A recent study claims that losing weight reduces breast cancer death risk by two thirds.
Tests on 2,400 women being treated for breast cancer revealed that the rates of deaths a decade later were nearly 70 percent lower among patients with cancer who had lost weight.
Scientists said the findings are extremely important and stated that diet seemed to be as effective as any medication used to attack some forms of the cancer disease.
Thousands of women were monitored for two decades by the Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study after they were treated for the cancer, in order of seeing how diet changes may help reduce the chances of recurrence of the disease.
Women were split into two groups, with half of them on a low-fat diet. Results showed at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium revealed that patients who reached a small weight loss of around 6lbs and managed it for five years showed lower death rates in the next two decades. The most important distinctions were between the 20 percent of women who had forms of cancer that are not connected to hormones.
This group consists of triple negative cancers and cancers which come from defective genes, like the BRCA1. Last year, these kinds of cancer made Angelina Jolie go through a double mastectomy. These cancers have the most limited number of options of treatment and the worst possible prognosis if they are not found early. Death rates among women suffering from these kinds of cancers dropped by 70 percent in a decade for women who lost 6lbs or more. The study conducted by the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center found that even after 20 years, death rates were down by a half.
Medical oncologist and lead researcher, Dr. Rowan Chlebowski said the discoveries were a huge indicator that diet had a greater influence on cancer than it was previously believed. Chlebowki said the study did not determine the mechanism at work, but it suggested that insulin may play an important part in providing for tumors.
Other studies which reduce the fat but not calories did not present any impact on the rates of deaths for women suffering of breast cancer. This made researchers come to the conclusion that losing weight was possibly more important than controlling fat.