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Study looks for links between breast cancer in African Americans and diet, exercise

October 18, 2010

African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than their white counterparts, but the reasons haven't been clear.

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham think lifestyle may provide some clues. A new study aims to identify the effects of diet and exercise on black women in Alabama in hopes of shedding light on the reason for the disparity.

"There's growing evidence of the link between obesity and cancer, and African American women in the Deep South have the highest rates of obesity and breast-cancer mortality," researcher Monica Baskin, an associate professor in preventive medicine at the university, says in a statement. "With respect to nutrition and prevention, there definitely is a history of evidence suggesting that eating lots of fruits and vegetables, reducing red meat intake and avoiding processed foods is helpful in preventing cancer. We know for sure that is not happening in the Deep South, particularly among black women." Read more about the study at "Breast-cancer prevention research focuses on diet, exercise" at the university's website.

One of the risk factors for breast cancer that women can't change is genetic links. The Los Angeles Times writes about women who take preventive steps when they test positive for a breast cancer gene in "The knowledge of danger opens paths of options."

Read more about the latest breast cancer findings and news at HealthKey.

-- Mary Forgione / Los Angeles Times

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