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Study relationship between iron and breast cancer – 06/30/2019

The first is first, although it is obvious clarification: no one will get sick or any cancer just by one factor. This was done right from the start by professionals who gathered on Thursday National Academy of Medicine in the exhibition entitled "Consumption of iron in the diet and its connection with breast cancer".

Doctors presently agreed that the research shows trends indicating that there is a part of the population that should change dietary habits: several studies indicate that there is a link between the excessive iron consumption and the development of breast cancer in women.

Responsibility for the exhibition was Álvaro Ronco, researcher of the national system for researchers and professor at the CLAEH School of Medicine in the field of oncology, who has been working for more than two decades in cancer epidemiology to study the role of the industry, smoking, consumption of alcohol and other environmental factors in development. of breast cancer. Also present were endocrinologist Beatriz Mendoza and oncologist Eduardo Lasalvia.

Every day, about five Uruguayan women are diagnosed with breast cancer. while two die every 24 hours.


Ronco explained that iron is found in food in two forms: heme iron (known as heme) and non-heme iron (not heme). The first is in food of animal origin, while the other is of plant origin.

The human body is prepared to regulate the absorption of non-heme iron if there is an excess, but the same does not happen with the other. Excessive accumulation of iron causes health complications.

In connection with breast cancer, Ronco cited a study that was made a year and a half ago, thanks to which one could see that "when making the source discrimination of food, the behavior of the animal movement points out something that does not reveal much, but the behavior of iron linked to plants shows a tendency to reduce the risk "of suffering from this disease in women.

The study suggests that we must take care that the consumption of iron iron does not exceed certain quantities and is not greater than the iron coming from plants.

At the conference, Ronco added that research and studies from around the world show that "heme iron is hazardous to health under certain conditions, because when it is idle it promotes oxidation and chronic inflammation."

The expert also quoted another study conducted about six months ago, where he and other specialists analyzed the subject. For this, the population was examined in a low tertiary, a medium and a high in relation to the iron levels. About this work, "what we can say is that when the relationship between heme and non-heme iron in the diet is highest, it practically forces the risk of breast cancer compared to the lowest tertile," he explained.


Endocrinologist Beatriz Mendoza added that the question "makes us think about how doctors can help the population and how we make women reduce consumption (mainly red meat) or ultimately what is the best way to consume meat that has less effect in what has to do with the development of breast cancer. "

The specialist added: "We are worried that we are seeing more and more presence of breast cancer. It is a nuisance to our society."

Lasalvia, meanwhile, regret it in oncology "is very asymmetrical what is invested in therapy in relation to what is invested in prevention." And he said, "There are investments of several billion dollars in drugs, but the work and investments made in identifying risk factors are not the same".

He said doctors observed "that more and more people are asking about changing dietary changes," but they are not being trained to "know exactly which dietary habits" they should recommend to patients.

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