Cancer

11 November 2016

Vitamin D levels may affect breast cancer survival

According to researchers, in breast cancer patients in California higher vitamin D levels at diagnosis were associated with better overall survival.

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Vitamin D levels may affect breast cancer patients' chances of survival, a new study suggests.

Consistent findings

Researchers analysed data from nearly 1,700 breast cancer patients in California and found that higher vitamin D levels at diagnosis were associated with better overall survival. This link was strongest in premenopausal women.

Researchers found lower vitamin D levels in patients with advanced-stage tumours and the lowest levels in premenopausal women with triple-negative cancer. Triple-negative cancer is the most common type of breast cancer found in women with changes in a gene called BRCA1.

Read: Breast cancer rise alarming

While the findings are consistent with previous studies, other factors may play a role and the study does not prove cause and effect, the researchers noted.

"Our findings provide compelling observational evidence for inverse associations between vitamin D levels and risk of breast cancer progression and death," Song Yao and colleagues concluded. Yao is an associate professor of oncology at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York.

The study was published online in the journal JAMA Oncology.

Read more:

Decoding breast cancer

Living with breast cancer

Breast cancer vaccine possible

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