According to one study, which was conducted by Kaiser Permanente researchers, women diagnosed with early-stage of breast cancer who eat full-fat dairy products after diagnosis are more likely to die from breast cancer than women who eat low-fat dairy products after diagnosis.
At this point it is very important for you to know that the estrogen is a hormone that stimulates breast cell growth, including the growth of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer cells. Also you need to know that this hormone is created and stored in fat cells.
According to many researchers dairy products eaten in the United States and other Western countries have high levels of estrogen and progesterone in them. This is mainly because most of the milk is produced by pregnant cows. That is why many experts think that it is possible that low-fat dairy products have lower levels of estrogen and progesterone because most of the fat has been removed.
Knowing all of this, we can easily conclude that low-fat dairy products may be a better choice for women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, especially hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer.
In addition you should also know that this research was mainly conducted to find out if eating full-fat dairy products can increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence (the cancer coming back), as well as the risk of dying from breast cancer.
For the purpose of this study, the following full-fat dairy products were used:
- whole milk
- condensed or evaporated milk
- ice cream
The condition of these women was carefully monitored for about 12 years.
The results of this research showed that women who reported eating one or more servings per day of full-fat dairy products had a 64% higher risk of dying from any cause and a 49% higher risk of dying from breast cancer compared to women who ate fewer servings per day of full-fat dairy products or women who ate low-fat dairy products.
Even though the results of this study are a bit troubling, you should always keep several things in mind.
At this point you should also know that this research shows an association between full-fat dairy products and worse breast cancer outcomes. However it does not prove that the first causes the second.
Many need to be conducted in order to verify the potential link between full-fat dairy products and breast cancer.
However if you have been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, make sure that you do everything you can to minimize your risk of recurrence of the cancer and improve your chances of survival. You can achieve all of that, by doing the following:
- eating a healthy diet that’s low in processed foods and sugar
- avoiding alcohol
- maintaining a healthy weight
- exercising daily
- not smoking
- staying on track with any medicines you’re taking to reduce the risk of recurrence