Study links sugary Western diets to cancer risk

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RICHMOND, Va. -- A new year usually means new resolutions. For many people, watching your weight tops the new year's resolution list. Cutting back on sugar is a good place to start, and according to a new study, sugary Western diets can not only affect your weight, but it could put you at risk for breast cancer.

The study backs up previous studies on a possible link to cancer and the negative effects of sugar on a person's health, but this is the first to show a direct connection between sugar consumption on the development of breast cancer.

The study found mice that were fed western diets with high sugar content - specifically fructose found in table sugar - had increased tumor growth and could potentially spread to the lungs. This is compared to mice that were fed a non-sugar diet.

Dr. Francesco S. Celi, with VCU Massey Cancer Center, pointed out this study is in its early stages and this is just one possible risk factor.

"It's very difficult to quantify the actual risk of one single dietary component," Dr. Celi said. "Sometimes we have to look at the holistic approach to our diet and lifestyle.

Dr. Celi said that includes a healthy diet and exercise.