A recent article by Laurie Barclay in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that there is not a consistent association between eating meat, dairy, and eggs and the risk of developing breast cancer Here is a quote:
June 18, 2009 — Intakes of meat, eggs, or dairy products are not consistently linked to risks for breast cancer, according to the results of a prospective study reported ahead of print in the June 2 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
"Meat, eggs, and dairy products — prominent features of the Western diet — have been consistently associated with increased breast cancer incidence and mortality in ecological studies; moreover, there has been an ecological trend of increasing breast cancer mortality coincident with the increase in consumption of animal products that occurred after World War II," write Valeria Pala, from Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Milan, Italy, and colleagues. "The 2007 World Cancer Research Fund report concluded that observational epidemiologic studies do not consistently implicate consumption of any animal food in breast cancer risk.".
I think this is good news for all of us who worry (too much) about our diets. Most articles that discuss possible links between diet and breast cancer are reporting on the risk of developing breast cancer in the first place--not an association between breast cancer progression (for those of us who have already been diagnosed) and diet. Many women make a leap in assuming that risk factors may also apply to possible progression/recurrence of breast cancer. That has generally not been studied.
As far as I know, there is precious little confirmed information about dietary risks. I realize there are zillions of articles and pronouncements about this, but most are not based on any kind of rigorous science. Most of the doctors and scientists whom I know are very skeptical about this whole topic and, if they believe that nutrition matters re the development of breast cancer, they think there may be only two times in life that are important: when we are in utero (not much we can do about what our mothers ate) and in early adolescence (not much we can do about what we ate then). The common thread is those two times where hormones are raging and there is active and great cell proliferation/growth.
Clearly, we must all make our own decisions about what we eat. My own instincts are "Everything in moderation" and remembering the basic rules of nutrition that my mother taught me.
If you want to read more of the article click here