Volume 14, Issue 4 ( Winter 2006 2007)                   JSSU 2007, 14(4): 2-8 | Back to browse issues page

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Introduction: Breast Cancer is one of the most important fatal cancers in women. The mean age of breast cancer in Iran is 48.8 years which is very lower than other countries. Selenium can play an important role in reduction of cancer in several ways, for example selenium increases immunity response and protects cells from oxidation of free radicals and also decreases carcinogenic metabolites. Breast cancer is one of the most important cancers in our country because its incidence is very high and the mean age of patients is very low. Different studies have shown the benefits of selenium in prevention of cancer and since many years selenium has been used as a dietary supplement in advanced countries. Several studies regarding relationship between selenium levels and breast cancer have been done in different countries. We therefore planned a study to evaluate serum selenium levels in breast cancer patients and compare them with a healthy control group. Methods: We selected 45 patients younger than 48 years old and 33 patients older than 48 years old who had not yet received any therapy (surgery, chemotherapy, etc) for their cancer as a case group and 46 healthy people who were matched with the patients as a control group and included 23 persons younger and 23 persons older than 48 years old. From each participant, 5cc blood was derived and in several stages, serum selenium levels were evaluated using atomic absorption technology. Data about type of cancer, stage, grade, IHC and cigarette smoking were also collected. Results: The mean Se level was 161.20 μg/l (SD=46.27 μg/l) in the patients and 189.13 μg/l (SD=48.75 μg/l) in the control group that was statistically significant (P<0.001). The mean Se level in younger patients (< 48 years old) was 169.35 μg/l (SD=47.34 μg/l), while that in older patients (>48 years old) was 155.39 μg/l (SD=46.68 μg/l) that was lower than the control groups. Difference in serum selenium levels between patients and controls in the older group was significant (P=0.007), but in the younger group, it was not statistically significant (P=0.23). Conclusion: Prescription of selenium as a dietary supplement may have a protective role against development of breast cancer, particularly in older ages and widespread studies need to be performed to prove this postulation. Key Words: Breast cancer, Selenium
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Type of Study: Original article | Subject: General
Received: 2011/01/10 | Published: 2007/01/15

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