How to avoid a breakfast conversation none of us wants to have

  • These statistics are more than worrying, they’ll scare you
  • Why could this essential vitamin hold the key?
  • Discover the major health benefits that are ‘E-asy’ to get hold of

October is breast cancer awareness month in the UK.

You might think that you know all about this common cancer, and I hope that any women reading this is regularly checking their own body for the early signs

Maybe that is why the rates of early stage detection of breast cancer in women continues to improve, although the statistics for this horrendous condition still make for the stuff of nightmares:

  • There were over 55,000 new cases identified for women in the UK in 2020
  • There were nearly 12,000 deaths as a result of this cancer in 2019
  • Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK
  • Female breast cancer incidence rates in Great Britain have increased by 72% since the mid-1970s
  • Men also suffer from the condition but to a much lower level with around 400 deaths in the UK each year.

(Source: Cancer Research UK, 2021)

I apologise if I have scared you with this set of stark facts but it wasn’t until I was talking to my wife, Lara, over breakfast the other day I realised how close to home the problem was.

One of her close friends has just been diagnosed with the condition and it has really shocked her about how she had been neglecting her own checks.

Visibly shaken she asked me what I knew about natural ways to help prevent the formation of cancerous cells in the breast – and this proved to me how upset she was as it comes as second nature to her to avoid ‘setting me off’ as she calls it.

This was no time for me to be flippant.

Having recently read up on the latest research around cancer for a later newsletter I was aware that there was quite a lot of research showing that a humble vitamin could make a significant contribution to reducing the risks.

Sorted for Es

Back in 1984 a team working in Guernsey(1) in the Channel Islands started to look at blood assays in 5,000 women on the island and then in great detail at 39 of them who went on to develop breast cancer subsequently.

What they found was pretty startling, as they discovered that the risk of breast cancer in women with vitamin E levels in the lowest 20% of the sample set was about 5-times higher than the risk for women with levels in the highest 20%.

This started to show an association between dietary levels of this powerfully anti-oxidant vitamin and protection from developing the condition.

A major 2004 study(2) took the original data and began to assess why this vitamin should have such a potent affect against cancer cells and discovered that it uniquely has the ability to induce cancer cells, but not normal cells, to undergo a form of cell death called apoptosis.

This effect was enhanced when naturally occurring vitamin E was used, which included a full spectrum of the slight variants in the compound as opposed to chemically synthesised types, which had limited or no effect on the malignant cells.

Foods which are rich in this key vitamin are those such as wheat germ oil, rapeseed oil, almond oil and sunflower oil with small amounts available in broccoli and avocados – none of which are significant staples in our diets.

The responsible tightrope

One thing that is guaranteed to make my publisher worried is when I write about conditions like cancer because he views the various claims made by many people in the natural health arena as potentially dangerous.

It’s a concern I share too. Most of the products being touted as the natural answer tend to be based upon poor quality research and understanding about how cancer actually develops in the body.

And I’m not saying that vitamin E is the answer, but if you are worried about the risks of breast cancer and want to find a natural, preventative, way of helping then vitamin E, especially in natural form, is worth considering.

The kind of statistics I mentioned earlier in this letter makes breast cancer a condition that we should all take seriously, even us men.

Something else in Cancer UK’s numbers that is worth noting is that breast cancer amongst the male population is on the increase with 370 male deaths in 2019 being recorded as a result of the condition.

Vitamin E might not be a cure or indeed the only way to protect yourself but right now the evidence tends to suggest that it won’t do any harm…

…and it might just stop you having the same kind of conversation I have had at the breakfast table.

A natural choice to make in protecting yourself and your family – vitamin E rich multivitamin & mineral


  • Wald, N. J., Boreham, J., Hayward, J. L., & Bulbrook, R. D. (1984). Plasma retinol, beta-carotene and vitamin E levels in relation to the future risk of breast cancer. British journal of cancer, 49(3), 321. 
  • Kline, K., Yu, W., & Sanders, B. G. (2004). Vitamin E and breast cancer. The Journal of nutrition, 134(12), 3458S-3462S.