Researchers have found a link between a typical Western diet - which includes meat, sweets, potatoes and processed foods - and the disease, especially among women who have gone through the menopause.
Asian women who gave up their traditional 'vegetable-soy' diet in favour of Western diet almost doubled their risk, a new study has found.
Researchers from Harvard, who discovered the connection after monitoring the health of 1,459 women from Shanghai, believe the Western diet increased obesity among the women, and this was the primary reason for the rise in breast cancers.
Women in the West could reduce their risks by adapting their diet to one that is richer in soy and vegetables, they say.
(Source: Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, published online on 10 July 2007 as 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-07-0059).