BOSTON -- With cancer, researchers don't believe "you are what you eat"; that disease is always a direct result of what is, or what isn't, on your dinner plate. But studies into the association between diet and cancer show that food can have an impact in preventing cancer, or in reducing the aggressiveness of the disease. At the American Association for Cancer Research's Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting, investigators have found that eating fish regularly as an adult, or soy as a young girl, or using a specific vitamin if you are a smoker, can help to protect against development of certain cancers. Another study found that blood cholesterol, some of which comes from eating animal fats, doesn't control whether a man develops prostate cancer, but lower levels of these lipids may help protect against aggressive forms of the disease. The researchers say these studies provide some of the strongest links found to date between diet and cancer.
Childhood soy intake and breast cancer risk in Asian-American women
In a novel study of Asian-American women, a team of researchers led by National Cancer Institute (NCI) investigators has found that consuming soy during childhood, adolescence and adult life were each associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer, but that the strongest and most consistent effect was seen for childhood intake.
They found that women who ate the most soy-based foods (such as tofu, miso, natto) during ages 5-11 reduced their risk of developing breast cancer by 58 percent, compared to women who ate the least amount. The corresponding reductions for adolescent and adult intake were about 25 percent.
"Childhood soy intake was significantly associated with reduced breast cancer risk in our study, suggesting that the timing of soy intake may be especially critical," said the study's lead investigator, Larissa Korde, M.D., MPH, a staff clinician at the NCI's Clinical Genetics Branch, in the Divi
Contact: Warren Froelich
American Association for Cancer Research