Breast Cancer Statistics

"Cancer mortality statistics in 33 countries of the world were compiled and calculated from data edited from a magnetic tape copy of the World Health Organization (WHO) data base of cancer mortality." (1.)

Using this, I checked for correlations between female breast cancer mortality rates in the 30 countries for which data was available, and food and environmental factors collected from various other sources (2, 3, 4).

The highest correlation (R=.79, p much less than .01) was between breast cancer and animal source Calorie consumption (see graph below).


There was a lower but still significant correlation between breast cancer mortality and milk consumption (R=.55, p=.001). This would support the hypothesis (5.) that estrogens and insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I) in cow's milk stimulate breast cancer. (see graph below)


Multiple regression analysis showed some additional correlations. The larger the correlation coefficient (R), and the smaller the p value (which must be less than .05 to be significant), the greater the likelihood that the correlation is of a causal nature. Negative R values indicate an inverse relationship (e.g. the more vegetable source protein consumption, the lower the risk of breast cancer).

Multiple regression by BMDP (5.):
Variable Partial_R p value
animal source calories/day 0.7897 1.3E-07
Animal fat/day (gm) 0.7807 2.1E-07
Total fat/day (gm) 0.7767 2.1E-07
Animal protein (gm/day) 0.7029 1.0E-05
Meat Kg/caput/year 0.6937 1.5E-05
Animal source calcium (mg/day) 0.6401 0.0001
Total Calories/day 0.6071 0.0003
Milk production (lbs/caput/day) 0.5521 0.0013
Total protein (gm/day) 0.533 0.002
GNP/cap($) 0.5268 0.0023
Female life expectancy (years) 0.4661 0.0082
Hen eggs (lbs/caput/day) 0.353 0.0514
Vegetable source calcium (mg/day) -0.1682 0.3657
Vegetable source Calories/day -0.2864 0.1182
Vegetable source protein (gm/day) -0.3607 0.0462
Infant mortality -0.4123 0.0212

William Harris, M.D.
Medical Director
Kaiser-Permanente Vegan Lifestyle Clinic (VLC)
1010 Pensacola Street
Honolulu, HI 96814
(808) 597-2100 (W)


(1.) Tominaga S., Aoki K, Fujimoto I, Kurihara M. Cancer Mortality and Morbidity Statistics, Japan and the World-1994.
Japan Scientific Societies Press. CRC Press. 2000 Corporate Blvd., N.W. Boca Raton Fl 33431. ISBN 0-8493-7748-X

(2.)Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. FAO Production Yearbook. Rome, 1987.

(3.) Kurian, George Thomas. The Book of World Rankings. Facts on File Inc.119 West 57th St. New York, N.Y. 10019.
1979. ISBN 0-87196-394-9

(4.) Kurian, George Thomas. The New Book of World Rankings. Facts on File Inc.460 Park Ave. So. New York, N.Y.
10016. 1991. ISBN 0-8160-1931-2.

(5.) Dairy products and breast cancer: the IGF-I, estrogen, and bGH hypothesis. Outwater JL; Nicholson A; Barnard N. Med
Hypotheses (ENGLAND) Jun 1997, 48 (6) p453-61, ISSN 0306-9877.

(6.) BMDP Statistical Software. BMDP New System for Windows. Los Angeles, 1994. ISBN 0-935386-30-0.