer cells by 50% and reduced its spread by up to 45%, while smaller concentrations of the extract resulted in lower levels of reductions in the growth and migration of these cancer cells. Further testing suggests that rosehip extracts are capable of treating triple negative breast cancer because they limit the activity of two enzymes, MAPK and Akt, that have been shown to be involved in the growth of these cancer cells.

The idea that eating a pill made from rosehips can treat breast cancer may seem surprising, but rosehip extracts have already been shown to be effective in treating brain cancer. The use of rosehip extracts is a more natural and likely a more affordable treatment option without any observed side effects. As a result, its discovery may be a source of comfort to those affected by triple negative breast cancer.

Feature Image Source: Red rose ‘Grand Hotel’ by Sue Lowdnes

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