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International Comparisons of Mortality Rates for Cancer of the Breast, Ovary, Prostate, and Colon, and Per Capita Food Consumption

International study indicates clear positive correlations between meat and diary consumption with breast, prostrate, ovarian and colon cancer

The mortality rate data for the 30 countries listed in Table 1 were obtained from "Cancer Mortality Statistics in the world," prepared by Kurihara et aL.The food balance sheets published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nation were used to provide the dietary data; they represent the quantity of food available to the consumer from 1979 to 198 1, and give an indirect index of consumption based on the per capita supply.
Positive correlations between foods and cancer mortality rates were particularly strong in the case of meats and milk for breast cancer, milk for prostate and ovarian cancer, and meats for colon cancer. All four tumor types showed a negative correlation with cereal intake, which was particularly strong in the case of prostate and ovarian cancer.The observed positive correlations between the four cancer mortality rates and caloric intake from animal sources, but negative correlations for vegetable-derived calories, suggest that, of the two, animal fat and not energy is the major dietary influence on cancer risk.