Fatty acids lower risk of Breast Cancer
Researchers made new discoveries about breast cancer: fatty acids, more exactly n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) from fish, lower the risk of breast cancer by 5%. Statistics show that breast cancer, along with skin cancer, is the most common form of cancer in women. According to statistics from 2008, breast cancer accounted for about 13% of all cancers and was responsible for approximately 14% of all cancer deaths. However, breast cancer incidence began to decline in recent years by about 2% per year.
Over time, studies have revealed several risk factors for breast cancer. It seems that the most important risk factor is age: as you grew older, with the risk of breast cancer is higher ( as it is with any type of cancer). Also, the risk of this cancer doubles if there is a first degree family relative (mother, sister, daughter) who had breast cancer. Genetic causes account for about 10% of all breast cancers and the most known genes are BRCA1, BRCA2, which increase the risk not only of breast cancer but also for ovarian cancer. It also should be noted that women who carry mutations of these genes have an increased risk of developing breast cancer at a much younger age.
In terms of protective factors, it appears that a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are essential in preventing breast cancer. However these are generally recommended not only for cancer prevention but also for cardiovascular diseases. However it seems, as far as diet is concerned, dietary fat is one that has the most important role in lowering the risk of breast cancer. There are several types of n-3 PUFAS (ALA, EPA, DPA and DHA) that are involved in immune defense, chemical signaling in the brain, regulating the activity of blood vessels, etc.. Fish oil is the best source of EPA, DPA and DHA, while nuts, seeds, and leafy green vegetables contain mostly ALA.
Because studies in humans have been inconclusive, a team of researchers wanted to see if indeed these fatty acids decrease the risk of breast cancer. They measured the levels of these acids in both blood and dietary sources. After analyzing 26 studies from the United States, Europe and Asia, including more than 20 000 cases of breast cancer, the researchers concluded that marine n-3 PUFA reduces the risk of breast cancer by 14% . In addition, it appears that Asian women have the lowest risk for breats cancer because fish intake is much higher here than in other regions.