Breast cancer patients with low blood levels of vitamin D may suffer from more aggressive form of the tumor which poorly responds to treatment, a new study suggests.
University of Rochester Medical Center researchers found an association between low vitamin D levels and poor prognosis of the surgical treatment in patients with breast cancer.
Breast cancer sufferers with vitamin D levels lower than 32 milligrams per milliliter were more likely to have poor scores on every major biological marker used to predict the patient's outcome, according to the findings reported at the annual meeting of the American Society of Breast Surgeons.
"The magnitude of the findings was quite surprising," said lead author Luke J. Peppone. "Based on these results, doctors should strongly consider monitoring vitamin D levels among breast cancer patients and correcting them as needed."
Scientists emphasized that the present study is a preliminary one, showing just an association and not a direct cause and effect relationship between blood level of vitamin D and breast cancer prognosis. They, however, stressed that their findings confirm the evidence linking vitamin D levels and breast cancer reported in previous researches.
Further research is required to learn more about the biological basis of the association but the new findings show the importance of checking vitamin D levels in breast cancer patients, Peppone suggested.