Thursday, 10 April 2014

A high fat diet increases the risk of the most common form of breast cancer by a fifth, a study has found. Heavy consumption of saturated fat had an even bigger impact, raising the risk of hormone-sensitive breast cancer by 28 per cent. Fatty diets also made it more likely for a woman to develop another type of breast cancer, which is marked by a defective HER2 gene, the large study found. One in eight women will suffer from breast cancer, and most cases are driven by the female hormone oestrogen and sensitive to the hormone progesterone. Scientists have previously established links between an unhealthy lifestyle and an increased chance of developing the disease. Related Articles No link found between saturated fat and heart disease 18 Mar 2014 Junk food may increase risk of breast cancer 03 Dec 2013 But there has been conflicting evidence about the risks of fat specifically, with some research suggesting that the health risks of a fatty diet have been over-stated. However, the new research on more than 10,000 patients found a strong association between fat consumption and breast cancer. The link was even stronger when they examined levels of saturated fat in the diet - the type of fat which comes from butter, lard, cuts of meat and some dairy products. The findings, from the Epic breast cancer study involving more than 300,000 women in 10 European countries, are reported in the Journal Of The National Cancer Institute. The authors, led by Dr Sabina Sieri from the National Tumour Institute in Milan, Italy, wrote: “To conclude, the results of this prospective study on a large heterogeneous population of European women indicate that a high-fat diet increases breast cancer risk and, most conspicuously, that high saturated fat intake increases risk of receptor-positive disease.” Eluned Hughes, Senior Manager for Information at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, said: “This is an important finding because it’s difficult to unpick which elements of a person’s diet impact upon their breast cancer risk. We know that 40 per cent of breast cancers could be prevented by changes to lifestyle such as being regularly active, maintaining a healthy weight and limiting alcohol consumption but this study provides us with further insight into the specific role of saturated fat intake and certain types of breast cancer. “Whilst we are learning more and more each day about the environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors that affect breast cancer risk, it is not yet possible to predict who will get breast cancer, and for women who have been diagnosed with the disease, we can’t yet say what caused it.” Source: health editor - Laura Donnelly