Breast cancer thoughts on the Angelina Jolie story – Part 2
Breast cancer among young women is increasing more than genetics or population growth allows for
What has the latest analysis found?
- The rate of advanced breast cancer for U.S. women aged 25-39 nearly doubled from 1976 to 2009
- In 1976, 1.53 out of every 100,000 American women 25-39 years old was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer
- By 2009, the rate had almost doubled to 2.9 per 100,000 women
- The fastest increase of breast cancer in younger women occurred in the most recent era from 2000-2009, at 3.6% increase per year
- Cases of younger women with advanced breast cancer have increased about 2% each year since the mid-1970s
- They have been increasing every year for almost three decades
- Metastatic presentation rose as a proportion of all invasive breast cancer in the 25-39 age group, from 4.4% in the 1970s to 7.2% after the year 2000
- The US breast cancer growth in younger women was seen among all races and ethnicities and urban and non-urban areas alike
What did the researchers say is responsible for this growth in breast cancer?
“…lifestyle changes, obesity rates, changes in alcohol and tobacco use, diet, exercise, earlier onset of menstruation (mostly caused by diet), use of birth control, delayed pregnancy and other factors…”(1)
British breast cancer rates vs. African breast cancer rates
The World Cancer Research Fund survey shows that breast cancer rates in Britain are four times higher than those in eastern Africa. According to the latest global cancer statistics, 87.9 women per 100,000 in the UK (adjusted for age) were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, compared to 19.3 in eastern Africa, which includes Kenya and Tanzania. Scientists estimate at least four out of every 10 breast cancer cases in Britain could be prevented through maintaining a healthy weight, drinking less alcohol and being more physically active. Women in eastern Africa eat a plant-based wholefood diet, spend large amounts of time under sunlight (creating vitamin D hormones that protect against breast cancer), they drink much less alcohol than women in Britain, they do not smoke, and obesity levels are much lower.
U.S. Government Research, 2013
The U.S. Interagency Breast Cancer and Environmental Research Coordinating Committee released a report on Tuesday February 12, 2013. The committee said “most breast cancers occur in people with no family history, so environmental factors - broadly defined - must play a major role in the etiology of the disease”. The committee defined the ‘environment’ broadly as lifestyle and behavior, such as “alcohol and exercise…”
Weight gain is consistently linked to breast cancer rates
- Being obese raises your breast cancer risk by 180% – regardless of your genetics
- Adult weight gain of 22-44 pounds is associated with a 50% greater risk of breast cancer – regardless of your genetics
- Weight gain above 45 pounds is associated with an 87% increased risk of breast cancer – regardless of your genetics
Fatty dairy foods linked to early cancer death
People who are diagnosed with breast cancer and then go on to consume a steady diet of high-fat dairy foods increase their chances of dying years earlier than those who consumed low- to nonfat milk products, according to a new study by Kaiser Permanente researchers. The study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, is considered the first to look at the differences in high-fat and low-fat dairy intake following a breast cancer diagnosis on long-term survival.
For the study, researchers looked at the dietary habits of nearly 1,900 women, mostly Northern California Kaiser patients, who were diagnosed with relatively early-stage, invasive breast cancer between 1997 and 2000. Those who consumed one or more servings per day of high-fat dairy products - such as whole milk and cream, condensed or evaporated milk, ice cream and custards - had a 49% increased risk of dying from breast cancer during the 12-year follow-up than those patients who limited their amount of high-fat products, the study found. They also had a 64% higher risk of dying from any cause during that period, most often from cardiovascular diseases.
Which country has the highest levels of breast cancer?
Belgium, famous for milk chocolate – made predominantly from milk and sugar –both directly linked to breast cancer in many studies.
