For both pre- and postmenopausal breast cancers, the many studies looking on whether dietary fat matters has resulted in no clear conclusions. Now comes a study from Italy suggesting that it does for certain types of breast tumors, including the most common type.
The study suggests that consuming high amounts of total fat, and saturated fats specifically, links to increased risk of breast tumors fueled by the hormones estrogen and progesterone. About three quarters of US breast tumors are estrogen-receptor positive (ER+). The majority of those also grow in response to progesterone.
The increased risk was most pronounced for high amounts of saturated fat, the type of fat from burgers, butter and primarily animal sources.
Here’s the study abstract, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
This is one study, and it will be added to the body of evidence on breast cancer prevention in AICR/WCRF’s Continuous Update Project (CUP). In the latest CUP report, there was not enough evidence on total dietary fat to make a conclusion for pre- or postmenopausal cancers. Continue reading
This week our new report on ovarian cancer means that there are now eight cancers linked to obesity. Our Health-e-Recipe for Chicken Baked with Cabbage and Leek is a delicious way to prepare a satisfying low-calorie meal that also fits St. Patrick’s Day.
Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli contain potent cancer-fighting phytochemicals.Savoy and Napa varieties of cabbage have crinkly leaves and are more tender to chew than regular green cabbage. Yet they still pack healthy sulforaphane (an isothiocyanate compound), indoles and flavonoids – compounds that may protect against cancer. Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous family, too.
Leeks are a kind of onion and contribute protective allium compounds to this dish. With thyme and Spanish paprika, all of these ingredients blend deliciously with chicken while fortifying your health. Serve over brown rice with a wedge of fresh lemon, if desired.
For more excellent cancer-preventive recipes, visit the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.
One of the most common responses when I tell people the most important things they can do to prevent cancer, based on the scientific evidence, is that the things seem so simple or obvious.
Maintain a healthy weight. Be physically active. Use sunscreen and sun protective clothing when you can’t choose to be in the shade. Practice safe sex to avoid sexually transmitted infections. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose to spend time in places free of secondhand smoke. Quit smoking if you smoke.
They do sound like health tips. They aren’t sexy or “hot” or “new” like it would be to talk about plastics, pesticides, lotions and the like. But here’s the thing… while we still have plenty of work to do to explore the role those factors might play in cancer, we KNOW that the things above matter. We know that if we implemented those things and a few others, we could prevent at least HALF of all cancers. Continue reading