A study by the Kaiser Permanente consortium has made a discovery on how to reduce the risk of breast cancer death. According to researchers, women diagnosed with breast cancer and who consume whole milk products are more likely to die from the disease than women who consume dairy products low in fat.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. This is indeed the most common cancer affecting women worldwide. It is estimated that one woman out of eleven will be affected by this disease during her lifetime. In case of early detection, breast cancer can be easily treated and cured, without necessarily going through a breast removal. But in some cases, breast cancer can cause death. In 2016, the number of deaths from breast cancer is expected to be around 40,450.
Estrogen is the hormone responsible for the development of breast cells, but also for the development of cancer cells to hormone receptor positive.
According to several researchers, dairy products consumed in the United States and other Western countries contain very high levels of estrogen and progesterone, because milk comes from pregnant cows. It is therefore likely that dairy products with low fat content contain less estrogen and progesterone, because most of the fat has been removed.
Recall that estrogen is a hormone that is stored in fat cells.
This suggests that low fat dairy products represent a better choice for women diagnosed with breast cancer, including the type of breast cancer with positive estrogen receptors.
Through the study conducted by the US consortium Kaiser Permanente, the scientists sought to establish a link between the consumption of whole milk products and breast cancer. Especially if consuming dairy products based on whole milk could increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence or mortality from this disease.
The whole milk products analyzed in this study are:
– Whole milk
– Condensed milk
– Ice cream
The researchers studied the cases of nearly 1,900 women who were diagnosed with early stage of breast cancer. At the beginning of the study, they were asked to complete questionnaires on the dairy products consumption frequency as well as the types and quantities consumed. 6 years later, the researchers asked those women to fill the same questionnaires, but only 1,500 responded. The subjects were followed for 12 years.
During this follow-up period, 349 women had a recurrence, 372 died of various causes while 189 deaths from breast cancer were recorded.
The researchers found that women who consumed one serving or more of whole milk based products per day had 64% more risk of dying from any cause and also increased their risk of dying of 49% suites of breast cancer compared to women who took smaller portions of the same types of products or those who consumed low fat products.
Although the results of this study are pretty compelling, it is obviously clear that further studies are needed to confirm the link between the consumption of high-fat products and their impact on breast cancer.
Generally, the consumption of whole milk should be moderated and women diagnosed with breast cancer should be especially careful to reduce recidivism and increase their chance of cure and especially survival. Here are some tips to follow:
– Have a healthy and balanced diet without processed food or sugar
– Avoid alcohol
– Maintain a healthy weight
– Be physically active every day
– Stop smoking
– Have a good medical monitoring and assiduous intake of medications prescribed to reduce the risk of recurrence.