Teen Diet and Breast Cancer

If young girls lay off the fries today, will they avoid breast cancer tomorrow?

There's important information on the continuing cancer research.

"I'd say maybe a half a cup." 25-year-old becky snyder is helping researchers understand the long-term health effects of a young girl's diet.

"Today we're talking about, in this room, we're talking about what i ate yesterday." She did the same thing about fifteen years ago in the first part of the study.

Back then researchers recorded the fat-intake of eight to ten year old girls and measured the hormone levels in their blood.

"The girls who were on the low-fat diet had lower levels of estrogen and lower levels of progesterone compared to girls who were on the regular diet."

That's good news because 'high' levels of estrogen are a strong risk factor for breast cancer.

"The exciting potential of the study is that eating a proper diet during adolescence for girls may actually decrease their risk for breast cancer when they're adults."

Researchers say a woman's diet during adolescence may be even more critical than her diet as an adult when it comes to developing the disease.

Researchers are also looking at how a young girl's diet affects bone health.

"You'd like them to be able to follow a good low-fat diet, have a decreased risk for cancer of the breast, but not an increased risk of osteoporosis."

Becky's hopes her long term participation in the study will help all women prevent both problems.

"Even if I only help one person, then it's worth it to me to be here."

Researchers say they should have important dietary information for girls in about a year.