Eating vegetables linked to lower incidence of virulent form of breast cancer in US study

Researchers in Arizona have found that total fruit and vegetable intake was linked to a lower risk of estrogen receptor-negative (ER-) breast cancer, which accounts for around a fith of all cases and has a lower survival rate than other forms.

vegetables - image: Martin Cathrae
vegetables - image: Martin Cathrae

But the study said that evidence for any wider effect of fresh produce consumption on the incidence of other forms of breast cancer was "inconclusive".

Co-authors Dr Cynthia Thomson and Dr Patricia Thompson of the University of Arizona Cancer Center agreed that the findings support greater intake of vegetables, and to a lesser extent fruit, to lower the risk of ER- breast cancer.

But they added: "Interpretation of these findings may also be challenged by the known effects of other potential confounders, including the aggregation of health behaviors" such as physical activity and smoking.

The findings are published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Cynthia A. Thomson, Ph.D., and Patricia A. Thompson, Ph.D., both of the University of Arizona Cancer Center, write that the findings of the study support the emphasis on greater intake for vegetables (and to a lesser extent fruit) to lower the risk of ER- breast cancer. However, they also write that, "interpretation of these findings may also be challenged by the known effects of other potential confounders, including the aggregation of health behaviors."

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