Will eating cheese cause breast cancer?

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Will eating cheese cause breast cancer?

It seems that dairy products, particularly cheese, are back on the hit list. This time it’s because the “Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine” has filed a lawsuit against the American Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for ignoring their petition. The petition that wanted all cheese manufacturers to put labels on their cheeses saying “Dairy cheese contains reproductive hormones that may increase breast cancer mortality risk.”

Does cheese really cause breast cancer?!

If preventing breast cancer was simply a case of not eating cheese, then that would be a no-brainer. But we all know that cancer is a lot more complicated than that, and eliminating a single element doesn’t remove the risk. Even though we know there is an incredibly strong correlation between smoking and lung cancer, smoking is not always the cause of lung cancers.

So, why do the 12,000 physicians involved with the PCRM think cheese is the culprit? The main reason is a 2013 Journal of the national cancer institute that shows a link between women who ate lots of high-fat dairy products and had a lower rate of surviving breast cancer.

Diet and breast cancer

This is not the first time that links between breast cancer and diet have been found. In 2005 a study released in “Cancer, Causes & Control” saw that women diagnosed with breast cancer ate below the five servings of fruit and vegetables, recommended at the time.

While a 2016 study in Current Developments in Nutrition found that although yogurt may protect against breast cancer, eating a lot of American, cheddar, or cream cheeses showed a slight increase in risk.

Photo Source: Theresa Otero

Time to change your diet?

The PCRM are big supporters of a ‘four-pronged approach’ to beating breast cancer. They suggest eating a plant-based diet, take regular exercise, limit your alcohol consumption, and keep a healthy weight.

While we should all know that this is great advice for a healthy body, that doesn’t mean you do have to give up everything you enjoy. What’s the point in living a long life if you can’t titillate your tastebuds occasionally. Everything in moderation, even moderation (as the saying goes).

We can not ignore the research, more studies are continuing and new research is being released and updated regularly.

When it comes to breast cancer, early detection is key – and remember that breast cancer can affect all genders. While mammograms are an effective method of early detection, it’s not the only way. At home make sure you know what your ‘normal’ is. This way you will notice any small changes in nipple color or shape – which can be another early sign that something is not right.

Self-examination of your breast tissue and the surrounding area shouldn’t be something that causes embarrassment, because this can quite literally save your life. If you’re not sure how to complete a self-exam, you can talk to your doctor, or find reliable and factual resources from the National Breast Cancer organization

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