Breast Cancer Diet Tips

By: Kirsten Whittaker

It's true, women who survive breast cancer and load up on nutritious fruits and veggies as part of a breast cancer diet (a whole lot more than the current U.S. dietary guidelines) might just slash their risk of a tumor recurring by nearly one third. This according to a just released U.S. study to appear in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The researchers took another look at data from almost 3,000 breast cancer patients (average age 53) who were part of research that focused on diet and preventing breast cancer recurrence.

Half the participants were told to double their fruit and veggie intake to 10 servings per day, eat more fiber and lower their daily fat intake to levels under the government recommendations, a type of healthy eating that's been shown to lower the risks of developing breast cancer in the first place.

The other group was merely given information about the U.S. food guidelines.

An important distinction of this latest study was that it found the reduced risk of tumor recurrence came only for women who didn't have hot flashes (a common side effect) after their cancer treatment. Women who did cope with hot flashes after treatment were found to have lower estrogen levels.

"Women with early stage breast cancer who have hot flashes have better survival and lower recurrence rates than women who don't," said Ellen Gold of the University of California Davis, who was a leader of the research. Earlier work supports the theory regarding hot flashes and rates of tumor returns.

Researchers noted that vegetables and fruits act on suppressing estrogen (suspected in driving the most common form of breast cancer). They point to individual levels of the hormone as a possible explanation for inconsistent study results regarding fruits and veggies and reduction in recurrence of breast cancer tumors - some studies said they helped, others showed they didn't. It may be that differing estrogen levels in the individual that offers another clue to this discrepancy.

The team found that only 16% of subjects, without hot flashes, who had doubled up on the fruits and veggies had their tumors return after a seven year period.

Of those given only diet advice and information on guidelines, the tumors returned in 23% of the subjects. Women who had been through menopause lowered their risk by a whopping 47%.

The amount or fruits or vegetables you need to eat per day is well over what the U.S. recommended daily allowance of 2 cups of fruits or 2½ cups of veggies. You'll want to choose a variety of these healthy options, and look for foods grown as close to home as possible.

Be sure that when you bring these good-for-you treats home, you wash them well (with warm, soapy water), rinse and dry them carefully to remove pesticides, herbicides or mold.

Breast cancer is the most common condition, affecting women in both North America and Europe, and it is the second leading cause of death, after lung cancer, of American women.

Your lifetime risk of getting breast cancer is estimated to be 1 in 8, but thanks to today's treatment and detection options, your chance of dying from breast cancer is much lower at 1 in 28.

Now, with this research revealing useful breast cancer diet tips, even these numbers can be improved with the addition of a whole lot of good-for-you fruits and tasty veggies!

Next just head on over to the Daily Health Bulletin for more health tips including more on healthy eating, including breast cancer diet tips and get 5 free revealing health reports.


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