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High-Fat Diets During Puberty Linked to Breast Cancer Later

Study links high fat diets during puberty to breast cancer
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

You may want to put down that burger right about now ... and lay off the doughnuts. Scientists have linked high saturated fat diets with not only speeding up breast cancer, but increasing your risks of getting it, too. And there's more: Keeping a high-fat diet during puberty in particular could have a lifelong impact on a child's risks of breast cancer.

Researchers have found that the effects of a high-fat diet in early puberty can actually be permanent—even if a lower-fat diet is introduced later in life. Before you go getting too alarmed, though, experts are saying much more research is still needed to know for sure, and they can't say definitively that all kids are impacted the same way. But the red flags are certainly there.

A high-fat diet was also found to produce a distinct gene signature in tumors consistent with a small group of cancers known as basal-like or triple negative breast cancers. According to Susan G. Komen For the Cure, somewhere between 15 to 20 percent of breast cancers in the U.S. are basal-like—and more often than not, they affect younger women. What's more, these basal-like cancers are found in the most fast-growing cases, and are more likely to spread to other parts of the body, leading to a grimmer prognosis.

Couple that info with the fact that 50 percent of all breast cancer deaths in the U.S. happen in women under 50, and the importance of improving our national diet at a younger age gets startlingly more real.

Is this news causing you to rethink your diet at all?

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