Based on current breast cancer incidence rates, experts estimate that about one out of every eight women born today will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life. Baby boomer women are keenly aware that their risk of developing this disease increases as they get older, and are actively searching for lifestyle changes that focus on prevention.
Many factors increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, including genetic factors, hormonal factors, obesity and alcohol use. More recent studies are showing the significance of environmental factors including the use of synthetic hormones (in pharmaceuticals or foods), and environmental toxin exposure. It has been widely recognized that genetics, diet, lifestyle and nutritional factors play a role, not only in the development of cancers, but also in treatment and outcome of cancer.
Specific Dietary Recommendations
It is well known that a healthy balanced diet filled with lean protein, good fats, vegetables and whole grain fiber and limiting refined carbs is best to achieve and maintain optimal health. Other general recommendations focus on reducing toxic exposure and increasing the body’s detoxification pathways. Be sure to work with your doctor and other health care practitioners to optimize your personal plan.
- Eliminate all sugar and white flour products; this includes candy, desserts, cookies, processed breads, pasta, bagels, flour tortillas, including processed gluten-free grains.
- Eat only high-quality animal protein (organic, grass-fed, hormone- and antibiotic-free) or whole-food vegetable proteins, if you are vegetarian (beans, nuts, seeds, grains).
- Avoid flame-broiled or grilled meats; carcinogens that increase risk are formed from this cooking process.
- Avoid plastic and Styrofoam water bottles, food containers, coffee cup lids, etc. Plastics can contain hormone disruptors that interfere with hormone balance.
- Eliminate alcohol, caffeine, foods containing bromine, hydrogenated oils and trans fats.
- Take a high quality full-spectrum of essential vitamins and minerals and consider adding a high quality grape seed extract and Co-Enzyme Q10 for a combined protection of healthy cells and apotisis of cancerous cells.
- Be sure to use skin, hair and body care products (especially deodorants) that are free of parabens and other harmful chemicals.
In their recent report the Institute of Medicine urges more research on a life-course approach to studying the environment (including food) and breast cancer. Currently there is not enough information about many of the chemicals encountered in everyday life to determine their connection with breast cancer. Until these studies are completed, it is prudent to avoid potential carcinogens as much as possible.
The information given is provided for educational purposes only. This should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, nor is this information meant to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting or discontinuing any treatment or supplement regimen.
Robin Thomas spent 22 years in medical research at the University of North Carolina focusing the last 7 years on the inflammatory process of chronic degenerative diseases. In 2004 she left the laboratory to start her own health and wellness business. Robin shares informative articles about new research discoveries in nutritional medicine and adopting lifestyle changes aligned with a healthful and passionate life at her blog, http://robinthomas.biz and at Examiner.com