Can cheese increase your chances of developing breast cancer?

You may want to watch how much cheese you're eating in a day -- certain types have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

KUSA - Got milk? And if you do, does that increase your chances of getting breast cancer?

A new study has found some conflicting effects of dairy foods on breast cancer risk.

The study suggests that eating a lot of cheddar and cream cheeses may increase a women’s risk of breast cancer, but eating a lot of yogurt may reduce your risk of contracting it. 

The study examined data from the Roswell Park Data Bank and BioRepository that spanned from 2003 to 2014, and included 1,941 women with breast cancer and 1,237 women without it.

The women all completed a questionnaire that detailed how much of each dairy product and how many dairy products total they consumed each month.

After the results were adjusted to account for extraneous factors, a high total dairy intake was linked to lower breast cancer risk. Fifteen percent lower, in fact.

This was mainly attributed to women eating a lot of yogurt, who had a 39 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer.

But a high consumption of cheese, especially cheddar and cream cheese, increased the risk of breast cancer by 53 percent.

Dr. Maurice Scott, a clinical instructor at the UC School of Medicine, said that a woman would have to eat a LOT of cheese to see these risks.

It’s once you go over ten servings a day that you start to increase your chances of developing breast cancer. This translates into about 10 cups of milk or 10 ounces of cheese, he added.

“It can be quite a bit of dairy before you see any significant difference in risk,” he said.

More research is needed for a better understanding of what drives this increased/decreased risk, the study noted. 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer for women in this country, though, so it’s something to keep in mind next time you’re at the grocery store.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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