"While the survival rate has increased due to treatments for breast cancer, the quality of life has decreased because of the side effects of chemotherapy. Various toxins are being developed as alternative breast cancer treatments, and bee venom is drawing attention as one of them.
We analyzed the effect of bee venom and its components on breast cancer cells and reviewed the mechanism underlying the anticancer effects of bee venom. Data up to March 2022 were searched from PubMed, EMBASE, OASIS, KISS, and Science Direct online databases, and studies that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed.Among 612 studies, 11 were selected for this research.Several drugs were administered, including crude bee venom, melittin, phospholipase A2, and their complexes.All drugs reduced the number of breast cancer cells in proportion to the dose and time.
The mechanisms of anticancer effects included cytotoxicity, apoptosis, cell targeting, gene expression regulation, and cell lysis. Summarily, bee venom and its components exert anticancer effects on human breast cancer cells.
Depending on the mechanisms of anticancer effects, side effects are expected to be reduced by using various vehicles. Bee venom and its components have the potential to prevent and treat breast cancer in the future." This was explained by researchers in the Anticancer Activity of Bee Venom Components against Breast Cancer study, published in the Toxins.
Risk factors for developing this tumor are obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, excessive intake of alcoholic beverages, some types of hormone replacement therapy for menopause, exposure to ionizing radiation, early age of first menstruation and having children in old age or not having any at all.
5-10% of cases are due to genes inherited from parents, including BRCA1 and BRCA2 among others. Breast cancer most commonly develops in the cells lining the lactiferous ducts and in the lobules that supply the breast milk ducts.
The former are known as ductal carcinomas, while the latter are known as lobular carcinomas. In addition, there are more than 18 other sub-types of breast cancer classified. Some types develop from pre-invasive lesions such as ductal carcinoma in situ.
The diagnosis is confirmed by biopsy and once that is done, further tests can be done to determine if and how much the tumor has expanded and which treatment to prefer. The prognosis for breast cancer varies depending on the type, extent of the disease, and age of the patient.
Survival rates in the developed world are high, with estimated values ranging between 80% and 90% 5 years after diagnosis. In developing countries these values are much lower. Worldwide, breast cancer represents the leading type of cancer in women and accounts for 25% of all cancer cases.
In 2012, there were 1.68 million cases which led to 522,000 deaths. It is more common in developed countries and is more than 100 times more common in women than men.