Multivitamins Linked to Lower Chance of Breast Cancer Relapse: Study

December 19, 2010 Updated: December 20, 2010

Multivitamins are linked to a decreased chance of breast cancer relapse or recurrence, according to a study presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in early December.

The study found that women afflicted with breast cancer who used multivitamins have a lower chance of dying from the cancer or facing recurrence after remission than women who did not take multivitamins, according to MedicineNet.com.

Women who took multivitamins with minerals were to 29 to 31 percent less likely to have the cancer recur, and 22 to 27 percent less likely to die from the disease, depending on when they took the vitamins after diagnosis.

The report noted that a larger percentage of breast cancer patients (60 percent of women) take multivitamins compared with those who don’t have the cancer (38 percent).

Despite the correlation, scientists warned that the study does not find a causal effect between taking multivitamins and reduced breast cancer relapse or death risk.

For example, the presenters said that the link could be due to other factors, such as the propensity for women with healthy diet and exercise habits to take multivitamins, MedicineNet.com reported.

In 2007, the latest year that data on breast cancer statistics was released, more than 200,000 women were diagnosed and 40,000 women died from the disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).