Higher Levels of Vitamin D Linked to Improved Survival in Breast Cancer Patients, Study Finds

Higher Levels of Vitamin D Linked to Improved Survival in Breast Cancer Patients, Study Finds
Breast cancer patients with higher vitamin D levels at the time they're diagnosed showed significantly better outcomes in the long-term, according to a new research study from Kaiser Permanente and Roswell Park Cancer Institute. The study, “Association of Serum Level of Vitamin D at Diagnosis With Breast Cancer Survival,” was published in JAMA Oncology. Vitamin D is a nutrient famous for its role in preserving healthy bones. The most well-known sources of vitamin D include sunlight, fatty fish oils, and nutritional supplements, in addition to fortified milk and cereals. While the full connection between vitamin D and breast cancer outcomes is not fully understood, a deficiency of vitamin D was thought to influence the outcomes of breast cancer survivors in the long run. Long associated with the risk for several cancers, vitamin D is believed to be involved in promoting the normal development of mammary cells, as well as in inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells. “We found that women with the highest levels of vitamin D had about a 30 percent better likelihood of survival than women with the lowest levels of vitamin D,” Lawrence H. Kushi, ScD, lead researcher of the Pathways study of breast cancer survivors, said in a press release. Funded by the National Cancer Institute, the Pathways study was a prospective cohort study of breast cancer survivors e
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