BEIJING, Dec. 18 (Xinhuanet) --
Low-fat diets may help prevent the return of breast cancer in some women whose
tumor growth was not driven by hormones, according to a new study published in
the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on Saturday.
Women with the lower-fat diets had a 24 percent lower
risk of a recurrence than the other women, according to researchers led by Dr.
Rowan Chlebowski of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute in Torrance,
The study involved 2,437 breast cancer survivors, some of
whom reduced their daily fat intake by roughly 40 percent while the others
stayed about the same as when they started.
Women in one group decreased their fat intake to 33 grams
per day, or 20 percent of total calories, while the other women consumed 51
grams per day, or 29 percent of total calories.
About 9.8 percent of the women on lower-fat diets suffered
breast cancer relapses, compared to 12.4 percent of women who did not have lower
For women whose cancers were fueled by hormones --
the vast majority of breast cancer patients -- the diet change seemed to make
little difference in the risk of recurrence or survival.
However, questions remained about whether those who did benefit
truly were helped by cutting fat or by the weight loss that resulted.
"Maybe it raises as many issues as it answers," said John
Milner, chief of nutrition science research for the National Cancer Institute,
which paid for the first phase of the study.