Breast cancer is one of the most common form of cancer that hits a large part of the women demography in the U.S every year. It is a well known fact that our diet can influence the risk of breast cancer. A new research has suggested that eating a low fat diet can reduce the risk of death in breast cancer patients. Recently a report on a study came out in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, where 2,317 postmenopausal women aged between 50-79 were studied. These women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer and their diets were studied for a span of 9.6 years. According to the report, 188 women died of breast cancer and 227 had died of non breast cancer causes.
Another study published in MedPage Today also confirms that low fat diet after breast cancer may be beneficial. Investigators of the study found that during the 16.1 year span of follow up, the patients on low fat diet lived longer than the others. “A significant reduction was seen in all-cause mortality in the dietary intervention group compared with the usual-diet group, with 234 deaths versus 443 deaths, respectively.”
In the same time period, Journal of Clinical Oncology stated that there were somewhat fewer deaths due to breast cancer in the dietary group as compared to usual diet group.
With continuous follow-up of the Women’s Health Initiative Dietary Modification trial, deaths after breast cancer were reduced in the dietary group both during dietary intervention and throughout the 16.1 year of cumulative follow-up period. This means that upcoming studies of lifestyle interventions on breast cancer outcomes and intervention will take low-fat dietary pattern as a base.
Interim report conducted at the end of 8.5 year dietary intervention period reported 1,764 breast cancers incidents with 27 deaths in low-fat diet group as compared to 61 deaths in the usual-diet group (0.016% per year versus 0.024% per year, respectively).
According to interim findings, a low fat eating pattern can reduce the incidence of breast cancer also results in higher mortality rate. According to reports, there were similar characteristics among all the women participants but dietary intervention group had estrogen receptor positive (ER+), human epidermal receptor 2 (HER2), progesterone receptor- negative (PR-) than those in the usual diet group had. Women in the low-fat diet group experienced 3% weight loss, which was maintained among the dietary group throughout 8 years.
Though there is no strong evidence to support the fact that there are specific foods that can reduce the risk of cancer, yet researches have shown that some foods can actually prevent the development and spread of the cancer cells. These include soybean based products, foods rich in Vitamin D and fibre, whole grains, beans, legumes and low fat milk and dairy products.
Studies are still going on to find the relationship between breast cancer risk and diet. But, for the time being researches have confirmed that following a low fat diet can cut the risk of death due to breast cancer to a great extent. A low fat healthy diet have proven to provide energy to the breast cancer patients and have helped them to stay stronger.