Can Certain Foods Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer?

Breast Cancer Misdiagnosis Lawyer Pittsburgh, PAWhen my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, it devastated our entire family. At the time she was diagnosed, back in 2011, we knew nothing of the disease — or why she even had it, especially considering she was the first in our family to be diagnosed. For someone who had seemed healthy for all these years, was suddenly plagued with weekly chemo-treatments, a bald head, and fear of what her Stave IV breast cancer diagnosis meant.

Given the prevalence of breast cancer and the fact that it’s touched so many lives, one big question that I, among countless others have is how we can go about preventing this devastating type of cancer. While we learn that routine checks, such as mammograms and self-examinations are crucial for early detection, the concept of a simple diet and exercise leaves a lot to be desired. What kinds of foods may help with prevention? What foods should someone avoid? Prevention, as I’m beginning to understand, starts very simply at home.

My sister, since having a mother diagnosed with breast cancer, is at a higher risk for developing breast cancer during her lifetime. A common question that emerges from people — like my sister — who are at a higher risk of breast cancer, is whether or not there are particular foods that can increase or decrease the risk of disease.

If you ask anyone, they have probably had some type of personal connection to breast cancer. This is because one out of eight U.S. women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. While the risk of developing breast cancer is not as high, men are still at risk, affecting 1 out of 1,000 males in the United States. There are many different causes that can contribute to the development of breast cancer.

It is important to catch a diagnosis of breast cancer as soon as possible to give the affected person the best possible chance of developing a treatment plan and beating the disease. If a doctor fails to properly diagnosis this or misdiagnoses breast cancer as something else, the patient could miss out on valuable protections.

Some of the most common risk factors that can increase someone’s chances of breast cancer include obesity, age, certain medications, family history, genetics, hormone replacement therapy, birth control use, lack of exercise and diet.

While it is not possible to control many of the risk factors for the development of breast cancer, there are certain behaviors that can increase or decrease your risk. Some ways to minimize your breast cancer risk include making informed decisions before taking medications or going through hormone replacement therapy, maintaining a healthy weight, and using a plant-based diet.

Could Your Risk Be Higher Because You Eat These Foods?

Certain foods have been identified as being tied to an increased risk of breast cancer. One 2007 Italian study, for example, showed a high connection between sugar and the development of breast cancer. Grilled meats may increase the development of HCAs, which are cancer-causing compounds. High-fat animal products have also been tied to higher risk of breast cancer in addition to dairy and artificial sweeteners.

In recent years, many studies have explored the other negative impacts of consuming too much of these foods, such as a higher propensity for obesity. Those who are mindful of their diet and overall health may be looking to eliminate as many of these as possible from their daily lives already.

Decreasing Breast Cancer Risk with the Right Diet

The good news is, however, that there are some foods that could decrease your risk of breast cancer. Adding more of these types of food to your diet is not only easy but can help give you greater peace of mind. Broccoli contains high levels of indole-3 carbonyl, which has strong anti-cancerous properties. Red cabbage is another vegetable to consider adding into your regular diet. This also contains IC-3 in addition to vitamin A and this can reduce cancer risks. Chia seeds are another thing to incorporate into your diet because the Omega 3 fatty acid intake could decrease breast cancer risks due to its high antioxidants. Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, which decreases breast cancer risk and boosts your overall immune health. The very popular spice, turmeric, has been incorporated into recent studies as a potential breast cancer reduction risk. Anti-cancer effects in early studies have been identified with high use of turmeric, which also has benefits for your skin. One recent study says that women who ate lots of veggies, legumes, and fruit while minimizing processed carbohydrates, salt and red meat may decrease their chances of getting estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer.

This makes up a quarter of breast cancer cases worldwide and this study was recently published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. The chance of this type of cancer was 20% lower when women followed this diet.

The most beneficial foods to consider include walnuts and red, yellow and orange veggies and fruits. Harvard Medical School researchers identified that women who have higher levels of carotenoids or those nutrients found in veggies and fruits, typically have a lower breast cancer risk. This is particularly true for cancers that have a poor prognosis and are more difficult to diagnose.

The most popular choices for these fruits and veggies include sweet potatoes, kale, red peppers, spinach, carrots, and winter squash. In addition to following a healthy plant-based diet, reducing your intake of alcohol is another way to curb your breast cancer risk. While many items are safe in moderation, overexposure to particular compounds and chemicals can generate possible cancer risk and other health-related problems. For many people who overdo it, the signs may show up too late in the form of a cancer diagnosis. When certain types of cancer are flagged early, however aggressive, treatment options can help the affected person obtain better results and fight back to become cancer-free. It’s important to follow through on the doctor’s advice in these situations to have the best chance of beating the illness.

