Who doesn’t want to cut her risk of breast cancer? Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to preventing cancer and everyone is different. However, it is comforting to know that we can make some lifestyle changes in that direction. A few weeks ago, we learned that exercise may prevent the recurrence of breast cancer. This week, a Dutch study published by the International Journal of Cancer finds that the Mediterranean diet can reduce the chance of estrogen receptor negative breast cancer.
This type of cancer — which generally strikes post-menopausal women — usually does not have a very good outcome, since estrogen has no effect on tumor growth, thereby limiting treatment options. Yet every day, studies and techniques emerge to conquer this form of breast cancer.
A good diet is crucial to keeping your body healthy and reducing the risk of breast cancer. No diet can keep cancer away, but it can keep us healthy so we can fight cancer with more strength. Diet is something we have the control to change, and eating a diet high in vegetables and fish but low in saturated fats is, according to breastcancer.org, an excellent way to keep your body in optimum health.
The Dutch study involved 62,573 women ranging in age from 55 to 69. Over a time span of 20 years, more than 3,000 of the women were diagnosed with breast cancer. The study showed that post-menopausal estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer was 40 percent less prevalent among women who closely adhered to a Mediterranean diet, compared to those who did not.
The Mediterranean diet has many variations, but at its core consists mainly of fruits, legumes, spices, herbs, whole grain, olive oil, vegetables and fish. Fruits and vegetables seem to be the essential key here. Eat red meat no more than once a month, if at all. Eat fish and poultry at least twice a week. Nuts are OK, but only in moderation because they are high in calories. Limit or do away with salt by using spices and herbs instead. Yogurt is also good, and so is exercise.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the Mediterranean diet is heart-healthy and reduces the likelihood of Alzheimer’s and cancer in general. Just remember that no diet is cancer-proof. But maintaining a healthy body begins with what you eat, and having a healthy body provides you with the strength to fight breast cancer and other diseases.
Note: Breast Cancer News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Breast Cancer News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to breast cancer.