Women with a genetic predisposition for breast cancer can reduce the risk by cutting down on carbs in their diet.

The dietary change can dramatically reduce the chances of breast cancer recurring because it affects the production of the insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which has been associated with cancer growth.

IGF-1 receptors have been found in breast tumour tissue, and researchers reckon the hormone could also be making cancer therapy less effective.

In one study by researchers at Dartmouth College, women with the IGF-1 receptors were far less likely to see their cancer return if they cut down on carbohydrates, which are known to ‘feed’ the hormone. The discovery adds to the growing picture of an association between breast cancer and obesity and diabetes, they say.

Source: Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, 2014; doi: 10.1158/1055- 9965.EPI-13-1218