veggies.jpg (6769 bytes)fruitbowl.jpg (6391 bytes)Breast Cancer Statistics

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We began this archive as a means of assisting our visitors in answering many of their health and diet questions, and in encouraging them to take a pro-active part in their own health.  We believe the articles and information contained herein are true, but are not presenting them as advice.  We, personally, have found that a whole food vegan diet has helped our own health, and simply wish to share with others the things we have found.   Each of us must make our own decisions, for it's our own body.  If you have a health problem, see your own physician.

Breast Cancer Statistics  

"Cancer mortality statistics in 33 countries of the world were compiled and calculated from data edited from a magnetic tape copy of the World Health Organization (WHO) data base of cancer mortality." (1.)

Using this, I checked for correlations between female breast cancer mortality rates in the 30 countries for which data was available, and food and environmental factors collected from various other sources (2, 3, 4).

The highest correlation (R=.79, p much less than .01) was between breast cancer and animal source Calorie consumption (see graph below).

There was a lower but still significant correlation between breast cancer mortality and milk production (R=.55, p=.001). This would support the hypothesis (5.) that estrogens and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) in cow's milk stimulate breast cancer. (see graph below)

Multiple regression analysis showed some additional correlations. A large correlation coefficient (R) and a p value less than .05 suggests that there is a significant statistical relationship between the dietary factor and the disease, although it does not prove that the one causes the other. Negative R values indicate an inverse relationship (e.g. the more vegetable source protein consumption, the lower the incidence of breast cancer).

Multiple regression by BMDP (5.):
Variable Partial_R p value
animal source calories/day 0.7897 1.3E-07
Animal fat/day (gm) 0.7807 2.1E-07
Total fat/day (gm) 0.7767 2.1E-07
Animal protein (gm/day) 0.7029 1.0E-05
Meat Kg/caput/year 0.6937 1.5E-05
Animal source calcium (mg/day) 0.6401 0.0001
Total Calories/day 0.6071 0.0003
Milk production (lbs/caput/day) 0.5521 0.0013
Total protein (gm/day) 0.533 0.002
GNP/cap($) 0.5268 0.0023
Female life expectancy (years) 0.4661 0.0082
Hen eggs (lbs/caput/day) 0.353 0.0514
Vegetable source calcium (mg/day) -0.1682 0.3657
Vegetable source Calories/day -0.2864 0.1182
Vegetable source protein (gm/day) -0.3607 0.0462
Infant mortality -0.4123 0.0212

William Harris, M.D.
Medical Director
Kaiser-Permanente Vegan Lifestyle Clinic (VLC)
1010 Pensacola Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 597-2100 (W)  


(1.) Tominaga S., Aoki K, Fujimoto I, Kurihara M. Cancer Mortality and Morbidity Statistics, Japan and the World-1994.

Japan Scientific Societies Press. CRC Press. 2000 Corporate Blvd., N.W. Boca Raton Fl 33431. ISBN 0-8493-7748-X

(2.)Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAO Production Yearbook. Rome, 1987.

(3.) Kurian, George Thomas. The Book of World Rankings. Facts on File Inc.119 West 57th St. New York, N.Y. 10019. 1979. ISBN 0-87196-394-9

(4.) Kurian, George Thomas. The New Book of World Rankings. Facts on File Inc.460 Park Ave. So. New York, N.Y. 10016. 1991. ISBN 0-8160-1931-2.

(5.) Dairy products and breast cancer: the IGF-I, estrogen, and bGH hypothesis. Outwater JL; Nicholson A; Barnard N. Med Hypotheses (ENGLAND) Jun 1997, 48 (6) p453-61, ISSN 0306-9877.

(6.) BMDP Statistical Software. BMDP New System for Windows. Los Angeles, 1994. ISBN 0-935386-30-0.

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