July 18, 2007

Fat, Fruits, Vegetables, and Breast Cancer Survivorship

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Preventive Medicine (Dr Gapstur) and Surgery (Dr Khan), Feinberg School of Medicine, and the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center (Dr Gapstur), Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois.

JAMA. 2007;298(3):335-336. doi:10.1001/jama.298.3.335

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer mortality among women in the United States.1 Advances in early detection, surgical treatment, and chemotherapy have led to significant improvements in breast cancer survival, particularly among women with early stage disease. Current estimates indicate that there are at least 2.4 million women who are breast cancer survivors in the United States.1 Among these women, there is particular concern about the long-term risk of recurrence. Whether that risk might be modified through changes in lifestyle habits such as diet has been an important question for investigation. Results of observational epidemiologic studies on associations of dietary patterns high in fruits and vegetables, low in fat, or both with risk of recurrence or survival are inconsistent.25 Although it is not possible to draw firm conclusions about the potential benefits of such dietary patterns from the results of those studies, a growing body of evidence is emerging from randomized clinical trials designed specifically to examine the effects of dietary interventions on breast cancer prognosis.

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