New York, April 16 (IANS) A diet containing low-fat food items is likely to aid women in their postmenopausal phase to keep away from breast cancer as well as lower the mortality risk rates associated with the deadly disease, finds a study.
The findings showed that women who stayed on a low fat diet for approximately eight years reduced their risk of death from invasive breast cancers.
They also improved their survival rates by 82 percent when compared with women who had not followed the dietary regimen.
Women who did not follow the diet were at 78 percent overall survival risks.
"This was the first time we had examined the deaths after breast cancer among this group, and we found that a sustained low fat diet increased the survival rates among postmenopausal women after a breast cancer diagnosis," said Rowan Chlebowski from the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute in the US.
Also, heart disease mortality rate was seen to be lower in the dietary group.
However, most of the breast cancer characteristics -- including size, nodal status, and distribution of poor prognosis, triple negative cancers and HER2 positive cancers -- were found similar between the two groups of women.
"The study also suggests that women would need to remain on the low fat diets to maintain the benefits of the dietary intervention," Chlebowski suggested.
To determine the effects of a low fat dietary pattern on breast cancer, the team conducted additional analyses of a randomised clinical trial that had followed 48,835 postmenopausal women.
The women were aged 50-79, had no prior breast cancer and had normal mammograms as wells as had an intake normal dietary fat.
Of those, 19,541 women were put on a low fat diet with nutritionist-led group sessions that sought to reduce fat intake to 20 percent of energy and increase the consumption of fruits, vegetables and grain.
The other 29,294 women in the trial followed their usual dietary patterns.
The study was presented at a clinical trial plenary session, at the ongoing American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting in Louisiana, US.