|VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY AND BREAST CANCER|
American Society of Clinical Oncology April 9 2009
Women deficient in vitamin D at the time of a breast cancer diagnosis are more likely to die or see the tumor spread. This according to a Canadian study published in the United States.
Researchers studied 512 women with a median age of 50 diagnosed with breast cancer in Toronto between 1989 and 1995. The women were followed until 2006, over a period of 11+ years. Just 24% had adequate blood levels of vitamin D at the time of their diagnosis.
Patients low in vitamin D were 94% more likely to see their cancer metastasize and 73% more likely to die from it, compared to women with normal levels of vitamin D in their blood, researchers found. Many of the 512 breast cancer patients participating in the research had inadequate vitamin D to begin with. 37.5% of the women were deficient in vitamin D and 38.5% had insufficient levels of the vitamin.
“We were concerned to find that vitamin D deficiency was so common in women diagnosed with breast cancer and that very low vitamin D levels adversely affected patient outcome,” said Pamela Goodwin of the University of Toronto, lead author of the study. “These data indicate an association between vitamin D and breast cancer outcome...”
In the group studied, 83% of those with adequate levels of vitamin D had not experienced metastases 10 years on, and 85% were still alive. By contrast, 69% of women with low levels of vitamin D had not seen their cancer recur, and 74% were still alive, 10 years later.
Women deficient in vitamin D were more likely to develop breast cancer before the onset of menopause. Previous studies have shown a link between vitamin D and other types of cancer, notably prostate and colon cancer, as well as cardiovascular disease, Goodwin noted.
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