Hyderabad: A lifelong consumption of vegetarian food has little or no impact on the occurrence of breast cancer in women, a new study has claimed. It added that being a vegetarian does not mean a guarantee for immunity against breast cancer.
The new research was carried out by experts to understand if the incidence of cancer in Indian women was lower when compared to the West — where women eat a lot of animal products. But it was found that vegetarianism does not provide any particular protection against breast cancer.
Between 2011 and 2014, women aged between 30-70 years with newly-diagnosed invasive breast cancer were identified and their diet, lifestyle, reproductive and socio-demographic factors were collected and analysed.
Only those women who had a vegetarian diet were selected for the study— totalling 2,101 — at various centres across India.
The analysis showed that the risk of breast cancer didn’t decrease in lifelong vegetarians and it had no impact at all on a cancer risk.
“Breast cancer is due to estrogen levels in the body, prolonged menstrual cycles and also obesity. Estrogen before menopause is in the ovaries and after menopause, it is found in peripheral fat within the body. And it plays a major role in triggering breast cancer,” said senior oncologist Dr T.S. Rao. “Women eating vegetarian food too are often obese, suffer from certain lifestyle diseases, have sedentary lifestyles and are caught in other conditions that can trigger cancer. So, it can’t be directly stated that a vegetarian diet can guarantee an immunity from breast cancer,” he added.
Dr Srinivas C, another oncologist said: “The accumulation of estrogen in blood levels after menopause is found to play a major role in breast cancer in post menopausal women. Blood estrogen levels are due to various factors and needs to be curbed.”...