Adherence to a Mediterranean Dietary Pattern and Risk of Breast and Endometrial Cancers: A Systematic Review
Breast and endometrial cancers are the most prevalent cancers among women all over the world, with breast cancer being the first cause of cancer mortality in women. Major known risk factors for breast and endometrial cancers are obesity, low physical activity, and unhealthy and poor diet, contributing to about 30%-35% of cancer incidence. Recent evidence supports that adherence to a healthy dietary pattern such as the Mediterranean diet (MD) is associated with reduced risk of certain types of cancer, including breast and endometrial cancers. The data for the current review were identified through a systematic search on PubMed, Scopus, and Cochrane databases using the following search terms/keywords: “Mediterranean diet,” “Mediterranean dietary pattern,” “breast,” “mammary,” “endometrial,” “cancer,” “carcinoma,” and “neoplasm.” The reference lists of the included papers were also searched manually. Through the review process, eight case-control studies, four cohort studies, and one clinical trial were identified. The included studies were conducted among postmenopausal and premenopausal women in the United States and some European countries. The review suggests a protective role for the MD against breast cancer risk in both populations. According to the fact that there was insufficient research on the association of the MD pattern and endometrial cancer risk, its protective effect cannot be interpreted with certainty. Further studies in this area, especially interventional studies, are needed to determine causality.