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"Vitamin D may help prevent breast cancer: studies"

Globe and Mail

Source: Globe and Mail

Published: 05 Apr 2022

Category: Other

Rating: (2½ stars)

what they said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

Associated Press
Washington - Women who get lots of vitamin D are less likely to develop breast cancer, suggests a pair of studies that add to the already strong evidence that the "sunshine vitamin" helps prevent many types of cancer.
High levels of vitamin D translated to a 50 per cent lower risk of breast cancer, one study found. Even modestly higher levels resulted in 10 per cent less risk, which would translate to 20,000 fewer cases a year if it were true of all American women.
A second study, by Canadian researchers, found that women who spent time outdoors or got a lot of vitamin D from their diets or supplements - especially as teens - were 25 per cent to 45 per cent less likely to develop breast cancer than women with less of the nutrient.

The original article can found in the Media Doctor archives.

how did it rate? (more information)

Criteria Rating
Total Score 5 of 10
Availability of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Novelty of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Disease Mongering Satisfactory (?)
Treatment Options Satisfactory (?)
Costs of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Evidence Not Satisfactory (?)
Quantification of Benefits of Treatment Not Satisfactory (?)
Harms of Treatment Satisfactory (?)
Sources of Information Not Satisfactory (?)
Relies on Press Release Not Applicable
Quantification of harms of treatment Not Satisfactory (?)

what we said (Hover the mouse cursor over underlined words for more info)

This story examines the importance of Vitamin D in the prevention of breast cancer. There are two main drawbacks to this report: that it only reports the benefits of the Vitamin D in relative terms, and that it doesn't qualify the type of research it is, which may influence the results. Cohort research such as this looks for associations, in this case, between those women who had breast cancer and their level of Vitamin D, to try to draw some conclusions. One needs to remember that association is not causation, and that there are many factors at play in determining a woman's risk of breast cancer, including possibly, her level of vitamin intake. At the end of the day, the reader is not likely to come to any firm conclusions as to the optimal level of Vitamin D required which might be a good thing. That is to say if scientists can't come to a firm conclusion on the optimal level of a Vitamin, more research is likely required and patients should wait until that science is available before they radically alter their level of vitamin intake.

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