Researchers have linked increased starch intake to a greater risk for breast cancer recurrence, according to results presented at the 2011 American Association for Cancer Research San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held last week.
The results show that it's not just overall carbohydrates, but particularly starch. Women who increased their starch intake over one year were at a much likelier risk for recurring.
Researchers conducted a subset analysis of 2,651 women who participated in the Women's Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) Dietary Intervention Trial, a plant-based intervention trial that enrolled about 3,088 survivors of breast cancer. WHEL researchers studied breast cancer recurrence and followed the participants for an average of seven years.
The analysis involved an examination of how changes in carbohydrate intake influenced breast cancer recurrence.
At the start of the study, carbohydrate intake was 233 grams per day. Results showed that women whose cancer recurred had a mean increase in carbohydrate intake of 2.3 grams per day during the first year, while women whose cancer did not recur reported a mean decrease of 2.7 grams per day during the first year.
Starches were particularly important. Changes in starch intake accounted for 48 percent of the change in carbohydrate intake.
The rate of an additional breast cancer event was 9.7 percent among women who decreased their starch intake the most during one year, compared with an event rate of 14.2 percent among women who increased their starch intake the most during one year.
The researchers found that the increased risk was limited to women with lower-grade tumours.
These results indicate a need for more research on dietary recommendations that consider limited starch intake among women with breast cancer.
Source: American Association for Cancer Research
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