Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 5 Issue 301 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 28-Oct-2003 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 29-Oct-2003
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Diet and risk of breast cancer in Shanghai, China

International incidence rates of breast cancer vary drastically, and recent studies have shown dramatically increased cancer risk levels in women migrating from China to Hong Kong to the United States. This information suggests that environmental differences may contribute to breast cancer risk, including extremely different dietary intakes in various regions of the world.

In this study, 378 women in Shanghai, China, who were diagnosed with breast cancer were compared with 1,070 age-matched, unaffected control women. Dietary intake was determined through the completion of an in-depth food frequency questionnaire, which recorded such factors as food group and caloric intake.

Researchers found that consumption of four or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day was associated with a significantly lower breast cancer risk. However, no association was seen between intake of soy or soy products and breast cancer risk. The results provide support for the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables to prevent cancer, and also offer one of the first analyses between different botanical groups and breast cancer risk.

"The study provides further support suggesting that low fruit and vegetable intake in the Western diet may be a major factor in the risk of developing breast cancer," said Jackelin Shannon, Ph.D., R.D., assistant professor of public health and preventive medicine in the Oregon Health and Science University School of Medicine, member of the OHSU Cancer Institute, and lead author of the study. "Women need to modify their diets to include more fruits and vegetables to help prevent the disease," she said.

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