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February 14, 2001

Does an Apple a Day Keep Breast Cancer Away?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: School of Medicine, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

JAMA. 2001;285(6):799-801. doi:10.1001/jama.285.6.799

Can an apple a day keep breast cancer away? The latest answer to this question, based on an analysis of data reported by Smith-Warner and colleagues1 in this issue of THE JOURNAL, is "no." However, anyone closely monitoring this question can find conflicting conclusions in the literature. Examining data from numerous epidemiological studies, the World Cancer Research Fund2 concluded that the evidence that fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of oral, pharyngeal, esophageal, lung, stomach, and colon cancer was convincing and that the evidence for an association between intake of fruits and vegetables with breast, pancreatic, and bladder cancer was probable. Since release of the World Cancer Research Fund report, several studies,3-5 including the one by Smith-Warner and colleagues,1 have challenged the findings that were the basis for the 1997 report.2

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