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Reducing breast cancer risk.

Every year, more than 200,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is the number one cause of cancer death in Hispanic women and the second most common cause of cancer death in other women.

There are some things that women can do to reduce their risk of breast cancer. Exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol intake have all been shown to reduce risk. A recent study suggests that markedly reducing or eliminating red meat can also reduce breast cancer risk. This study examined more than 90,000 premenopausal women and found that those women who had the highest intakes of red meat (more than 1 1/2 servings per day) had close to twice the risk of breast cancer as did women eating three or fewer servings of red meat per week. Beef, pork, hamburgers, hot dogs, and processed meats like salami and bologna all appeared to increase risk for a common form of breast cancer called estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Maybe this study will be a wake-up call for young and middle-aged women who want to reduce their risk of breast cancer.

Cho E, Chen WY, Hunter DJ, et al. 2006. Red meat intake and risk of breast cancer among premenopausal women. Arch Intern Med 166:2253-59.

By Reed Mangels, PhD, RD, FADA
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Author:Mangels, Reed
Publication:Vegetarian Journal
Date:Apr 1, 2007
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