Review on November 17, 2009
Many breast cancers are caused by an imbalance of hormones in the body, in particular the progesterone hormone. The progesterone hormone stimulates the growth of cancer by turning on the hormone receptors in these cells. Without the progesterone hormone, these cancer cells waste away and often die. The 2006 study by Eunyoung Cho et al.: "Red Meat Intake and Risk of Breast Cancer Among Premenopausal Women" explores the link that red meat intake by women of premenopause status has on their risk for a progesterone hormone imbalance and breast cancer.
It is important that the source of premenopause and postmenopause breast cancer be studied separately. The risk for breast cancer from the progesterone hormone for premenopause women could be different than the risk for women who have passed premenopause. Many risk factors, such as reproductive status and ionizing radiation, operate during premonapause. It has been hypothesized that the years before the birth of one's first child may be the most relevant for the risk for breast cancer, which is why it is crucial that the diet during premenopause be studied.
The association between consumption of red meat and breast cancer is unclear defined, but clearly present. Cooked red mean is a source of carcinogens, which travel down hormonal pathways. However, few studies of diet have made it a point to distinguish between the different types of breast cancer and the role that hormones such as the progesterone hormone play. The main difference between different types of breast cancer is that some have positive receptors to the progesterone hormone and estrogen while some do not have positive receptors to the progesterone hormone and estrogen. The study assessed the impact that diet during premenopause had on both of these types of cancers. The more red meat that one ate during premenopause, the higher the risk for breast cancer that is receptor positive to the progesterone hormone and estrogen. However, consumption of red meat during premenopause had no impact on cancers that were not receptor positive to the progesterone hormone and estrogen
In conclusion, this link between red meat intake during premenopause and progesterone hormone and estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer is worth paying attention to. Increasingly, this is becoming one of the more popular types of breast cancer. Since it is hormone based, it is strongly related to lifestyle and environmental factors, which include diet during premenopause. Some of the other lifestyle and environmental factors are: age of first menopause, higher body mass index, hormone therapy and use of oral contraceptives.
- ScD Cho, Eunyoung; MD, MPH Chen, Wendy Y; MB, BS, ScD Hunter, David J.; MD, DrPH Stampfer, Meir J.; MD, DrPH Colditz, Graham A.; ScD Hankinson, Susan E.; MD, DrPH Willet, Walter C. "Red Meat Intake and Risk of Breast Cancer Among Premenopausal Women." Arch Intern Med. 2006