A new long-term study that adds to the research on diet and breast cancer survival finds that women with certain types of breast tumors who reduced their dietary fat for years after diagnosis — and also lost weight — had lower death rates over the next 15 years than survivors on a standard diet.
The study was presented today at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and is not yet published in a journal.
It was funded in part by AICR and joins a growing body of research investigating how diet affects women diagnosed with breast cancer. In October, an AICR report on breast cancer survivorship in partnership with WCRF found some indication that fat may play a role in survival. The Continuous Update Project report found there was limited but consistent research suggesting that eating lower amounts of total fat and in particular, saturated fat, before a diagnosis of breast cancer linked to improved survival.
Weight loss may also play a role, as the low-fat group lost a a modest but significant amount of weight in this study. The CUP report found indications that being a healthy weight may lengthen survival for women diagnosed with breast cancer. But the report’s findings were not strong enough to make a specific recommendation.
Observational evidence relating to low-fat diets and breast cancer survival is mixed and previous research from another major randomized dietary study among breast cancer survivors – the WHEL study – found a lowfat diet did not affect mortality or recurrence.
The study presented today included approximately 2,400 women who were part of Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS), a study that first launched in 1987. All the women were diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and they joined the study within six months of diagnosis. Continue reading
In the past several decades, there has been considerable interest in lycopene-rich foods, particularly tomatoes and tomato products, in lowering a man’s risk of getting prostate cancer. In the previous AICR report, the strength of evidence for a benefit was viewed as “probable” for lycopene-rich foods, but in the latest round, the recommendation was lowered to “limited, no conclusion.”
To understand this change, it is important to examine the nature of the evidence used to reach the new conclusion. Most of the evidence is based on studies that record what men are eating, or measure blood lycopene levels, and then follow the men for any diagnosis of prostate cancer.
Then dietary or blood factors are linked to risk of cancer diagnosis. Statistical methods are used to account for other factors. Because these studies are examining associations, which may not necessarily be causal, other considerations such as biologic plausibility are taken into account in formulating the conclusions.
The latest report from our Continuous Update Project (CUP), the process by which we rigorously review the global science linking diet, weight and physical activity to various cancers, focuses on the prevention of prostate cancer. We released it last night; this press release reviews the highlights, and takes you to the full report.
One new finding is that obesity is now recognized as a risk factor for advanced prostate cancer – the most deadly type.
Like all previous CUP Reports, Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Prostate Cancer gives our expert panel the chance to review the research collected since the publication of our 2007 AICR/WCRF expert report, and to update their judgments about the strength of the evidence on specific links.
Which, this time at least, is just what they did. revealing how quickly the field of prostate cancer research has changed in just seven years.
Prostate Cancer Is Not One Disease – The panel’s judgments on specific links have changed because prostate cancer is now being studied differently than the way it was in 2007. Today, researchers know that not all prostate cancers are alike. Continue reading