Replacing beef, lamb, and sausages with chicken could slash women’s risk of breast cancer, research suggests.
The US National Cancer Institute study examined the diets of over 42,000 women and tracked them for eight years.
Scientists discovered that replacing red meat with poultry— like chicken, turkey, and duck—slashes women risk of getting the disease by 28%.
They also found that those who ate red meat the most were nearly a quarter more likely to develop a form of breast cancer than those who consumed the least.
Red meat has been discovered to contain cancer-causing compounds, while poultry is linked to ‘low mutagenic activity, ‘ reduced ‘internal’ stress, and decreased DNA damage.
The finding showed that those who consumed the least were 15% less probable to develop the disease.
However, one expert was quick to point out that the study only looked at women with a family history of breast cancer.
“Its participants may, therefore, be genetically at risk of the disease with the findings not necessarily applicable to the general population, she said.
“Red meat has been identified as a probable carcinogen,” study author Dr. Dale Sandler said. “Our study adds further evidence red meat consumption may be associated with increased risk of breast cancer whereas poultry was associated with decreased risk,”
‘The mechanism through which poultry consumption decreases breast cancer risk ‘is not clear’.’ He admitted.
However, Dr. Dale pointed out that the study provides proof that substituting red meat with poultry may be a simple change that can help reduce the incidence of breast cancer.’
Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer among women, impacting 2.1 million women each year, and also causes the greatest number of cancer-related deaths among women, according to WHO‘s organization website.
In 2018, it is estimated that 627,000 women died from breast cancer – that is approximately 15% of all cancer deaths among women. While breast cancer rates are higher among women in more developed regions, rates are increasing in nearly every region globally.
In order to improve breast cancer outcomes and survival, early detection is critical. There are two early detection strategies for breast cancer: early diagnosis and screening. Limited resource settings with weak health systems where the majority of women are diagnosed in late stages should prioritize early diagnosis programmes based on awareness of early signs and symptoms and prompt referral to diagnosis and treatment.