While unrestrained weight gain always brings with it a greater chance of cancer, new research into breast cancer in postmenopausal women has found a link between the type of fats being consumed. A highly occurrence of saturated fats (found mainly in meats, butter, cheeses, creams and palm oils) in the breasts has been linked to higher incidence of cancer, according to a new MRI study.
The study, published June 7 in the journal Radiology, is an important one because its findings highlight a probable dietary (and therefore preventable) link to a disease that afflicts so many modern women. “Our study offers the first evidence–seen in breast tissue–that high saturated fatty acids in the breast adipose tissue is associated with presence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women,” said Dr. Sungheon G. Kim, a lead author of the study.
For the study, 89 patients were weighed and measured and had their BMI tested. Then, the women underwent MRI scans specially equipped with a new technique called gradient-echo spectroscopic imaging, which is able to differentiate between the different types of fat found in the breast tissue. The results showed the greater the incidence of saturated fats, and the lower the incidence of monounsaturated fatty acids, the greater the incidence of breast cancer.