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Vitamin D and flavonoids examined for impact on breast and ovarian cancers

WASHINGTON, D.C. - While risk factors for breast and ovarian cancers include menopause, obesity, family history and specific genetic mutations, researchers also are looking at the role of diet in the development, as well as the treatment and prevention of these tumors. At the 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, two groups of scientists using sophisticated statistical techniques report their findings of possible preventive properties of Vitamin D against breast cancer. Two other groups of scientists present their work analyzing the possibility that natural antioxidants found in plants, substances called flavonoids, could play a powerful role in preventing both breast and ovarian cancer.

Potential Reduction in Breast Cancer Risk Associated with Vitamin D: Abstract No. 4009

Though scientists have suspected that Vitamin D helps to prevent and possibly even treat breast cancer, population-based studies on the possible link have been few and of limited scope.

Now, new studies by researchers at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto suggest the "sunshine" vitamin may play a significant role in reducing breast cancer risk. The results, based on population data, found the reduction was most apparent among subjects exposed to the highest levels of vitamin D when they were young.

By interviewing about 576 patients who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and 1,135 people who had no cancer, the scientists discovered that significant reductions in breast cancer were found in those who had either worked in an outdoor job, had taken part in outdoor activities when young, or consumed cod liver oil or milk.

Working an outdoor job between ages 10 to19 resulted in an estimated 40 percent reduced risk of breast cancer, while frequent outdoor activities between ages 10 to 29 lowered breast cancer risk by an estimated 35 percent.

"These outdoor activities incl
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Contact: Warren R. Froelich
froelich@aacr.org
215-440-9300
American Association for Cancer Research
4-Apr-2006


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