Breast cancer funded research findings

Below is a short summary of the results of our breast cancer research from recent years.

For more details on these and all World Cancer Research Fund network funded research, please visit WCRF International’s website.

In addition to the following research and as part of the Continuous Update Project - our ongoing programme to analyse global research on how diet, nutrition, physical activity and weight affect cancer risk and survival – we have analysed worldwide research to produce our recent CUP report on breast cancer as well as our CUP report on breast cancer survivors.

Dr Sabina Rinaldi, at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, France, explored the relationship between folate intake and breast cancer risk. 

The grant found an association between higher dietary folate intake and lower risk of hormonal receptor negative breast cancer in premenopausal women.

A study into how changes in the consumption of food and supplements before and after diagnosis affect the quality of life in breast cancer survivors, led by Professor Josette Sin-Yee Chor, of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Quality of life in cancer survivors improved with increased intake of omega-3 and by avoiding tea, coffee, wine, trans fats and a local food called durian.

An investigation into the independent and combined effects of physical activity and body weight in sex hormones in postmenopausal women, a known risk factor for breast cancer by Dr Karen Steindorf, of German Cancer Research Centre. The study found that higher body weight was associated with higher levels of most sex hormones. Sports activity was associated with lower levels of some of the sex hormones.

A study to explore whether there was a link between trans fatty acids and risk of breast cancer by Dr Slimani, from International Agency for Research on Cancer. A positive association between trans fatty acids from industrial sources, such as processed food, and breast cancer was found. No link with naturally occurring trans fatty acids, such as dairy products, was found.

A study to explore whether higher levels of sugars found in urine correlate with obesity and the risk of developing breast and colorectal cancer, led by Professor Kay-Tee Khaw, of Cambridge University. Researchers didn’t find such a link.

Research examining factors that might delay cancer recurrence and additionally improve the quality of life in breast cancer patients, led by Professor KayTee Khaw, of Cambridge University. Food diaries were kept by the subjects but collaborators had issues with their cohorts, by which time the resources for completing diary analyses were not available.