The association between diet and cancer has a long history. Back in the 1980’s, it was a “hot” topic but at that time it mostly involved the role of single nutrients, namely dietary fat and cancer risks. In fact, my PhD dissertation investigated the difference in tumor incidence in the intake of two polyunsaturated fats on breast cancer in animals.
The results of this study and a subsequent follow-up study, showed that there were no significant differences in tumor formation in rats fed either corn oil (an omega-6 fat) or fish oil (menhaden oil), an omega-3 fat). Since then, further research has supported these findings.
Recently the research has centered more on the effects of dietary patterns (e.g. more fruits and vegetables and/or plant-based) on cancer incidence in human and animal studies. Some specific foods and factors have emerged as having an association (not causative) with cancer incidence.
The following article brings us up to date on what we actually know about the complex issues of diet and cancer at the present time.