Snacking on sugary stuff raises risk of womb cancer

August 23rd, 2011 - 8:50 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 23 (IANS) Snacking on biscuits, buns or cakes two to three times a week can increase the risk of a woman’s chances of developing womb cancer by 33 percent, a study has found.

Among those indulging more than three times a week, the chances of developing a tumour jumped by 42 percent, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday quoting researchers.

However, their overall chances were still low as the odds of the average woman in the study developing the disease during the 18-plus years of the research were just over one percent, they said.

The researchers described the size of the effect as ‘modest’ but said it warranted further investigation, according to the Mail.

British cancer experts emphasised that it is too early to draw any firm conclusions.

To look for a link between sugary foods and womb cancer, the Swedish scientists studied data from thousands of women who, between 1987 and 1990, had answered dozens of questions on diet, lifestyle, weight and general health.

Ten years later, those still alive answered an even more extensive battery of questions on their eating habits.

In 2008, the researchers matched up the women’s answers with their medical records, specifically looking for diagnoses of endometrial cancer - the most common form of womb cancer.

They found 729 cases out of the 61,226 women studied.

There was little or no increase in risk from eating certain high-sugar items such as sweets, soft drinks, jam or marmalade.

But women who snacked frequently on cakes, buns or biscuits were up to 42 percent more likely to get cancer than those who had them once a fortnight or less, researchers said.

The scientists, from Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute, say there are several ways that sweet snacks could push up the risk of the disease.

One is that sugar overload makes the body release more insulin, which can stimulate the excessive growth of cells in the endometrium, the lining of the womb, the newspaper said quoting the study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

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