Unhealthy Diet Could Raise Breast Cancer Risk In Early Adulthood

In previous studies, it had been discovered that a diet low in vegetables and high in carbohydrates snd red/processed meats was likely to cause chronic inflammation (long term inflammation) which in turn could lead to some kinds of cancer. However, it has now been found that this inflammation could actually increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer prior to menopause.


Some background to breast cancer

Breast cancer starts when cells in the breast begin to grow out of control.This can result in a tumor growing, and should this tumor be malignant (cancerous), it can spread to surrounding tissues. In females in the UK, breast cancer is the most common cancer, but thankfully about 65% of women diagnosed with breast cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for twenty years or more. 

For the study, researchers analyzed data from 45,204 women including information about their diet (mostly during their teenage, early adulthood years). Using a technique that associates food intake with markers of inflammation in the blood, theresearchers allocated an inflammatory score to each woman’s diet. The women were then divided into five groups based on their inflammatory score. This found that:

Women with the highest inflammatory diet score during early adulthood were found to have a 41 percent increased risk of premenopausal breast cancer, compared with those who had the lowest inflammatory diet score.

However, this study cannot be used as absolute proof as there are a number of limitations to it. For example, the people who had to state there adolescent diet may have recollected inaccurately, and the researchers did not have access to the women’s measurements of inflammatory blood markers during adolescence or early adulthood. Though, the study still manages to highlight the important of a healthful diet, especially in younger teenage/ early adulthood years of life.

Here is a quote from Karin B. Michels, Ph.D, one of the researchers who worked on this finding:

“Our study suggests that a habitual adolescent/early adulthood diet that promotes chronic inflammation may be another factor that impacts an individual woman’s risk. During adolescence and early adulthood, when the mammary gland is rapidly developing and is therefore particularly susceptible to lifestyle factors, it is important to consume a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes and to avoid soda consumption and a high intake of sugar, refined carbohydrates, and red and processed meats.”

Hopefully, this finding will strengthen the understanding that the choices you make when you are younger can heavily affect your future.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog, I hope you enjoyed reading it. Feel free to leave a comment down below if you have any questions!






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