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Fat Reduction and Breast Cancer
Women at High Risk for Breast Cancer Can Reduce Fat Intake, Lose Weight and Maintain Loss
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Fat Reduction & Breast Cancer

A randomized intervention trial of dietary fat reduction to 15 percent of total calories was initiated in 1987 for women at high risk for breast cancer to determine the feasibility of recruiting and maintaining them on a low-fat diet. The study has enrolled 194 women between the ages of 18 and 67 years who met at least one of three eligibility criteria: 1) a first-degree relative with breast cancer, 2) a P2 or DY Wolfe mammographic pattern, and 3) a prior breast biopsy demonstrating epithelial hyperplasia with or without atypia. Eligible women must also have had diets that contained > or = 30 percent of calories from fat at entry. Women were randomized to a non-intervention usual diet vs. a 15 percent low-fat diet. Recruitment was sought through physicians, personal mailings, breast cancer patients, and the news media. Two study sites participated: a large urban hospital affiliated with a university medical center and a community oncology private practice. The results from both institutions were similar and demonstrated that a low-fat dietary plan could be effectively conducted in private as well as academic settings with recruitment tailored to the community where the trial is being conducted. Reduction in dietary fat intake was maximal during the first three months of the dietary intervention and remained stable throughout 12 months of follow-up. Reductions in total calories, weight loss, and percent body fat were minimal. The non-intervention group experienced no major change in their diet. We conclude that it is feasible to recruit women who are at high risk for breast cancer into a dietary intervention trial and with sufficient dietary counseling and motivation on the part of participants, reduction in dietary fat intake can be achieved and maintained. More in-depth analyses of these data will be presented in subsequent reports.

Source: Simon MS, Heilbrun LK, Boomer A, Kresge C, Depper J, Kim PN, Valeriote F, Martino S. Division of Hematology and Oncology Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.

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