Multi-vitamins may have role in reducing death from invasive breast cancer: image via drfranklipman.comThe Women's Health Initiative (WHI), a 15-year National Instutes of Health study of more than 161,000 post-menopausal women launched in 1991, has yielded considerable data on quality of life and medical causes of death and disability among women 50 and above. A new look at the data from two sections of the study, published online in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, looks at the possible effects of multivitamins and minerals on the survival rates of women with invasive breast cancer.
'Invasive breast cancer' is cancer that spreads outside of the membranes of the milk glands or ducts into the breast tissue. Two common invasive breast cancers are invasive ductive carcinoma and infiltrating lobular carcinoma.
Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University reviewed the data and found that 7,728 women in the WHI study developed invasive breast cancer during the study period. According to WHI records, approximately 38 percent of the women were taking multi-vitamins and minerals prior to their breast cancer diagnosis. These patients were followed for an average of 7 years following their diagnosis.
The mortality rates of these women revealed that the women who took multivitamins and mineral supplements were 30 percent less likely to die from causes related to their cancer than women who did not take the supplements regularly. This was true after other possible causal factors connected with survival, such as smoking status, education, race/ethnicity, alcohol use, physical activity, and age at diagnosis, were taking into consideration.
The researchers need further studies to confirm whether there is truly a cause and effect relationship, and if there is, they would need to confirm that this relationship is also the case for pre-menopausal women.
source: News Medical