Cancer risk

There is definitive associative link between total caloric intake and breast cancer risk. The strongest link that has been established is with dietary fat intake. The results in case control studies, international comparisons, and laboratory experiments in animals generally support a positive association between fat consumption and incidence of breast cancer (Prentice, R. L. , 2003). In 2003, there was a report of statistically significant positive association between total fat intake and breast cancer incidence.

Nutritional epidemiologic studies that had studied the diet-disease relationship in an attempt to answer the specific question whether or not there is any relationship and association between dietary fat intake and breast cancer incidence have indicated that low fat, high fruits and vegetables, and fibers can impact breast cancer incidence (Ritenbaugh, C. , Patterson, R. , Chlebowski, R. T. , et al. , 2003). Research has demonstrated that in premenopausal women, total fiber is protective against breast cancer, in particular, fibers from cereals and fruit and vegetables (Hays, J. , Hunt, J. R. , Hubbell, A. et al. , 2003).

Scientifically, there is evidence that high dietary fiber intake is protective. Fibers and certain fiber fractions have been hypothesized to reduce cancer risk through a number of mechanisms including inhibition of estrogen reabsorption, inhibition of human estrogen synthetase leading to a reduction of estrogen synthesis and reduction in levels of androgens which influence levels of estrogens and proliferation of breast tissue (Stram, D. O. , Hankin, J. H. , Wilkens, L. R. et al. , 2000).

Additionally since fibers are known to involve the levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factors and since increased serum levels of IGF-1 are associated with increased breast cancer risk, fibers have been postulated to have an association with breast cancer (Subar, A. F. , Thompson, F. E. , Kipnis, V. et al. , 2001) (Toniolo, P. , Bruning, P. F. , Akhmedkhanov, A. , et al. , 2000). More than 100, 000 people live in the community. The people who are affected are served by a local hospital. As the population of women would be around 50, 000; more than 8, 000 women would be affected with the disease once in their lifetime.

In this particular case and given the geographic clustering of breast cancer cases, it is pertinent to investigate the role of dietary fat and fibers in this population (Flagg, E. W. , Coates, R. J. , Calle, E. E. , Potischman, N. , and Thun, M. J. , 2000). Health survey and hospital morbidity data indicates that there, indeed, is high prevalence of breast cancer. However, despite being in the vicinity of the pulp factory and growing claims from the newspaper reports that this local pulp mill could have leaked environmental carcinogens, one would be tempted to suspect that the usual culprit is the culprit carcinogen here.

Fortunately, there is till date no evidence that environmental or industrial carcinogens. As a result, it would be justified to investigate the problem from a different perspective based on the recent regional dietary intake data. It is evident that the adult women in the community consume food that that has high fat, and obviously, there is low level of fruit and vegetable consumption, indicating low fiber content (Prentice, R. M. , Caan, B. , Chlebowski, R. T. et al. , 2006).

This is pertinent since there had been trials and intervention determinants involving dietary and lifestyle modification. These largely consisted of consumption of a reduced amount of fat and an increased amount of vegetables and adjusting the life styles (Kipnis, V. , Subar, A. F. , Midthune, D. et al. , 2003). It was noted that many non-dietary factors contribute to dietary variability leading to a condition where inordinate estrogen stimulation of the breast tissue may lead to neoplastic transformation of the breast tissue.

Apart from race, marital status, parity, and other factors, feasibility of achieving a dietary fat reduction among healthy postmenopausal women would demonstrate reduction in serum estradiol level when the diet is low in fat (Boyd, N. F. , Stone, J. , Vogt, K. N. , Connelly, B. S. , Martin, L. J. , and Minkin, S. , 2003). Observational studies have both linked low dietary fat intake with low estrogen levels and low breast cancer risk. Likewise, increased amount of vegetables and fruit would increase fiber intake and reduce fat absorption (Day, N. E. , Wong, M. Y. , Bingham, S. et al. , 2004).

The fact that a significant proportion of breast cancers could be prevented through avoiding certain behaviours is well accepted. A close determinant analysis reveals that several factors may be responsible for causing breast cancer including age, sex, genetic factors, race, dietary factors, environmental factors, occupational factors, etc (NCI, 2007 & Muss, 2004). Although there is a large number of risk factors that are not readily amenable to intervention, such as, age, late onset of first pregnancy, early menarche, and late menopause, lifestyle patterns that produce excess body mass index are avoidable.

Not surprisingly, many lifestyle factors such as sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercises, etc, can lay a major role in the development of the disorder. Dietary habits and sedentary lifestyle leading to excess body mass is one of the most readily preventable risk factors for breast cancer, and estimates suggest that excess body mass alone can directly explain a large proportion of breast cancers (Jemal, A. , Murray, T. , Samuels, A. , et al. , 2003). Dietary factors play an important role in the development of breast cancer.

For example, populations that consume higher amounts of soy proteins are at a lower risk of developing cancers that depends on the hormone-activity (such as breast, prostate or endometrial cancer). Studies have shown that women who consume higher quantities of alcohol everyday are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer (Rock, C. L. and Demark-Wahnefried, W. , 2002). Some studies have demonstrated that food and diet is the number one risk factor for the development of breast cancer. In short, diets that tend to increase the body fat pool, increase BMI, and tend to develop obesity would predispose to breast cancer.

Another study conducted, demonstrates that exposure to moderate quantities of ultraviolet B and consumption of vitamin D could actually help reduce the incidences of mortality from breast cancer. Scientists are also beginning to find a relationship between increased incidences of breast cancer and obesity. Individuals who consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables are able to gain a protection against breast cancer. Besides, even moderate amounts of exercises and physical activity helps to reduce the development of breast cancer (WHO, 2007)

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