A new study finds a connection between premenopausal breast cancer and chronic inflammation.
A study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomakers & Prevention, found that an inflammatory diet during a woman’s teenage years could lead to an increased risk of breast cancer during their 20s and before menopause.
The study looked at 45,204 women who were between the ages of 27-44 when the study started and 33-52 when the final questionnaire was given. The focus of the questions were to determine each woman’s inflammatory levels within their diets.
An inflammatory diet is synonymous with an unhealthy diet — including a diet high in sugars, carbohydrates and processed meats. Most notably an inflammatory diet is low on vegetables, fruits and fatty fish.
According to Harvard Medical School, tomatoes, olive oil, green leafy vegetables, nuts and fruits, are just some of the foods that can help combat inflammation.
“Some of the foods that have been associated with an increased risk for chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease are also associated with excess inflammation,” explains Dr. Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health. “It’s not surprising, since inflammation is an important underlying mechanism for the development of these diseases.”
In the most recent study published by Cancer Epidemiology, Biomakers & Prevention, study researcher Karin B. Michels, an epidemiology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles Fielding School of Public Health, emphasizes the correlation between cancer and a healthy diet.
“Our results suggest that a habitual diet that promotes chronic inflammation when consumed during adolescence or early adulthood may indeed increase the risk of breast cancer in younger women before menopause,” explains Michels.
The findings of the study suggest that an anti-inflammatory diet is highly recommended during early adulthood, “when the mammary gland is rapidly developing and is therefore particularly susceptible to lifestyle factors.”