A study in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition associates the Mediterranean diet with lower risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
The data derive from the Greek portion of the massive EPIC study: European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and nutrition. Investigators followed almost 15,000 women for 10 years. No protective effect was seen for premenopausal women eating Mediterranean-style. The study at hand adds to prior evidence that the Mediterranean diet seems to protect against cancer of the breast, prostate, uterus, and colon/rectum.
Reference: Trichopoulou, Antonia, et al. Conformity to traditional Mediterranean diet and breast cancer risk in the Greek EPIC (European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition) cohort. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, published July 14, 2010. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29619
5 responses to “Mediterranean Diet Lowers Risk of Breast Cancer”
Interesting finding. Hurray for the Mediterranean Diet! Any thoughts on why it wouldn’t provide breast cancer protection benefits for premenopausal women?
Beats me, Martha. If it’s a real, reproducible relationship, I suspect it has something to do with hormones.
breast cancer is of course easy to diagnose early and very easy to treat if you catch it early`*’
What do you consider catching it “early”? Stage please?
Thanks for the study Dr. Steve
The investigators didn’t consider at all the stage of cancer at time of diagnosis. (Stage, in general, refers to size of the tumor, spread to lymph nodes or not, local versus distant spread of cancer, etc). The issue was either presence or absence of breast cancer. It would be interesting to know if the initial cancer stage indeed had any association with degree of adherence to the Mediterranean diet. I doubt that study will be done anytime soon.