Impact of diet on breast cancer risk


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Abstract

Purpose of reviewBreast cancer is the most common female cancer in Western Europe and North America, and becoming an increasing problem in developing countries such as India and China. We review recent studies (published 1 January 2007–31 August 2008) on the impact of diet on breast cancer risk.Recent findingsRecent studies have focused on the controversial association for dietary fat and breast cancer as well as the role of newer aspects such as glycemic index, dietary patterns and diet–gene interactions. Evidence that some of the associations may be modified by oestrogen and progesterone receptor status has been presented. Still, only alcohol intake, being overweight and weight gain have shown consistent and strong positive associations with breast cancer risk. The reasons for the null or weak associations often observed regarding diet and breast cancer might be several. For example, there may be no causal association, or existing associations may be masked by measurement error, timing of dietary exposure and differences according to tumour characteristics or diet–gene interactions.SummaryNumerous epidemiological studies on diet and breast cancer have been published during our review period. Still, only alcohol intake, being overweight and weight gain have shown consistent and strong positive associations with breast cancer risk.

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