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Does nutrition affect breast cancer survival?
Researchers have now found that a low-fat diet, along with fruits and vegetables, results in a significantly higher survival rate in women with breast cancer after menopause.
A recent study by the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) found that a low-fat diet leads to an increased survival rate in women with breast cancer after menopause. This finding could save the lives of many women with the disease in the future.
48,835 women participated in the study
Between 1993 and 1998, the study collected data from 48,835 postmenopausal women aged 50-79 years at 40 clinical centers in the United States. All participants had no breast cancer at the start of the study. The women were divided into two groups, with the first group eating a normal diet and comprising 60 percent of the participants. The remaining 40 percent of women were assigned to the second group. These participants consumed a low-fat diet that contained more grains, fruits and vegetables.
How did the low-fat diet work?
During the ensuing eight-and-a-half year examination, the women continued to consume the assigned forms of nutrition. There were slightly fewer deaths from breast cancer in the low-fat group, but this was hardly statistically significant. However, the number of women who died after breast cancer for various reasons (not necessarily due to cancer directly) was significantly lower in the group of women with a low-fat diet. This result was also observed in the follow-up examination on average 17 years later. Most recently, after almost 20 years of follow-up examinations, the researchers found that the significant reduction in deaths from breast cancer continued. More importantly, however, they found a significant reduction in deaths directly caused by breast cancer in the group of women who followed the low-fat diet.
Some women benefited more from a low-fat diet
As a result, study author Dr. Chlebowski of LA BioMed and his team concluded that a low-fat diet that includes increased consumption of vegetables, fruits and grains is an effective way to reduce the risk of death from breast cancer in postmenopausal women. This low-fat diet pattern has an even greater impact on reducing breast cancer deaths in women with high waist sizes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and / or diabetes.
"Our review is the only study that provides randomized clinical trial results that show that dietary intervention can reduce a woman's risk of dying from breast cancer," said Dr. Chlebowski in a press release. The results of the study show that a low-fat diet is a simple and inexpensive method that can save many lives, according to the study leader. (as)