Acceptable quality of life if living with breast cancer.
The bad news is that more women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer every year than with any other cancer. This year about 180,000 cases will be diagnosed and 44,000 women will die of the disease. Cancer of all types is the number two killer in the U.S.
The good news is that many of these lives could have been saved by early diagnosis. Experts estimate that one-third of all types of cancers are linked to diet and that three to four million cases of cancer could be prevented each year simply by making dietary changes, though not necessarily the ones you might think.
Include fish once or twice a week in your menu. Recent research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil protect against cancers of the breast, mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, colon and rectum. Best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are herring (Atlantic), salmon (Chinook, pink), mackerel, trout (Rainbow, farmed), sardines (Atlantic in oil), tuna (white in oil). Good plan sources are flaxseed, walnuts, green leafy vegetables.
Include more monounsaturated fats like olive oil and canola oil, nuts, seeds, avocados, and natural peanut butter
Soy Caution! Include only 2-3 servings per week of soy-based foods, such as soy milk, soy nuts, tofu and soy protein powder in your menu. People with or at high risk for hormone-sensitive cancers (breast cancer) and those taking tamoxifen should avoid the use of all isoflavone soy supplements and should limit soy foods. Some experts say to avoid getting more than 100 mg per day of soy. Talk with your doctor on your individual use of soy.
Instead of that morning cup of Java, choose green or black tea. Evidence is mounting that tea may be a healthful addition to our diets. Laboratory research has confirmed the cancer-fighting capabilities of several polyphenols, including catechins in green and black tea, as well as theaflavins and thearubigins in black tea. Polyphenols may help protect against cancers of the breast, lung, mouth and pancreas or delay cancer by preventing DNA damage.
Consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day and nine is better. The more the better. Vitamins A and C, folate, calcium and fiber are all found naturally in fruits and vegetables and are thought to prevent DNA damage. Glucarate, also a substance found naturally in fruits and vegetables, is believed to play a role in glucuronidation, a detoxification process that helps our bodies excrete potential carcinogens, including pollutants, toxins and excess hormones. Naturally occurring phytochemicals have been shown to decrease the risk for some cancers.
Comsume more folate/folic acid from dried beans, lentils, orange juice, asparagus, avocados and fortified cereals. Ask your doctor about taking a daily multivitamin with 400-600 micrograms of folic acid.
Here is a small anti-cancer shopping guide: Berries (all berries, fresh or frozen; daily), Brazil nuts (two per day), citrus fruits (daily), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower or kale; 3 servings per week), fish (especially salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring or tuna; 2-4 servings per week), flaxseed (only ground flaxseed or flax meal, not flax oil, store in freezer to keep fresh; 2 TBS daily), legumes (fresh or canned lentils, dried beans, peas; 3-4 servings per week), soy (look for soy to be one of first three ingredients but limit to 2-3 servings per week with breast cancer), tea (green, black or oolong, freshly brewed is best; 2-3 cups per day), tomatoes (cooked tomato products have more lycopene; 4+ servings per week), whole grains (first ingredient whole grain, 10% or more fiber; 3 servings per day), yogurt (low fat with active cultures; daily).
Get at least 30 minutes (60 is better) of physical activity most days of the week such as walking, swimming, water aerobics, dancing, tennis, bike riding, resistance training, etc. But, also increase your daily movement by parking further away from all stores or work, walk to mailbox, take the stairs, no drive-throughs, 5-10 minute walks after meals. Get creative. Move more!
Being overweight. Limit weight gain in adulthood to 10# or less. Try to lose 5-10% of your body weight over the next 6 months.
Excessive calories. Change to 3 small meals and 3 small snacks to better control calories. This is the best way to eat to lose weight. We store less fat with smaller meals and snacks than 2-3 larger meals per day.
Dietary saturated fat and trans fatty acids. Limit saturated fat from animals like fatty cuts of meat and whole fat dairy. Also limit trans fatty acids from stick margarine, packaged cookies, crackers, and chips, French fries, doughnuts. Check the ingredient list for hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fats. If they are present, the product has trans fatty acids.
Red meat consumption. Limit consumption to 3-4 ounces twice a week, broiled, baked or grilled. Choose loin and round cuts.
Nitrates and nitrites. Limit intake of cured meats like hot dogs, sausage and bacon or at least eat with vitamin C-rich foods to protect against ill effects.
Refined carbohydrates (simple carbohydrates). Consume less sugary and highly processed carbohydrates like soft drinks, most sweets and grains made with white flour and less than 10% fiber such as white bread, cereals like Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies, saltine crackers, white rice, pasta, white flour tortillas. Choose whole grains, 10% or more fiber for breads, cereals and crackers, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, corn or whole wheat tortillas. Check the food label. Beware of foods with high fructose corn syrup in the ingredient list - regular sodas!
Alcohol. Stop drinking alcohol. In moderation, alcohol may protect the heart but may increase the risk of breast cancer.
See your physician for a check-up today! Early detection can be the difference between life and death.
Go to "Monthly Topic" above for a detailed description of the monthly lessons.
Click here to return to the home page.