Premenopausal Breast Cancer May Be Linked to Poor Diet in Adolescence, Young Adulthood

Poor diet in adolescence and early adulthood may increase a woman's chance of developing premenopausal breast cancer, according to the findings of a recent study.
Diet inflammatory score was not associated with overall breast cancer incidence or postmenopausal breast cancer.

“During adolescence and early adulthood, when the mammary gland is rapidly developing and is therefore particularly susceptible to lifestyle factors, it is important to consume a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes,” she said.

The authors noted two main limitations to the study. First, patients were asked to remember diet during adolescence at a later date. The researchers also did not have adolescent or early adulthood measurements of blood markers of inflammation in this study.

“About 12 percent of women in the United States develop breast cancer in their lifetimes,” said Michels. “However, each woman’s breast cancer risk is different based on numerous factors, including genetic predisposition, demographics and lifestyle. Our study suggests that a habitual adolescent/early adulthood diet that promotes chronic inflammation may be another factor that impacts an individual woman’s risk.”

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