Vitamin D supplements may increase life expectancy in women diagnosed with breast cancer, reports a new study.
Experts in the RCSI analyzed the data from more than 5,000 patients with breast cancer and observed that taking Vitamin D supplements after diagnosis was associated with an increased survival rate of 20 percent compared to those who didn't take it.
‘Taking vitamin D supplements may increase the survival rates in women diagnosed with breast cancer. Higher blood levels of vitamin D through diet, sunlight or supplements is associated with an increased breast cancer survival.’
Professor Kathleen Bennett supervised the study that included data from 5500 women with breast cancer aged between 50-80 between 2000 and 2011.
The findings from earlier studies have noticed that higher blood levels of vitamin D through diet, sunlight or supplements is linked to increased breast cancer survival. Therefore, the present study suggests that vitamin D supplementation might be beneficial for women diagnosed with breast cancer.
"Large clinical trials are already underway overseas to look into this further."
Dr. Robert O'Connor, head of research at the Irish Cancer Society, appreciated the findings but advised people to consult with their doctor or medical team before rushing out to buy the vitamin D supplements.
Vitamin D use may have health problems, and each woman's cancer is unique and will require personalized care and treatment.
"We will only know if vitamin D supplementation should be recommended to improve breast cancer treatment outcome in the coming years when the results of clinical trials emerge."
However, the research team didn't have access to other information that can affect the outcome. For instance, several studies are explaining that maintaining a healthy diet and moderate physical activity can benefit patients who are undergoing cancer treatment, but this was not collected in this study.