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High-fat dairy risk to cancer survival

Milk, cream and cheese can reduce the survival chances of women with breast cancer, a new study shows.

Patients who consumed one or more serving of high-fat dairy products a day had a 64pc greater risk of dying from any cause, said researchers.

They also had a 49pc higher likelihood of death from breast cancer than women who avoided the foods.

High-fat dairy products in the study included whole milk, condensed or evaporated milk, cheese, yoghurt, cream, ice cream, and custard.


A total of 1,500 women with breast cancer were questioned about their diets and monitored for an average of 12 years.

Women were asked how often they consumed dairy foods during the previous year, what the portion sizes were, and which products were full fat, low fat or non-fat.

All had been diagnosed about two years before joining the study. During the follow-up period, 349 women had a recurrence of breast cancer, and 372 died, 189 from breast cancer.

Scientists suspect cow oestrogen in dairy products may underlie the findings, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.