Background: Little is known regarding how specific dietary factors affect the survival of women with breast carcinoma.
Methods: Female registered nurses were followed with biennial questionnaires in a prospective cohort with 18 years of follow-up. Participants were women with breast carcinoma (n = 1982) diagnosed between 1976-1990 who completed a food frequency questionnaire after diagnosis. The main outcome measure was time to death from any cause. Analysis was made by multivariate Cox proportional hazards models.
Results: In multivariate analyses of diet after diagnosis, no apparent association was found between fat intake and mortality. The relative risk (and 95% confidence interval) of mortality comparing the highest with the lowest quintile of protein intake was 0.65 (0.47-0.88). There was no association between red meat and mortality. These associations were similar in analyses with breast carcinoma death as the outcome.
Conclusions: No survival advantage was found for a low fat diet after a diagnosis of breast carcinoma. However, increased survival was observed among women eating more protein, but not red meat. The findings suggest that differences in diet may affect survival after a diagnosis of breast carcinoma and should be examined in greater detail.
Copyright 1999 American Cancer Society.