Note to self:  If mom or grandma had breast cancer, lay-off the cheeseburgers!

Diets High in Fat and Cholesterol Increases Breast Cancer Risk
Study finds the more cholesterol in the blood, the faster cancer tumors grow and spread
Sara Huffman –

People who are at risk for developing breast cancer, especially those who are genetically predisposed, should take special care to cut fat and cholesterol out of their diets.

New research Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University shows elevated fat and cholesterol levels found in a typical American-style diet play an important role in the growth and spread of breast cancer,

The study, published in the January issue of The American Journal of Pathology, examines the role of fat and cholesterol in breast cancer development using the PyMT mouse model, which is believed to closely parallel the pathogenesis of human breast cancer.

The results show that mice fed a Western diet, and predisposed to develop mammary tumors, can develop larger tumors that are faster growing and metastasize more easily, compared to animals eating a control diet.

The research team, led by cancer biologist Philippe G. Frank, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, was interested in learning about the link between diet and breast cancer.

The incidence rate of breast cancer is five times higher in Western countries than in other developed countries.

Moreover, studies have shown an increase in breast cancer incidence in immigrant populations that relocate from a region with low incidence.

These facts suggest strong environmental influence on breast cancer development,” said Frank.
Dietary fat and cholesterol have been shown to be important risk factors in the development and progression of a number of tumor types, but diet-based studies in humans have reached contradictory conclusions.

This has led Frank to turn to animal models of human cancer to examine links between cholesterol, diet, and cancer.

Here is a link to the rest of the article:  Cholesterol does indeed seem to be an important factor in the regulation of tumor formation in several cancer types.

Why are human studies contradictory?  Reasons include a subject’s inability to maintain a restricted diet over an extended period of time and study protocols that are too open ended, among others. 

Accelerated lifespans of mice allow researchers to closely monitor their responses from start to finish.  Human subjects take decades to evaluate–and our diets cannot be tightly controlled beyond the lab.

Guess common sense trumps science–at least for now.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

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