Cutting Breast Cancer Risk with AICR Recommendations
Post-menopausal women who follow at least five of AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention may reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by half compared to those who meet none, suggests a new study that adds to previous research showing how each recommendation met decreases a women’s risk. The study was published in the online edition of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
This study adds to the evidence that lifestyle choices can make a difference to reducing the risk of breast cancer. A much larger study released last year, which included AICR’s breastfeeding recommendation, found that women who followed five or more recommendations had a 16 percent reduced risk of breast cancer compared to those who followed fewer than three.
Study researchers used data from approximately 31,000 women ages 50 to 76 at the start of the study and had no history of breast cancer. When the study began, the women filled out questionnaires on their eating habits, weight, activity and other factors that may play a role in breast cancer risk.
The researchers focused on six of AICR’s recommendations for cancer prevention: recommendations related to limiting salt, breastfeeding and not relying on supplements were either not available or not applicable.
After almost seven years, the study found that following any five of the recommendations linked to a 60 percent reduced risk of developing breast cancer when compared to the women who did not adhere to any of the recommendations. Following each recommendation linked to an 11 percent reduction in risk.
The three recommendations linked to the greatest risk reduction related to eating plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains; being a healthy weight; and drinking one or fewer glasses of wine a day.
AICR’s report and its continuous updates concluded that women can reduce their risk of postmenopausal breast cancer by being physically active, staying a healthy weight, not drinking alcohol and breastfeeding one’s child.
- Theresa A. Hastert, et al. "Adherence to WCRF/AICR cancer prevention recommendations and risk of post-menopausal breast cancer." Cancer Epidemiology Biomark & Prev. Published OnlineFirst June 18, 2013.
- Romaguera D et al. "Is concordance with World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research guidelines for cancer prevention related to subsequent risk of cancer? Results from the EPIC study." Am J Clin Nutr. Epub 2012 May 16.