Diet, Lifestyle, and Breast Cancer Detection and Treatment

When the conventional media cover breast cancer, they nearly always emphasize the need for early detection via mammography.

Typically, they also compare the merits of less and more surgery, the development of new chemotherapeutic agents, and the latest changes in radiation protocols.

fruit and vegetables

Nature delivers her anti-cancer agents in colorful packages.

Certainly, early detection is important!

A breast cancer can take years to develop. In our view, early detection is immeasurably enhanced by breast thermography, which can detect changes in breast tissue long before abnormal findings appear on a mammogram.

Chemotherapy and radiation protocols are very important measures. However, these protocols are far from the only means we have of influencing cancer development.

Diet and lifestyle are huge. A “prudent” diet increases overall survival from all causes of death by cancer.

A low-fat diet decreases the risk of recurrence for ER- PR- breast cancer – one of the more difficult breast cancers to treat.

The combination of diet (at least 5 servings of vegetables and fruit daily) and exercise (walking 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week) cuts the risk of dying from breast cancer in half, in early-stage breast cancer patients.

Specific foods are useful as well. Fresh apple extracts inhibit the size of breast cancer tumors in lab rats, in amounts equal to just one apple a day in humans.

The equivalent of 2 small handfuls of walnuts per day can slow progression of breast cancer tumors by 50%, due to omega-3 fats, antioxidants, and phytosterols.

Broccoli sprouts reduce inflammation and free radicals, and protect cells against cancer.

High-end consumption of green tea confers survival benefits in stages 1 and 2 breast cancer, and green tea is anti-carcinogenic in multiple ways.

Exercise is as important as diet in reducing all causes of mortality from breast cancer, particularly in the most sedentary groups. Women who got the equivalent of 2 to 3 hours of brisk walking each week during the year before being diagnosed were 31% less likely to die from the disease. Women who increased physical activity after diagnosis had a 45% lower risk of death.

Even sleep plays a part in improving survival. In one study, women who slept less than or equal to 6 hours a day were found to have a 62% greater risk of developing breast cancer than women who slept 7 hours a day.

Taking all of these factors into account, we find that positive changes in diet and lifestyle are not just favorable, but are a hugely beneficial step that positively impacts breast health and the course of a developing breast cancer. That’s positive news!

Dr. Connie

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