Breast Cancer Link With Diet

Breast Cancer Link With Diet

New research on the breast cancer link with diet finds that elevated levels of dietary cadmium are likely to increase your chance of developing this form of cancer. Cadmium is a heavy metal that is naturally a part of our environment, and is also a part of many farm fertilizers. It doesn’t take much for the substance to make its way into the food chain and its found in bread, cereal, potatoes and other root crops as well as veggies. Experts have known for a while now that cadmium is considered toxic and in some forms cancer causing.

Cadmium has been associated with lung cancer, but the link to breast cancer is something new. Over the last 8 years, research on animals has found that cadmium shows estrogen like effects. Estrogen is known to fuel the growth of some types of breast cancers, and can increase breast cancer risk for post menopause women.

For the latest work the team followed almost 56,000 women taking part in a Swedish Mammography Cohort established in 1987-90. The subjects supplied information on their diet, as well as other details, and were followed for 12 years during which time 2,112 diagnoses of breast cancer were made in the study population.

The team split the women into 3 groups, based on dietary intake of cadmium. The lowest intake was under 13 micrograms per day, the mid level look in from 13 to 16 micrograms per day, and the highest intake group consumed over 16 micrograms of cadmium per day.

The subjects with the greatest exposure to cadmium from the food they ate had a 21% higher chance of cancer of the breast. The risk was highest (27%) for lean to normal weight women than it was for overweight women.

Breast Cancer Link With Diet

The relationship between cadmium and cancer of the breast was strongest in estrogen receptor positive (ER-positive) breast cancers. As the name suggests these are breast cancers caused by estrogen. The link with cadmium and ER-negative cancer was too small to be statistically significant. More work is needed.

The study findings are no reason to stay away from veggies and whole grains according to the researchers. In fact, they discovered that subjects in the research who ate large volumes of these foods had a reduced chance of developing cancer when compared with others who were exposed to cadmium from other food sources. It’s not clear why, but researchers believe that whole grains and veggies might protect against developing breast cancer due to their antioxidant properties.

Understanding that cadmium works like estrogen once ingested into the body, and that estrogen can encourage cancer growth are vital points to pass on – especially to women post menopause. If you’re concerned about your breast cancer link to dietary choices, be sure that you are making other smart, healthy lifestyle choices known to be good for you – curb your intake of alcohol, don’t smoke, be more active and keep your weight under control. Because while you can’t change your age or the genes you carry, there are still plenty of things you can do to keep your body healthy and cancer free.

Breast Cancer Link With Diet

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