ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta) – According to a recent study, a diet high in fat increases the risk of breast cancer. Adding foods that are high with saturated fat raises the risk of getting breast cancer by 28 percent.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 10,000 patients and found a strong association between fat consumption and breast cancer. The link was even stronger when they examined saturated fat in the diet.

“To conclude, the results of this prospective study on a large heterogeneous population of European women indicate that a high-fat diet increases breast cancer risk and, most conspicuously, that high saturated fat intake increases risk of receptor-positive disease,” Dr. Sabina Siere from the national Tumour Institute in Milan, Italy, and lead author of the study, wrote.

“This is an important finding because it’s difficult to unpick which elements of a person’s diet impact upon their breast cancer risk. We know that 40 percent of breast cancer could be prevented by changes to lifestyle such as being regularly active, maintaining a healthy weight and limiting alcohol consumption but this study provides us with further insight into the specific role of saturated fat intake and certain types of breast cancer,” Eluned Hughes, senior manager for information at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, told the Telegraph. “Whilst we are learning more and more each day about the environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors that affect breast cancer risk, it is not yet possible to predict who will get breast cancer, and for women who have been diagnosed with the disease, we can’t yet say what caused it.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women.

The study was reported in the Journal of the National cancer Institute.

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