Literature Review Finds Link Between Diet and Breast Cancer Risk

A study published in Breast Cancer Research found that a Western dietary pattern (i.e., red and/or processed meats, high-fat dairy products, potatoes, and sweets) is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, while a prudent dietary pattern (i.e., fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products) is associated with a reduced risk.

The researchers conducted a literature review of PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane through September 2017. They identified 32 eligible articles, including 14 cohort and 18 case-control studies published between 2001 and 2016.

The pooled analyses found that a Western dietary pattern was associated with a 14% increased risk of breast cancer (relative risk [RR] = 1.14; 95% CI, 1.02-1.28), while a prudent dietary pattern was associated with an 18% reduced risk of breast cancer (RR=0.82; 95% CI, 0.75-0.89).

Sub-group analyses found that this association between Western diet and breast cancer risk was significant in postmenopausal (RR=1.20; 95% CI, 1.06-1.35) but not premenopausal (RR=1.18; 95% CI, 0.99-1.40) women. The association was also significant for hormone receptor (HR)-positive tumors (RR=1.18; 95% CI, 1.04-1.33) but not HR-negative tumors (RR=0.97; 95% CI, 0.83-1.12).

“As dietary patterns are modifiable, these findings may provide viable strategies for breast cancer prevention through changes in dietary intake,” the researchers concluded.

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Source: Breast Cancer Research