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What Foods Cause Breast Cancer

Bad Diet In Teen Years Could Raise Later Breast Cancer Risk

Foods That Cause Cancer – MedStar Health Cancer Network

Heres a good reason to check what your kids are eating: women who remember having eaten poorly as teenagers were more likely to develop early breast cancer, researchers reported Wednesday.

They found women who ate the most inflammatory diet heavy in red meat, sodas, sweet foods and white flour were up to a third more likely to develop breast cancer in their 20s, 30s or 40s compared to women who thrived on salads and whole grains.

It doesnt mean that breast cancer is a womans fault, but it does show that what you eat early in life could have repercussions decades later, said Dr. Karin Michels of the University of California Los Angeles, who helped lead the study.

It is actually quite serious, Michels, who did the work while at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Womens Hospital, told NBC News.

We should advise our girls and teenagers to eat healthy because breast cancer does seem to have a much earlier origin than we have appreciated in the past. Cancer in general takes years, potentially even decades, to develop.

Breast cancer is the No. 2 cancer killer of U.S. women, after lung cancer. Every year, it’s diagnosed in 200,000 women and a few men, and kills around 40,000.

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For the report, Michels and colleagues turned to the Nurses Health Study, a giant, ongoing look at the health of tens of thousands of women working in medicine.

“Cancer in general takes years, potentially even decades, to develop.

Prioritize Plants In Your Diet

Moving to a plant-based diet doesnt mean you have to become a vegetarian. It just means that fresh vegetables, fruits, and legumes make up most of what you eat. The nutrients in plant-based, non-commercially processed foods appear to inhibit inflammation and, because of relatively low carbohydrate and high fiber content, dont cause repeated sharp rises in blood insulin levels.

Think of plant-based foods as the main course and protein and high-fiber carbohydrates as the condiments. Thats the methodology behind the Mediterranean diet, which focuses on a menu of predominantly plants, as well as lean meats, fish, and plant-based fats like olive oil.

Healthy Foods That Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

A woman may reduce her risk for breast cancer by eating higher amounts of foods with nutrients and antioxidants proven to fight cancer.

A woman may reduce her risk for breast cancer by eating higher amounts of foods with nutrients and antioxidants proven to fight cancer.

Certain vitamins and nutrients can reduce your risk for breast cancer. If you meet breast cancer risk factors, eat the following 11 healthy foods to lower your risk.

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Flaxseeds Ground Or Whole Could Fend Off Cancer

Shopping for healthy fats will inevitably lead you to flaxseed oil, but this is an instance when your best anti-cancer nutrition choice is the seed itself, ground into a flour-like dust.

When you use milled flaxseed, it has a component called lignans, explains Marian. According to a study published in June 2014 in Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, lignans may possibly decrease cancer growth, which could make it useful in a breast cancer management diet. You can buy ground flaxseed or grind the seeds yourself using a coffee grinder. Then sprinkle the flaxseed on salads or include it in muffins.

Nutrition Tips To Prevent Breast Cancer

Healthy Foods &  Spices to Prevent &  Recover From Breast Cancer

One in eight women will receive an invasive breast cancer diagnosis during her lifetime. To prevent this, many research the latest health fads claiming to reduce the chance of developing cancer.

Unfortunately, no magic food or workout routine exists to ensure you will never develop cancer. However, making some slight changes to your diet and activity could help lower your likelihood of receiving that diagnosis. While many factors outside your control contribute to breast cancer such as genetics and family history you can make some lifestyle choices now to help decrease your chance of developing specific cancers in the future.

Also Check: How Do You Know If You Have Breast Cancer

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Diet And Breast Cancer Risk

Maintaining a healthy weight is linked to a lower risk of breast cancer after menopause. However, only a few dietary factors appear to be related to breast cancer.

  • Eating fruits and vegetables is linked to a risk of some breast cancers
  • Drinking alcohol is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer

We also know some foods and beverages are not related to breast cancer risk. Others are under study for possible links to breast cancer.

This section gives a summary of the research on dietary factors and breast cancer risk.

Supplements Are Not The Answer To Preventing Cancer

The World Cancer Research Fund suggests high-dose dietary supplements are not recommended for cancer prevention, and the best approach to preventing cancer is to aim to meet nutrition needs through whole foods. Studies may show that foods containing certain nutrients have a protective effect. However, this does not mean that these nutrients will provide the same benefits for cancer prevention if taken as supplements.In some cases, there has been an increased risk of cancer in those people who take nutrient supplements at doses higher than the usual amount of that nutrient normally eaten in foods. For example, the use of beta-carotene and vitamin E supplements has not been proven to be effective in either prevention or treatment of lung cancer. In fact, several studies have shown that beta-carotene supplements actually increase the risk of lung cancer in people who smoke.

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Smoking And Breast Cancer Recurrence

There is emerging evidence that smoking may affect the risk of breast cancer recurrence but further research is needed to find out more.

