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Fruits, Vegetables Don't Cut Breast Cancer Risk, Studies Find

February 15, 2001

Contrary to some earlier reports, eating fruits and vegetables probably won't help women reduce their chances of getting breast cancer--although it does protect against colon cancer. That conclusion is based on an analysis of eight studies involving 351,825 women, said epidemiologist Stephanie Smith-Warner of the Harvard School of Public Health in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Assn.

The studies documented participants' eating habits at the outset and then counted the number of breast cancer cases diagnosed in the next six to 15 years. A total of 7,377 cases occurred. Women with the highest consumption of fruits and vegetables--four to 10 servings a day--had about a 7% lower risk than women with the lowest consumption--one to three servings. But the reduction was not considered statistically significant.

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--Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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