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Broccoli combats even the most aggressive breast cancer, say scientists

Compounds from vegetables such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts can combat even the most aggressive types of breast cancer, scientists have revealed this week.

An ingredient called diindolylmethane (DIM), which is found in the vegetables, is the active ingredient that can beat even triple-negative breast cancer, the most aggressive type that affects around 20 per cent of all sufferers.

Scientists from Florida’s and Texas’s A&M Universities say that a new compound made up of DIM is more effective, and less debilitating, than current conventional treatments available, such as chemotherapy.

The scientists told a major pharmaceutical conference last week that they were “confident” the new compound represents an effective and safe alternative. The fact it can combat triple-negative breast cancer is especially impressive. This type grows faster, spreads to other parts of the body earlier and is harder to detect by mammogram screening, which invariably fails to spot fast-growing tumours.

(Source: The 2012 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists annual meeting and exposition, Chicago, Illinois).