Cancer is the catch-all term applied to a host of diseases that result from the rapid proliferation of cells. Breast cancer, the most common form of the disease, affects 54,000 people annually. With most cancers that return, they often do so after two years of treatment. One tasty nut, however, could cut the chances of this happening by half.
Most people who succumb to cancer are killed by cells that have spread to other parts of their bodies.
It is the fast-spreading aspect of cancer that increases its chances of returning after treatment.
On average, the recurrence rate among patients with early breast cancer varies between seven and 11 percent, according to the Cancer Treatment Centres of America.
One new study, led by Vanderbilt University in the US, has determined that eating as little as two almonds a day could slash the risk of recurring cancer by half.
The researchers wrote: “This large cohort study found that nut consumption among long-term breast cancer survivors was associated with a 52 percent reduced risk of recurrence or breast cancer mortality following a dose-response pattern.
“The association was strong for survivors with stage one and two breast cancer than those with stage three or four.
“This study provides evidence for promoting nut consumption as a modifiable lifestyle factor among breast cancer survivors.”
For the study, researchers looked at data from more than 3,000 breast cancer survivors in China.
They found that the average amount of nuts eaten in a week was 17.32 grams, which equates to around 13 almonds.
Participants were split into two groups, based on their nut intake.
Of the 1,500 participants who ate more than 17 grams of almonds per week, only five percent saw their cancer return.
However, 13 percent of those who avoided nuts completey saw their cancer return.
After accounting for all variants, the researchers calculated a 52 percent reduction in risk.
The corresponding author, Professor Xiao-Ou said: “Nuts are an important component of healthy diets.
“Promoting this modifiable lifestyle factor should be emphasised in breast cancer survivor guidelines.”
The findings come as new analysis suggests that almost 12,000 women in the UK were living with undiagnosed breast cancer at the end of May.