HEADLINE: BREAST CANCER AND CALCIUM
ANCHOR LEAD: DOES CALCIUM REDUCE BREAST CANCER RISK? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Consuming calcium and vitamin D may help reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer, a recent study using data from the Nurses’ Health Study concluded. Ben Park, a breast cancer expert at Johns Hopkins, isn’t persuaded.
PARK: The data to me are somewhat underwhelming, they’re not convincing, I don’t actually think that this is a study that should change practices of oncologists and internists to say, oh, you should take tons of vitamin D and calcium because it will prevent breast cancer. If there is an effect it’s marginal, it’s intriguing and maybe warrants further exploration in the form of other, larger clinical trials, but for right now I’m not sure that this is a study that I would point to as saying the definitive word on prevention of breast cancer is vitamin D and calcium. :27
Certainly consuming a diet with adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D won’t hurt anyone, but may not have much impact in terms of breast cancer prevention. Regular mammography to catch cancer early is likely more helpful. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.