A new prospective study has reported that a diet rich in fruit and salads is associated with lower risk of breast cancer, especially hormone receptor negative (ER-/PR-) breast cancer. The study was designed to investigate the associations between dietary patterns and breast cancer. There is some evidence that prudent/healthy dietary patterns might be linked to lower breast cancer risk. The study used data from the prospective Melbourne Collaborative Cohort Study, an Australian study which included 20,967 women who were followed for an average of 14.1 years. A total of 815 invasive breast cancers were diagnosed during follow up.

Among four dietary patterns that the authors identified, only high consumption of fruit and salad was found to be associated with reduced risk of breast cancer. Greater risk reduction was found for tumors that were both estrogen receptor negative (ER-) and progesterone receptor negative (PR-), which includes both the ER-/PR-/HER2- (triple negative) and ER-/PR-/HER2+ subtypes. Women in the highest fifth of fruit and salad consumption had an 52% lower risk of hormone receptor negative (ER-/PR-) breast cancer compared to women in the lowest fifth. However, the women with the greatest fruit and salad consumption had only an 8% lower risk of ER+ or PR+ breast cancer than women who ate the least amounts of these foods.

Please see our article on how to optimize your breast cancer diet for information on what to eat during all stages of treatment and recovery.