Purpose/Objectives: To perform an integrative research analysis of the literature regarding lycopene, its antioxidant capacity, and its nutritive and physiologic effects on breast cancer.
Data Sources: Articles published from 1990-2004 using PubMed as the primary retrieval base.
Data Synthesis: Forty articles were retrieved and a dimensional analysis was performed based on Fawcett's integrative review process that focused on the following categories: antioxidant, bioavailability, breast cancer risk, and dietary factors.
Conclusions: Noted gaps in the literature included lack of a theoretical model and multiple nutritional variables studied that affected statistical interpretation and application. Findings suggest that additional research is needed to effectively study the specific phytochemical attributes of lycopene with regard to breast cancer.
Implications for Nursing: The emerging area of health-derived benefits from food sources such as lycopene requires additional inquiry into the examination of physiological and nutritional parameters. Nurses should include antioxidant therapy in their base of knowledge when caring for patients with breast cancer.