Female Cancer, Dietary Practices Worldwide

The incidence of female cancers in relation to dietary practices worldwide

Akio Sato, Davaasambuu Ganmaa, Li-Qiang Qin, Pei-Yu Wang, Takashi Kaneko, Kazuhiko Hoshi.

Medical University of Yamanashi, Tamaho, Japan.

Introduction The continued increase in some hormone-related cancers worldwide is of great concern. The correlation between incidence rates and dietary practices in different populations is useful for identifying the risk factors of these cancers.

In this study, we correlated the incidence of breast, corpus uteri, and ovary cancers in 42 countries with food intake in the same countries.

Materials and methods The cancer incidence data available from Cancer Incidence in Five Continents edited by Parkin et al. and food consumption data from the FAOSTAT database collections for 42 countries were used in our study.

Results Breast cancer: The age-adjusted incidence of breast cancer differed markedly from one country to another. Uruguay had the highest rate at 92.6 per 100,000, followed by the USA [90.7].

The lowest rate was found in Korea [7.1], followed by Algeria [9.5]. Of the food items examined, meat was the most closely correlated with cancer incidence [r=0.820], followed by milk and cheese [0.790].

By contrast, cereals [-0.458] and pulses [-0.388] were negatively correlated with the incidence of breast cancer. Stepwise-multiple-regression analysis revealed that meat [1961-90] contributed the most to the incidence of breast cancer around 1990 [R=0.875].

Corpus uteri cancer:The age-adjusted incidence rate [per 100,000] of corpus uteri cancer was highest in the USA [18.2], followed by Malta [16.4], and Denmark [14.7]. Korea had the lowest incidence rate at 0.3, followed by Mali [1.0], and Algeria [1.2].

Milk was most closely correlated with the incidence [r=0.789], followed by meat [0.760], and eggs [0.706]. Conversely, pulses were negatively correlated with the incidence [-0.405].

Multiple-regression-analysis identified milk + cheese as factors contributing most to the incidence of corpus uteri cancer [R=0.795].

Ovary cancer: Austria had the highest ovary cancer incidence at 15.1 per 100,000, followed by Denmark [14.0], and Ireland [13.6].

The lowest rate was found in Mali [0.7], followed by Algeria [1.2], and Korea [2.8]. Fats + butter were most closely correlated with incidence [r=0.747], followed by milk [0.745], and eggs [0.642].

Cereals [r=-0.444] were negatively correlated with incidence. Milk + cheese were identified as the factor most contributing to the incidence of ovary cancer [R=0.748], whereas the contribution of cereals to incidence was negative.

Conclusion The increased consumption of animal-derived food may have an effect on the development of hormone-dependent cancers. Of these foods, milk and dairy products are of special concern because they contain considerable amounts of female sex hormones.

AACR Abstract Number: 2578, 2003

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