Today’s Cancer Research Update features a study that suggests eating plenty of fruits and vegetables may slightly reduce women’s risk of breast cancer. Every 200 grams of fruits and vegetables eaten per day – about 1 to 2 cups – was associated with a 4 percent decreased risk of breast cancer.
What does a cup of fruits and vegetables look like? A small apple, an orange and a dozen baby carrots are a few examples. Look at the CDC for more.
The research was funded by the World Cancer Research Fund as part of AICR/WCRF’s Continuous Update Project (CUP), an ongoing review of cancer prevention research. Here, lead author Dagfinn Aune, a nutritional epidemiologist at Imperial College London who is part of the CUP team, answers a few questions about the findings.
Q: Every 200 grams of fruits and vegetables linking to a 4% reduced risk of breast cancer does not seem like a lot. Can you explain why it’s important?
A: Yes, the reduction in relative risk is modest, but the increment that was used for the analysis was also moderate so the reduction in risk may be larger for women that eat greater than 200 grams per day of fruit and vegetables. For those with the highest intake of fruit or fruit and vegetables combined there was a 8 to 11 percent reduction in the relative risk compared with those with the lowest intake, which is similar to our previous results for colorectal cancer. The association appears to be linear, meaning more benefit the more you eat. Continue reading
AICR’s expert report and its updates have found that excess body fat increases the risk of developing breast cancer in postmenopausal women. As scientists are learning, how excess body fat plays a role in breast cancer varies by cancer type.
In a study published last month in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, scientists looked at the role excess body fat plays in the development of two types of triple-negative breast cancers. These types of breast tumors don’t respond to hormones and growth factors that typically fuel less aggressive types of breast cancer.
One of the changes that occurs in these two types of breast cancers is EMT, or epithelial mesenchymal transition. EMT signals early development of cancer in epithelial cells, the cells that line the breasts and other organs. It is recognized as a feature of many aggressive tumors. Continue reading
The evidence is clear that obesity and greater abdominal fat increases the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer; obesity decreases the risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer. Yet the majority of research in the field has been conducted among Caucasians.
A study presented today suggests that higher BMI increases the risk of a more advanced cancer diagnosis among women of African ancestry.
The study by Elisa V. Bandera, a researcher at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, was a poster session today at the American Association for Cancer Research’ annual meeting.
“We know the effect of obesity on breast cancer among white women, there’s a wide literature on the topic,” said lead author Bandera, who is also an expert panelist on AICR’s Continuous Update Project. “In general, African Americans tend to have breast cancer at an earlier age and it is more advanced, we know something different is going on, we want to find out what.” Continue reading