High intake of fish and long-chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is associated with reduced all-cause mortality after breast cancer, according to a study published online in Cancer.

Nikhil K. Khankari, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues examined data from a population-based follow-up study involving 1,463 women newly diagnosed with first primary breast cancer who were interviewed approximately three months after diagnosis.

Risk and prognostic factors were assessed, including dietary intake, using a food frequency questionnaire. The authors determined vital status through 2011, with a median follow-up of 14.7 years and 485 deaths.

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The researchers found that, among women with breast cancer, all-cause mortality was reduced for those reporting the highest quartile of intake (versus never) for tuna (hazard ratio, 0.71), other baked or broiled fish (hazard ratio, 0.75), and the dietary long-chain ω-3 PUFAs docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid (hazard ratios, 0.71 and 0.75, respectively).

“Pending additional replication, dietary intake of fish and other sources of long-chain ω-3 fatty acids may provide an additional strategy with which to improve survival after breast cancer,” the authors write.


  1. Khankari, Nikhil K., et al. “Dietary intake of fish, polyunsaturated fatty acids, and survival after breast cancer: A population-based follow-up study on Long Island, New York.” Cancer. DOI: 10.1002/cncr.29329. [epub ahead of print]. March 24, 2015.