Load Up On Fruits And Vegetables
The fiber, antioxidants and other phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables have the potential to reduce cancer growth, although research results have been mixed on their role in breast cancer. In fact, data from the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living trial, a study of more than 3,000 women with a history of early-stage breast cancer, failed to show a diet rich in these foods reduced the rate of recurrence.
However, data from the Women’s Health Observational Study , a trial of nearly 94,000 postmenopausal women with a history of early-stage breast cancer, linked a higher intake of carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables, such as leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes and nectarines, to a lower recurrence of ER-positive breast cancer.
In addition, a 2008 study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology of nearly 1,500 women with early-stage breast cancer found those who ate at least five daily servings of fruits and vegetables â and exercised 30 minutes daily â cut their risk of death in half over a 10-year period. This benefit was greatest among women with ER-positive breast cancer.
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can do more than cut cancer risk. A plant-centered, high-fiber diet can also reduce the risk of other health problems that breast cancer patients may face, such as obesity and cardiovascular disease. Consequently, women with breast cancer are encouraged to include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in their daily diets.
Targeted Therapy For Her2
In about 1 in 5 women with breast cancer, the cancer cells make too much of a growth-promoting protein known as HER2 . These cancers, known as HER2-positive breastcancers, tend to grow and spread more aggressively than HER2-negative breast cancers. Different types of drugs have been developed that target the HER2 protein.
Foods To Limit Or Avoid:
Theres evidence that avoiding fatty foods, like fried foods and packaged snack foods, is one way to help manage weight and overall health and as a result, maybe even breast cancer.
High body fat increases the mortality risk in breast cancer survivors, explains Generose. Decreasing your intake of saturated fats, like those in red meats, butter and baked goods, can decrease fat levels and inflammation in your body.
In small or moderate quantities, alcohol namely red wine does have some health benefits, such as lowering stress, lowering the risk of heart disease and reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
In large quantities, however, alcohol is directly linked to breast cancer . Women should keep it to no more than one drink per day, as there is strong evidence that consuming large amounts of alcohol daily increases your risk of breast cancer, says Generose.
In all meal plans, its recommended that you limit your intake of red meats, like beef, lamb and pork, and processed meats, like bacon and hot dogs.
You dont need to swear off all red meat for good, but reducing your intake can have positive effects on your health and may reduce your risk of cancer, says Generose.
The recommended amount of red meat is three portions per week, or a total of 12 to 18 ounces or less.
Try to choose lean cuts of meat or poultry, and add more fish to your diet, adds Generose.
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Alcohol In Moderation If At All
Drinking alcohol is a known risk factor for breast cancer. A large, observational study of 105,986 women suggested that drinking three glasses of wine or more per week throughout life increases a womans risk of breast cancer by a small but significant percentage.
The study saw a 15% increased risk of breast cancer when women drank an average of three to six drinks per week, compared to women who did not drink. Try to avoid intake of alcoholic beverages when possible.
Some studies tout possible benefits for heart health from moderate intake of red wine, but regardless of the type of alcohol, daily alcohol intake is associated with increased risk for certain cancers, including breast cancer, notes Taylor.
Maintain A Healthy Weight After Treatment
People with obesity have higher levels of estrogen circulating in their bodies than women who are in their ideal body weight range.
Many studies, including a one conducted by researchers from the Iranian Institute for Health Sciences Research in Tehran, Iran, have demonstrated an association between body mass size and breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
If youre overweight, Taylor recommends losing weight through a healthy diet and regular exercise once youve finished treatment.
Weight loss during treatment isnt typically encouraged, as this is often associated with undesired muscle loss, leading to fatigue, a suppressed immune system and a slower healing process.
Allow your body the nutrients it needs to fight cancer, she says.
Once your treatment is done, consider meeting with a dietitian for individualized recommendations to decrease recurrence risk and support a healthy weight.
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Can Diet Help Her2
Your everyday eating habits can have an impact on your overall health. Diet, physical exercise, and other such modifiable risk factors may be linked to 20 to 30 percent of all cancers.
While no single food or diet will prevent or treat cancer, it is an important aspect of your overall treatment approach.
Some foods may help to decrease the progression of HER2-positive cancer by lowering the amount of HER2 protein produced. Other foods may prevent cancer cells from absorbing nutrients or make them more vulnerable to drug treatment. The HER2-positive cancer cells shrink or die as a result of this.
Similarly, certain diets may aggravate the cancer. They could make cancer cells grow and spread more easily.
