A new study in China has found that Western diet increases the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal Asian women.
Worldwide, breast cancer is the fifth most common cause of cancer deaths after lung cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer and colon cancer.
Although breast cancer rates are traditionally low in Asian countries, they have been steadily increasing in recent years, especially in developing countries such as India.
The study published in the July issue of the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarks & Prevention journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, looked at 1,602 women with breast cancer, aged 25-64, in Shanghai.
The study found that postmenopausal Asian women who eat a "meat-sweet" or Western diet are at greater risk of developing breast cancer than those who eat a "vegetable-soy" diet, reported News Wise wire.
The "meat-sweet" diet includes various meats like pork, poultry, beef and lamb and seafood as well as candy, dessert, bread and milk.
The "vegetable-soy" pattern is associated with different vegetables, soy-based products, and freshwater fish.
Researchers said that the findings mark the first time that an association between a Western diet and breast cancer has been identified in Asian women.
The transition in breast cancer risk has been attributed to environmental factors, possibly the incorporation of Western dietary patterns into traditional dietary habits as a part of broader socio-economic changes.