Dietary Fat and Breast Cancer: A Search for Mechanisms

  • Thomas L. Dao
  • Russell Hilf
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 322)


In considering nutrition as an interventional approach to alter cancer incidence and mortality, most attention has focused on dietary lipids, a result of considerable experimental animal studies and the observations from numerous epidemiologic investigations internationally and nationally on the relationship between fat intake and breast cancer rates. Taken together, it has been suggested that high dietary fat intake is an important factor in breast cancer development and reduction of dietary fat is recommended. Although indisputable evidence for a beneficial outcome remains to be obtained and the controversy among epidemiologists pertaining to the association between dietary fat intake and breast cancer risk is disconcerting, it appears plausible to examine two important postulates regarding mechanisms by which dietary fat enhances breast cancer incidence or mortality. These can be stated simply as 1) dietary fat has a direct effect on initiation and/or promotion on mammary carcinogenesis and 2) dietary fat has indirect effects on initiation and/or promotion via alterations in the host’s hormonal milieu. It is noted that these do not have to be mutually exclusive, since the level and content of fat could affect cell membrane composition and fluidity and signal transduction via membrane receptors may be altered. This chapter will examine current literature pertinent to the aforementioned postulates and to consider further research needed to support the validity of these hypotheses.


Breast Cancer Linoleic Acid Breast Cancer Risk Mammary Tumor Natl Cancer Inst 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas L. Dao
    • 1
  • Russell Hilf
    • 2
  1. 1.Roswell Park Memorial InstituteBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Biochemistry DepartmentUniversity of Rochester, School of Medicine and DentistryRochesterUSA

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