We know smoking causes a range of health conditions. If you want to stop smoking there are a range of programmes to help. Speak to your pharmacist, GP or practice nurse for advice.

Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer

Foods that Prevent Breast Cancer

Following are some of the common signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

  • a new lump or thickened tissue in either breast
  • a discharge of fluid from nipple
  • a rash on or around the nipple
  • a lump or swelling in the armpits
  • a change in the size or shape of the breast
  • dimpling on the skin of the breasts
  • a change in the appearance of the nipple- becoming sunken into the breast

One should consult a doctor if we notice any of the above signs or symptoms of breast cancer.

Foods to Eat After Cancer Diagnosis!

No two cancers are the same. Go beyond the common nutrition guidelines for everyone and make personalized decisions about food and supplements with confidence.

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Fish Can Fill You With Protective Lean Protein

Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. That makes it a smart lean protein source and a great addition to a breast cancer prevention plan, because anti-cancer nutrition recommendations suggest limiting your intake of red meat and processed meats, including bacon and packaged deli meats. Opt for salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna all are rich in omega-3s as breast cancer diet choices instead.

Foods That Reduce Your Risk Of Breast Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, the average risk of a woman in the U.S. developing breast cancer at some point in her life is 12 percent. Although many risk factors for breast cancer are out of your control, such as genetic factors , there is evidence to support that a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise and a nutrient-dense diet may affect your risk of cancer. In fact, experts estimate that we may be able to prevent as many as 1 out of every 20 cancer cases simply by changing what we eat. Certain compounds found in food, such as ellagic acid, phytosterols, antioxidants , and even fiber, have been found to regulate estrogen and inhibit cancer cell formation. Here, weve listed the best foods that contain cancer-fighting nutrients.

While no single food is guaranteed to keep you cancer-free, shifting your diet to include more of these foods that can help fight breast cancer wouldnt hurt. Below, weve listed some of these nutritional stars.

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Carbs: Type And Amount

The second paper focused on the type and amount of carbohydrates that breast cancer survivors consumed. Carbohydrates can lead to high blood sugar, which prompts the body to release insulin. Both higher levels of insulin and blood sugar may promote cancer growth, hypothesizes Farvid.

This study was published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.

Here, Farvid categorized dietary intake by using a measure of how much a foods carbohydrates affect the blood sugar. One measure is the glycemic index. This index ranks each carb-containing food on a scale of 1 to 100 depending upon how much the food causes your blood sugar to spike. The higher the number, the speedier your blood sugar increases. Pure sugar ranks at 100, cucumber at 15 . How much an actual serving of that food will raise your blood sugar is known as the glycemic load.

Breast cancer survivors who consumed higher glycemic load diets were at an increased risk of dying from breast cancer compared to those who ate low glycemic load diets. Diets categorized as higher in both glycemic index and glycemic load were linked to increased risk of death overall during the study period.

When categorizing diets by how much they directly affected insulin levels, using an insulin ranking index, the paper found similar findings higher insulin-raising diets were associated with an increased risk of breast cancer survivors dying from any cause compared to diets categorized as low insulin-raising.

Foods And Beverages To Avoid


While certain foods may protect against breast cancer, other foods may increase your risk.

As such, its best to reduce your intake of the following foods and beverages or avoid them altogether:

  • Alcohol. Alcohol use, especially heavy drinking, may significantly increase your risk of breast cancer (
  • ).
  • Summary

    To lower your risk of breast cancer, steer clear of refined carbs, added sugar, alcohol, fried foods, processed meats, and fast food.

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    Vitamins Minerals And Antioxidants

    Your body needs vitamins and minerals. They help the body:

    • Perform essential functions

    • Grow and develop

    • Repair itself

    Some vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are antioxidants. Research on their role in cancer prevention continues because studies show mixed results.

    A review of clinical trials in people shows the following:

    Beta carotene. High-dose beta carotene supplements do not seem to prevent cancer. Two large clinical trials have found that people at high risk for lung cancer, including smokers, former smokers, and people exposed to asbestos, have a higher risk of lung cancer if they take high-dose beta carotene supplements.

    Calcium and vitamin D. The Womenâs Health Initiative was a large study of women who had been through menopause and were generally well nourished. Researchers studied the effects of supplemental calcium and vitamin D. They found that supplements did not affect colorectal cancer risk.

    Folate. Folate is a type of B vitamin found in:

    • Leafy, green vegetables

    • Fruits and fruit juices

    • Dried beans and peas

    One form, folic acid, is made in the laboratory and found in dietary supplements. Enriched, white flour is fortified with it. This means that foods made with flour, including breads and cereals, contain folic acid.

    Studies show a link between folate and cancer risk. People with low folate levels have a higher risk of:

    • Breast cancer

    • Colon cancer

    • Pancreatic cancer

    • Prostate cancer

    • Lung cancer

    • Colorectal cancer

    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 .