Nutrition And Breast Cancer Survival
The following are under investigation for their potential for reducing breast cancer recurrence and improving survival after diagnosis:
Lower body weight. Breast cancer patients with a BMI 30 kg/m2 have increased morbidity and mortality. Gaining more than 5% of initial weight during or after treatment, irrespective of baseline BMI, increases the risk of recurrence and reduces survival 5-fold.,
An overweight initial body weight, or weight gain after a diagnosis of breast cancer, is associated with higher all-cause mortality in breast cancer patients., In one systematic review and meta-analysis, a weight gain of 10% or more of baseline weight was associated with a nearly 25% greater risk for mortality, although the association was not significant for women who were diagnosed at a healthy weight . A previous meta-analysis found that having a BMI > 30 kg/m2 was associated with a roughly 40% greater overall mortality risk for breast cancer-specific mortality, the risk was 75% higher for premenopausal women and 34% higher for postmenopausal women, compared with normal-weight women.
Breast cancer patients in the highest tertile of butter, margarine, or lard consumption have a 67% higher cancer recurrence and a 212% higher mortality, relative to the lowest 3rd.,
Higher intake of soy-containing foods. Women previously diagnosed with breast cancer who then consume higher amounts of soy-based foods have significantly lower risk for both disease recurrence and mortality.
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Learning To Balance Your Plate
People with cancer are often motivated to make dietary changes, but Ms. Kennedy says its important to stay balanced. You dont always have to eat salads and grilled fish, she says. In real life, you are going to a barbecue or a graduation party or the beach and at times youre going to eat foods that appear to be off plan. In reality, thats what healthy eating and balance is all about: trying to keep nutrition in the big picture of your overall wellness.
Gwen Ryan, 58, of Gloucester, Massachusetts, was first diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer in 2014 and now has metastatic breast cancer.
Like most people, I was bombarded with information from well-meaning friends and I also surfed the internet on what to eat and what not to eat, Gwen says. I remember one day thinking, I cant eat anything.
She was grateful when a social worker at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, where she gets her medical care, told her about a new program designed to promote weight loss and healthier eating. At the first session, the instructor made it clear that there is no No List.
I learned what a healthy plate should look like. One half should be colorful vegetables the other half was split between a deck of cards worth of protein, healthy grains and carbs, and a little fat, she says.
Now Im not living scan to scan, but Im living between scans, she says.
What Are The Symptoms Of Triple
For some people, metastatic breast cancer is found before it causes symptoms, on an imagingscan done as a follow-up after early-stage breast cancer. Others experience symptoms that lead them to see their doctor. The symptoms of triple-negative metastatic breast cancer are the same symptoms seen in other types of metastatic breast cancer. These symptoms can vary depending on where in the body the cancer cells traveled. Below are a few symptoms associated with the four most common areas of breast cancer metastases: the bones, liver, lungs, and brain. For a fuller list of symptoms, visit our page on metastatic breast cancer symptoms.
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Diagnosis Symptoms And Risk Factors
TNBC may display similar symptoms as other types of breast cancer. Like other breast cancers, TNBC is diagnosed with imaging exams and a biopsy of the cancer tissue.
Once doctors confirm cancer, they test the biopsy tissue for molecular receptors. If the cancer has no receptors for estrogen and progesterone and does not have high levels of HER2, it is considered triple-negative.
TNBC has many of the same risk factors as other types of breast cancer. One difference is age. Compared to other types of breast cancer, TNBC is more common in women under age 50. Black women are also at an increased risk for the disease.
What Type Of Breast Cancer Do I Have
Breast cancers arent all the same. Doctors classify them in a number of different ways. The most basic place to start is where the cancer cells originate. Their origin is a key factor in whether or not your cancer may spread and helps dictate the kind of treatment youll get.
Most breast cancers 70% to 80% start in the milk ducts. Theyre known as infiltrating or invasive ductal carcinomas, meaning that theyve broken through the milk ducts wall and have proliferated into the breasts fatty tissue. Once there, its possible for the cancer cells to further spread to other parts of the body.
Another 10% of breast cancers start in the milk-producing glands, or lobules, and are called invasive lobular carcinomas. Theyre also capable of spreading.
Other rarer breast cancers may involve the nipple, the breasts connective tissue or the linings of blood vessels or lymph vessels.
Some breast cancers are non-invasive. They havent spread. Theyre contained within the milk ducts and are called ductal carcinoma in situ . Generally, the prognosis for patients with DCIS is very good, Dr. Abraham says.
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What Are The Odds Of Beating Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Between 20 and 30 percent of women with early stage breast cancer go on to develop metastatic disease. While treatable, metastatic breast cancer cannot be cured. The five-year survival rate for stage 4 breast cancer is 22 percent median survival is three years. Annually, the disease takes 40,000 lives.
Lifestyle Changes After Breast Cancer
Lifestyle Changes after Breast Cancer Treatment: Conversations on Survival. A group of breast cancer survivors openly discuss what lifestyle changes were continued or changed after treatment. The importance of living in the moment, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and knowing what is really important in life are all discussed.
