Aside from skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. About 1 in 8 women in the US will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Fortunately, due to advances in treatment and early detection, survival rates are excellent and increasing every year.
While there are age and genetic factors that are not under our control, there are still plenty of lifestyle habits than can help reduce a woman (or mans) risk of developing breast cancer.
In fact, statistics show that positive diet and lifestyle factors can reduce risk by up to two-thirds! These include managing stress, reducing excess weight, limiting alcohol, exercising regularly, and eating well. As nutritionists, we of course mainly help people focus on the food aspect – though we are HUGE proponents of relaxation techniques, self-love, gratitude and the like.
How food may play a role
Good news here! The nourishing foods we advocate daily on our website, blog, in groups, and with our private clients are universally helpful for reducing the risk of many chronic diseases, including cancer.
The basic premise is to aim for a whole foods-based anti-inflammatory diet that minimizes processed foods and added sugars. As our followers know, we especially love to concentrate on what to INCLUDE in order to upgrade the immune system, help the liver detoxify, and make the body’s environment less hospitable to cancer cells.
Here are some of our top plant based risk-reducing superstars:
The following foods are chosen as anti-cancer superstars because they contain either antioxidants and/or natural “phyto” chemicals which can help protect against damage to tissues that happens constantly as a result of normal metabolism (oxidation). We favor food over supplements as there are so many other vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other compounds in the whole food that work together in harmony, just like a beautiful orchestra.
Monoterpenes, found in citrus fruits, including grapefruits, oranges and tangerines.
Indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, found in cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, kale, bok choy, arugula, horseradish, radishes, watercress, daikon, kohlrabi, mustard greens and rutabaga. Broccoli sprouts are also a very powerful source; even small amounts contain up to 20x the amount of sulforaphane than much larger amounts of broccoli.
Calcium d-glucarate, found in oranges, apples, grapefruits and cruciferous vegetables.
Lignans, found in flaxseed, pumpkin, sunflower and poppy seeds, whole grains (rye, oats, barley), fruits (especially berries) and vegetables.
Epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG), found in green tea.
Lycopene, found in tomatoes (particularly cooked varieties such as tomato sauces, paste and ketchup), watermelons, carrots, red peppers, apricots, papaya, pink grapefruit and guava.
Oleic Acid, found in olive oil, avocados, almond oil, peanut, pecan, cashew and macadamia oils.
Have you heard of thermography?
Thermography uses infrared light to measure temperature differences on the surface of the breast. Breast cancer may cause abnormal heat patterns. It does so without the use of radiation, contact or other invasive means. There are no risks or side effects to the test.
Click here to listen to an interview Stephanie did with Dr. Philip Getson – a nationally and internationally known expert in the field of thermography.