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Low-fat diet to reduce risk of recurrence?


Ask-the-Expert Online Conference

Question from Nance: I recently heard that low-fat diets do not prevent breast cancer. What is the evidence that they can prevent an occurrence in someone who had early-stage cancer? Do they work for hormone-positive as well as hormone-negative cancer? Thank you.
Answers - Beth Baughman DuPree, M.D., F.A.C.S. We do not have tremendous evidence to support a low-fat diet decreasing the risk of breast cancer. What we do know is that women who decrease their body fat and exercise regularly, more than three hours per week, can decrease their risk of breast cancer by approximately 20%. This may be due to an overall decrease in circulating estradiol [a type of estrogen] that may in turn decrease the stimulation to cells that are potentially pre-cancerous. If a low-fat diet can help decrease a woman's overall body fat, it may indirectly help to decrease her risk.

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