Sunday, March 26, 2017

Mediterranean Diet and Breast Cancer

Who doesn't want to cut their risk of breast cancer? Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to preventing cancer and everyone is different. However, it is comforting to know that there are some lifestyle changes we can do to at least try to prevent cancer. A few weeks ago, we learned that exercise may prevent the reoccurrence of breast cancer.  This week, a study by the International Journal of Cancer (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.30654/full) says that the Mediterranean diet can reduce the chance of estrogen receptor negative causing breast cancer.

Estrogen receptor negative breast cancer usually does not have a very good outcome. With this type of cancer, estrogen has no affect on the growth of the cancer tumor. The fact that the tumor is not affected by the estrogen means that there are a limited treatment options. Luckily, each day there are studies and techniques to conquer this form of breast cancer.  Mostly women who are post menopausal are more likely to get estrogen receptor negative breast cancer.

Changing your diet is a very important way to help keep your body healthy and fight off the risk to be diagnosed with breast cancer. No diet can keep cancer away, but it can keep us healthy so we can fight cancer with more strength. Diet is at least something that we have the control to change.  According to breastcancer.org (http://www.breastcancer.org/tips/nutrition/reduce_risk/reduce_risk), eating a diet high in vegetables and fish but low in saturated fats is an excellent way to help your body to be at an optimum health.

The International Journal of Cancer study occurred in the Netherlands involving 62,573 women. They ranged in the ages of 55-69 years old. The study tracked their diets for over twenty years. Over three thousand of the women ended up being diagnosed with breast cancer. However, they could only use 2,321 cases because of the insufficient data in the other cases.

The study showed a high significance in those who ate a Mediterranean diet opposed to those who did not eat the same diet. The study actually found that post-menopausal estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer was 40% less prevalent in those who adhered closely to the Mediterranean diet. That is a significant percentage of those who didn't get the difficult form of breast cancer.

The Mediterranean diet has many variations, but the study said it was most effective when the woman followed the diet by strict guidelines. The Mediterranean diet consists of eating mainly fruits, legumes, spices, herbs, whole grain, olive oil, vegetables and fish. Vegetables and fruit from a plant seems to be the essential key.

According to the Mayo Clinic (http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/mediterranean-diet/art-20047801,) the Mediterranean diet also has been linked to heart health, reducing occurrences of Alzheimer's disease, reducing cancer in general and maintaining a healthier life. The main elements to remember is to eat vegetables, but only eat red meat once a month, if at all.  Fish and poultry should be at least twice a week. Nuts are great to eat but only in moderation because of high calories. Limit or do away with salt by using spices and herbs. Yogurt is also good to eat.  Exercise is also a part of the diet.

Just try to be mindful that no diet is cancer proof. But maintaining a healthy body begins with what you eat, and having a healthy body provides you with strength to fight diseases such as breast cancer.


Originally posted by Jessica Grono on breastcancernewstoday.com

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