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It could also create a particular gene signature in the tumors much like a subset of breast cancers known as basal-like, which are much more aggressive

The development of breast cancer can be sped up during puberty when consuming a high-fat diet, a new study says. 

Researchers from the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program at Michigan State University -- led by Sandra Haslam (physiology professor in MSU's College of Human Medicine) and Richard Schwartz (microbiology professor and associate dean in the College of Natural Science) -- have found that a high-fat diet during puberty can not only speed up breast cancer development, but also potentially cause more aggressive types of cancer.

The team used a preclinical model to show that the breast experiences changes like increased cell growth and alterations in immune cells before any tumors arise when consuming a diet high in saturated animal fat through puberty. Such changes can lead to a speedier development of precancerous lesions, and eventually breast cancer.


On top of that, a high-fat diet during puberty can create a particular gene signature in the tumors much like a subset of breast cancers known as basal-like, which are much more aggressive. 

The study even noted that eating a diet high in saturated animal fat could potentially have permanent effects -- even if you switch to a low-fat diet later on. 

"It's important to note that since our experimental model did not involve any weight gain from the high-fat diet, these findings are relevant to a much broader segment of the population than just those who are overweight," said Schwartz. "This shows the culprit is the fat itself rather than weight gain.
 
"Overall, our current research indicates that avoiding excessive dietary fat of this type may help lower one's risk of breast cancer down the road. And since there isn't any evidence suggesting that avoiding this type of diet is harmful, it just makes sense to do it."

This study was published in Breast Cancer Research.





Source: Science Daily





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