1) Take care of yourself emotionally
- Put your needs first sometimes
- Attend a support group or find a breast cancer survivor you can talk with
- Stay informed about new breast cancer research
- Consider psychotherapy and/or antidepressants if warranted if youre taking tamoxifen, check with your oncologist to ensure the prescribed antidepressant does not interfere with your endocrine treatment
- Communicate with your doctor about fears or concerns
- Volunteer or become a breast cancer advocate
2) Take care of yourself physically
- Exercise regularly
- Report any physical changes to either your oncologist or primary care provider
- Seek treatment for lymphedema if you experience signs
3) Eat healthy
Research has shown that a diet high in fat and calories increases circulating estrogen in the blood. Consuming a low fat and low calorie diet after breast cancer can improve your overall health and wellness. Here are some dietary suggestions:
4) Reduce stress
5) Limit alcohol
6) Exercise regularly
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Organic Fruits And Vegetables
Organic plants are grown without the use of conventional pesticides. Conventional fruits and vegetables may have low-levels of pesticide residue.
According to the American Cancer Society, the benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables outweigh any health risks linked with pesticide residue .
Fruits and vegetables are part of a healthy diet. Buying fresh conventional produce and thoroughly washing and rinsing before eating is always a good practice .
Should I Consider Participating In A Clinical Trial
Breast cancer treatment has improved tremendously. The reason for this progress is because patients have been willing to take part in tests of newer treatment options.
For any stage of breast cancer, a well done clinical trial could be your best treatment option, Dr. Abraham says. If you qualify for such a trial, your doctor can answer any questions you may have about participating so that you can determine if its a good fit for you.
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Diet And Breast Cancer
Because the role of diet in breast cancer survival is not fully understood, common nutrition advice is based on what is known to prevent breast cancer â and these guidelines aren’t specific to cancer type. In fact, nutrition advice for breast cancer prevention closely matches the breast cancer survivorship guidelines, published in December 2015 by the ACS and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
These recommendations encourage survivors to consume a diet that emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes, while limiting alcohol and saturated fat. These guidelines are not specific to cancer type or ER status, although people who have estrogen-dependent cancer may respond well to these recommendations.
Eat Better To Feel Better
Lynne Richmond, 55, a public relations professional in Washington, D.C., met with a nutritional counselor after she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer 2 years ago. At first, they focused on strategies to help with chemotherapy side effects, but now that she is in what she calls survivor mode, her focus is on eating healthy for life.
I didnt think there was a magic fix. But I thought eating better could give me a better chance of survival than if I didnt do anything, Lynne says. The plan includes staying away from packaged foods, carbs, and sugary desserts as much as possible, and she tries to skip the alcohol, too. She likes leafy greens such as spinach and kale, and blueberries and other fruits that are high in antioxidants.
For Sheryl Greene, 51, of Roanoke, Virginia, a 2012 stage II breast cancer diagnosis led to a change in shopping habits. She reflected on what she ate, helped by nutritional counseling she received as part of her cancer care. She realized that she ate a lot of canned foods and not enough foods she prepared herself. High-fructose corn syrup, a refined sugar, was in many of her packaged food choices.
Now Sheryl shops almost entirely on the perimeter of the grocery store, where fresh foods are, and avoids the middle aisles. She also likes farmers markets and looks for food marked organic.
You can read more about Lesleys experience in her blog, To Eat or Not to Eat?
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Foods To Avoid If You Have Breast Cancer
If you have breast cancer, its advised that you avoid the following:
- Leftovers that are more than three to four days old.
- Food that has been left out at an unsafe temperature for four or more hours.
Limit caffeine and alcohol, as both are dehydrating, advises Taylor. Talk to your oncologist for exact recommendations. And if youre having diarrhea, consider avoiding completely, as both can worsen symptoms.
Should You Skip Sugar
The idea that sweets âfeed cancerâ has been around for a long time. The truth is more complicated. A spoonful to take the edge off your coffee will not directly make cancer cells grow faster. But itâs still wise to keep an eye on how much you add to your diet. A lot of sugar on a regular basis can lead to obesity and other conditions that make cancer more likely.
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Reduce Nausea And Vomiting
You should also be prepared for nausea and vomiting. These are common side effects of many cancer drugs, including the HER2+ breast cancer drug trastuzumab .
When nausea strikes — and even before — ask your doctor to prescribe medication for it. There are many options, but some can be expensive. Ask about cost and insurance coverage.
You can also ease symptoms through diet choices. A few to live by while youâre in treatment:
- Stay away from your favorite foods when you have nausea. Otherwise, you might not like them after treatment because of a negative association.
- Eat a meal or small snack before chemotherapy treatment.
- Try small amounts of easy-to-eat, high-calorie foods several times a day.