In a study involving 2,236 women who had been diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer between 1997 and 2000, persistent multivitamin use from pre-diagnosis to post-diagnosis was associated with a decreased risk of recurrence (HR=0.76), although non-significant, and a decreased risk of total mortality (HR=0.79), with protective effects limited to women treated by radiation only and both radiation and chemotherapy, as compared to never use of multivitamins. In addition, women who used multivitamins pre- and post-diagnosis were found to eat a diet consisting of more fruits and vegetables and were also more physically active, and had a better overall survival. In the group, 54% of women reported using multivitamins pre-diagnosis and 72% reported using multivitamins post-diagnosis. There were a total of 380 recurrences, 212 deaths from breast cancer, and 396 total deaths. Multivitamin use after diagnosis alone was not associated with a significant reduction in recurrence (HR=0.92) or mortality (HR=0.92). The authors conclude, “Multivitamin use along with practice of other health-promoting behaviors may be beneficial in improving breast cancer outcomes in select groups of survivors.”
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