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    Nutrition For Breast Cancer Prevention

    Changing your relationship to food and eating involves a major shift in thinking, feeling and doing. The goal of this shift is to create a lifestyle change, not to temporarily lose weight on a diet.

    Choosing, making and eating food with an “Abundance Model” includes the pleasures of delicious choices, many tastes, ample portions, not feeling limited, not counting calories and eating when hungry.

    This is in contrast to the more common “Deprivation Model” where rules of “do not” and “should not” leave us feeling bad or guilty with unmet hunger and cravings. Cycles of stress and depression-related eating are common with this model. A shift from “I can’t eat without feeling bad and guilty” to “I enjoy an abundance of healthy, delicious food” often results in a better-nourished and healthier self.


    1. Lower dietary fat to between 10% to 20% of calories

    Low or nonfat foods

    2. Eat more plant-based protein andeat less animal-based protein

    More beans and soyLess turkey and lean meats

    3. Minimum daily servings of:Grains: 6 per dayVegetables: 3 5 per dayFruits: 2 4 per dayBeans: 1 2 per daySoy: 1 2 per day

    Whole grains

    4. Drink 8 to 10 eight ounce glasses of water a day

    Carry a water bottle

    5. Limit caffeine to no more than 1 to 2 cups a day

    Herbal teas

    6. Drink alcohol in moderation

    No more than 3 servings per week

    7. Limit nitrates and cured foods

    Hot dogs

    8. Decrease food additives

    Artificial flavors

    Foods/diet That May Increase Breast Cancer Risk

    How your diet causes breast cancer

    While a diet with the right foods can influence reducing the risk of developing breast cancer, following an unhealthy eating pattern by taking the wrong foods can increase the risk of this cancer, ultimately making it difficult to fight the cancer.

    High Heme Iron intake may Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer

    Researchers from the University of Toronto and Cancer Care Ontario, Canada analyzed data from 23 studies obtained through literature search in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and Scopus databases till December 2018 and found that when compared to those with lowest heme iron intake, there was a 12% increased risk of breast cancer in women with highest heme iron intake. However, there was no significant association between dietary, supplemental or total iron intake and breast cancer risk.

    Elevated Levels of Folate may Increase BRCA1/2 mutation associated Breast Cancer Risk

    In a multi-center study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2016, the researchers evaluated the role of folate in BRCA1/2 mutation-associated breast cancer. The study found that, during a follow-up period of 6.3 years, women with high plasma folate concentrations were associated with 3.2 times increased breast cancer risk as compared to those with low plasma folate concentrations. A high intake of folic acid supplements may not be advisable as elevated plasma folate concentrations may be associated with increased risk of breast cancer in women with a BRCA1/2 mutation.

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    This Easy Shopping List Could Fight Cancer

    Can you help prevent breast cancer through a healthy diet? Making good choices at the grocery store isn’t a magic bullet, but research suggests it may help. In fact, an article published in the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2015 Education Book estimated that changes to eating and exercise habits could prevent 25 to 30 percent of cases of breast cancer. And while theres no official consensus yet on the specific foods a cancer-prevention diet should include or how much of those foods you should eat diets full of whole grains, fiber, and fruits and vegetables have been linked to reduced risk.

    More and more research is being done to figure out just what it is in these foods that prevents or slows the growth of the disease. It may be, for example, that antioxidants and compounds called phytochemicals in plants have protective powers against the cell damage that can lead to breast cancer. Some solid evidence points to carotenoids, otherwise known as the pigments that give carrots, tomatoes, and cantaloupe their bright red and orange colors, as being beneficial. Chemicals in cruciferous vegetables think crunchy, fiber-filled broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage may also help.

    Whats agreed on by researchers so far is that obesity can be a risk for breast cancer, as can a sedentary lifestyle. Alcohol consumption should be limited, too: In more than 100 studies, excessive drinking has been consistently associated with an increased risk.

    Connections Between Food And Cancer

    It is challenging to find specific links between a food or nutrient and cancer because:

    • Foods contain many substances that may either increase or lower cancer risk.

    • Most people eat and drink a variety of foods. This creates interactions that are hard to study.

    • The effects of a food or nutrient can vary depending on how much of it you eat.

    • Some research shows that how a food is prepared may influence its risk or benefits.

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    Brightly Colored Fruits And Vegetables Are Allies

    When it comes to breast cancer prevention, think about eating more carrots, cantaloupe, and sweet potatoes foods rich in the compounds known as carotenoids. According to an article published in June 2015 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who have higher levels of carotenoids in their bloodstream seem to be at lower risk for breast cancer.

    Orange vegetables and fruits are most often held up as sources of this powerful nutrient, so if you want to amp up the carotenoids in your breast cancer diet, just make sure you get lots of orange, red, yellow, and even dark green foods.


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