Breast cancer in Japan
In some Asian cultures, the term for breast cancer is translated as “rich women’s disease”. Breast cancer among Japanese women eating their traditional plant-based wholefood diet is characterized by its low incidence. The annual mortality due to breast cancer before the Japanese recently embraced our modern processed meat- and sugar-rich diet, was less than 10% of ours. For every 10 women we had with breast cancer, they had barely one. The mortality rate of breast cancer in Japan has almost doubled during the past 20 years but it is still only 20% of our breast cancer rates(2). Now that the Japanese have embraced the processed Western diet, breast cancer in Japan in the future will be much more like that in the west.
A healthy, plant-based wholefood diet lowers breast cancer
This 24,000-patient, case-control study (3) used data from the hospital-based epidemiologic research program at Aichi Cancer Center (HERPACC), and found some very clear answers to the breast cancer and diet question: “Based on 31 food variables and looking at four different dietary patterns, a healthy, plant-based wholefood diet was negatively associated with breast cancer risk. Women of a healthy weight eating the plant-based diet had a 58% lower risk of breast cancer than overweight women eating the modern diet”
A plant-based wholefood diet significantly lowers breast cancer
This 22,000-patient, case-referent study (4) used data from the hospital-based epidemiologic research program at Aichi Cancer Center (HERPACC), and found: “There were breast cancer reductions in risk associated with high intake of green leafy vegetables, carrots and pumpkins and a significant decrease in postmenopausal breast cancer risk with increased intake of fruit”
Tofu intake lowers breast cancer
This case-control study (5) on tofu intake was conducted using data from the hospital-based epidemiologic research program at Aichi Cancer Center (HERPACC). They looked at breast cancer rates and tofu intake in 1,021 women. “There were reductions in risk of breast cancer associated with high intake of soybean products... The women eating the most tofu had a 49% lower risk of breast cancer than those eating the least amount. A significant decrease in premenopausal breast cancer risk was also observed for increasing consumption of isoflavones (present in soybeans). The present study found a statistically inverse association between tofu or isoflavone intake and risk of breast cancer in Japanese premenopausal women”
Part 3 tomorrow
1. Study by Johnson RH, et al as “Incidence of breast cancer with distant involvement among women in the United States, 1976 to 2009” as published in the Journal of the American Medical Association JAMA 2013; 309: 800-805. Rebecca Johnson examined registries and information from 936,497 women who had breast cancer from 1973-2009, 1992-2009 and 2000-2009. This data was from the National Cancer Institute and from the U.S. Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER), and published on Wednesday February 27, 2013. As reported by MedPage Today and The Los Angeles Times on February 26, 2013.
2. Study “Natural history of breast cancer among Japanese and Caucasian females” by Gan To Kagaku Ryoho. 1990 Jul;17(7):1239-43 as published in Breast Cancer Res Treat. 1991 May;18 Suppl 1:S81-3. Also “Pathology of breast cancer: present and prospect in Japan by Sakamoto G, Sugano H, from the Department of Pathology, Cancer Institute, Tokyo, Japan.
3. Study “Dietary patterns and the risk of breast cancer in Japanese women” by Hirose K, Matsuo K, Iwata H, Tajima K, from the Department of Planning and Information, Aichi Prefectural Institute of Public Health, Japan, as published in Cancer Sci. 2007 Sep;98(9):1431-8. Epub 2007 Jul 11.
4. Study “Dietary factors protective against breast cancer in Japanese premenopausal and postmenopausal women” by Hirose K, Takezaki T, Hamajima N, Miura S, Tajima K, from the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute, Nagoya, Japan, as published in The International Journal of Cancer. 2003 Nov 1;107(2):276-82.
5. Study “Soybean products and reduction of breast cancer risk: a case-control study in Japan” by Hirose K, Imaeda N, Tokudome Y, Goto C, Wakai K, Matsuo K, Ito H, Toyama T, Iwata H, Tokudome S, Tajima K, from the Division of Epidemiology and Prevention, Aichi Cancer Center Research Institute, 1-1 Kanokoden Chikusa-ku, in Nagoya, as published in the Br J Cancer. 2005 Jul 11;93(1):15-22.