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Eating red meat ups breast cancer risk
Latest Updated by 2006-11-14 11:54:04

Eating red meat may raise a woman's risk of a common form of breast cancer, a Harvard study said Monday

Eating red meat may raise a woman's risk of a common form of breast cancer, a Harvard study said Monday.

The study of more than 90,000 women found the more red meat the women consumed when they were in their 20s, 30s and 40s the greater their risk for getting breast cancer fueled by hormones in the next 12 years.

Women who consumed the most red meat faced nearly twice the risk of those who ate red meat infrequently, according to the study.

Researchers said the findings provide another motivation to limit consumption of red meat, which is already known to increase the risk for colon cancer.

"There are already other reasons to minimize red meat intake," said Eunyoung Cho, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, who led the study. "This just may give women another good reason."

The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, is the first to examine the relationship between red meat consumption and breast cancer in premenopausal women, and the first to examine the question by type of breast cancer.

In the study, Cho and her colleagues analyzed data collected from 90,659 female nurses ages 26 to 46 who are participating in the Nurses' Health Study II, a long-term project examining a host of women's health issues. As part of the study, researchers gathered detailed information about their diets every four years.

When the researchers analyzed whether red meat consumption was associated with an increased risk for breast cancer between 1991 and 2003, they found no overall link. But when they examined only the 512 women who developed breast cancer whose growth is fueled by the hormones estrogen and progesterone, they found an association.

The risk increased with the amount of red meat consumed: those who ate more than one and a half servings per day having nearly double the risk for the so-called hormone-receptor positive breast cancer compared to those who ate three or fewer servings per week. A serving is roughly equivalent to a single hamburger or hot dog.

Breast cancer strikes nearly 213,000 American women each year and kills nearly 41,000, making it the most common cancer and the second most common cause of cancer death among women in the United States.

"So many risk factors for breast cancer are things that you can't alter," said Nancy E. Davidson, a breast cancer expert at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. "This represents something women could take charge of -- something you can change to affect your risk."

Editor: Donald

By: Source:China View website
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