Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 46, Issue 2, pp 199–214

Mechanisms by which high maternal fat intake during pregnancy increases breast cancer risk in female rodent offspring


  • Leena Hilakivi-Clarke
    • Lombardi Cancer Center, and Department of PsychiatryGeorgetown University

DOI: 10.1023/A:1005983621612

Cite this article as:
Hilakivi-Clarke, L. Breast Cancer Res Treat (1997) 46: 199. doi:10.1023/A:1005983621612


Emerging evidence indicates that a high in utero estrogenic environment increases breast cancer risk in women. We have proposed that a maternal intake of a high-fat diet is a source for high pregnancy estrogen levels and increases breast cancer risk among female offspring. In this review, the role of dietary fat in breast cancer, particularly during fetal life, is discussed. In addition, we provide possible mechanisms of action of the effects of a high-fat diet on the breast. These mechanisms include protein kinase C, estrogens and estrogen receptor, and alterations in mammary parenchymal structures.

dietfatmaternal nutritionprotein kinase Cestrogen receptormammary parenchymal structuresbreast cancer risk
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997