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Green tea and risk of breast cancer in Asian Americans
According to the International Journal of Cancer, there is substantial in vitro and in vivo evidence implicating tea polyphenols as chemopreventive agents against various cancers. However, epidemiologic data obtained from mainly Western populations are not supportive of a protective role of tea, mainly black tea, in the etiology of breast cancer. Much less is known about the relationship between green tea and breast cancer risk.
Based on the results of a population-based, case-control study of breast cancer among Chinese, Japanese and Filipino women in Los Angeles County, information on dietary habits, including intake of black and green tea among other lifestyle factors was collected.
Risk of breast cancer was not related to black tea consumption. In contrast, green tea drinkers showed a significantly reduced risk of breast cancer, and this was maintained after adjusting for age, specific Asian ethnicity, birthplace, age at menarche, parity, menopausal status, use of menopausal hormones, body size and intake of total calories and black tea. Compared to women who did not drink green tea regularly (i.e., less than once a month), there was a significant trend of decreasing risk with increasing amount of green tea intake. The significant inverse association between risk of breast cancer and green tea intake remained after further adjustment for other potential confounders, including smoking; alcohol, coffee and black tea intake; family history of breast cancer; physical activity; and intake of soy and dark green vegetables.
While both green tea and soy intake had significant, independent protective effects on breast cancer risk, the benefit of green tea was primarily observed among subjects who were low soy consumers. Similarly, the protective effect of soy was primarily observed among subjects who were nondrinkers of green tea.
In summary, results point to an important role of both green tea and soy intake in relation to breast cancer risk in Asian-American women.
Source: Int J Cancer 2003 Sep 10;106(4):574-9
Breast cancer is showing up as the fastest growing cause of death in Asian Americans compared with other ethnic group. Stomach cancer affects among Korean men five times more than white Americans; cervical cancer five times more likely to affect Vietnamese women than white Americans; liver cancer also.
As is similar in other minority groups, Asian-Americans delay going to the doctor, thus early detection and screening are compromised.
According to the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Asian-American women, they have the lowest screening rates among all ethnic groups. . One fifth of Asian-American women have never had a Pap test, compared to five percent of white women.
Many of them prefer to tell their families and not to talk about the disease to outsiders. There are support groups established to help those dealing with and healing from cancer.
Source: New American Media