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Cancer Causes Control. 2006 Dec;17(10):1253-61.

Adolescent dietary phytoestrogen intake and breast cancer risk (Canada).

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Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont, Canada.



It has been suggested that dietary phytoestrogen intake during adolescence may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. This population-based case-control study evaluated the association between adolescent dietary phytoestrogen intake and adult breast cancer risk among women in Ontario, Canada.


Pathology-confirmed, population-based breast cancer cases, aged 25-74 years, diagnosed between June 2002 and April 2003, were identified using the Ontario Cancer Registry. Population-based controls were recruited, and matched to cases within 5-year age groups. Adolescent phytoestrogen intake was obtained using a brief food frequency questionnaire (n = 3,024 cases, n = 3,420 controls). Logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).


Higher phytoestrogen intake (both isoflavones and lignans) during adolescence was associated with a reduced breast cancer risk, and a monotonic trend was observed from the lowest to the highest quartile (OR [Q2] = 0.91, 95% CI 0.79-1.04, OR[Q3] = 0.86, 95% CI 0.75-0.98, and OR[Q4] = 0.71, 95% CI 0.62-0.82, p-trend < 0.001).


Adolescent dietary phytoestrogen intake may be associated with a decreased risk of adult breast cancer. If verified, this finding has important implications with regard to breast cancer prevention since diet is a potentially modifiable factor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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