Proper awareness of increased risk factors, such as other women in the family who were diagnosed with breast cancer, might lead a woman to adopt new habits and to remain especially vigilant about screening.

In addition to advance screening and watching out for the signs of cancer, most people know that good health and exercise can contribute not only to lower cancer risk but a better lifestyle. While not every type of cancer can be avoided completely, with the right lifestyle, you can increase your chances significantly by committing to health and wellness as much as possible.

The diagnosis of breast cancer can have devastating impacts on a family if it’s not caught early. In the best case scenarios, proper screening and reporting potential problems to doctors will flag breast cancer issues early on and allow for the most treatment options.

Coping with a Breast Cancer Diagnosis During the Holidays

Taxotere Lawsuit Attorney Birmingham AlabamaBeing diagnosed with breast cancer is likely to be one of the most emotionally challenging and difficult experiences of a person’s life. This difficulty can be magnified when the person diagnosed with breast cancer is a loved one. Undergoing treatment for breast cancer can be traumatic, especially as the patient’s body undergoes drastic changes. Perhaps worst of all, the treatment for breast cancer can be incredibly invasive and wear out a person both physically and mentally.

The painful emotions that come with a breast cancer diagnosis, as well as the subsequent treatment, might never be harder to deal with than during the holidays when your family comes together to celebrate the end of the year and the onset of the new year.

Here are a few things you can do to help yourself or a loved one cope with a breast cancer diagnosis during the holidays:

Talk It Out: There is nothing wrong with expressing yourself and sharing your feelings about a breast cancer diagnosis with close friends and family members. In fact, talking about the situation can potentially make the illness more manageable as you move through the physical recovery process and your body heals from medical treatment. Talking things out with a loved one, or with a trained professional, is a good way to manage your anxiety about your breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, sharing your feelings in an open and honest way can help to ensure that you don’t lash out at the people you love — the people who just want to make sure that you are alright during this difficult time.

Come Up with a Schedule: Once you start getting medical help for your illness, you may find that performing daily tasks is harder than usual. Even the simplest tasks — such as getting dressed in the morning, picking up groceries from the store, or preparing meals — may present great difficulty when you are physically and mentally exhausted from treatment. One way to combat this is to start planning now and create a schedule of things you think you can really do after treatment begins. Additionally, try to include other people in your schedule so that they know if and when their assistance might be needed.

Allow Yourself to Be Vulnerable: You’ve probably spent your whole adult life taking care of yourself. Now, it’s time to let yourself be taken care of by those who love you. Don’t close yourself off from others as you go through this emotionally and physically challenging process. You need to stay close with your friends and family members and let them help you. This will not only make your recovery process easier, but it will also encourage the people closest to you to stay involved in your life.

How You Look Can Affect How You Feel: It’s possible that you will lose your hair and suffer other adverse physical consequences during chemotherapy. Do not underestimate just how much this can affect your outlook and feelings about the cancer treatment. If you are not in the right mental state, your treatment could be impacted. So, take steps now to prepare by researching wigs, breast prostheses, and other options that might help you to feel good after surgery or treatment.

Try to Maintain Closeness with Your Spouse: As you undergo chemotherapy, surgery, or other medical treatment options for your cancer diagnosis, your body is likely to experience some pretty drastic changes and transformations. One of the first things that might disappear — at least temporarily — during cancer treatment is your sex drive. Remember that you are part of a loving relationship with another person, so try to be open and honest about your desires and needs. Let them know that you still care about them, even if you can’t be physically intimate with them during the cancer treatment. If you are unable to maintain physical closeness with your spouse, at least try to maintain emotional closeness with them.

Don’t Be Shy About Discussing Your Treatment with Doctors: It is important that you do not shy away from discussing your cancer treatment with your doctors and nurses. When you have a negative health reaction to a particular type of treatment, immediately notify your medical treatment providers so that they can properly evaluate you and determine if the medical plan should change going forward. Some chemotherapy drugs like Taxotere can have side effects that include permanent hair loss. If you find yourself suffering complications from Taxotere or some other cancer treatment drug, alert your doctors immediately so that appropriate action can be taken to correct the problem.

Talk to a Mental Health Professional: Cancer does not just take a toll on the body; it can also have a profoundly negative effect on the mind. Many cancer patients get depressed, particularly during chemotherapy. Safeguard yourself against depression by talking to a trained mental health professional on a regular basis during your cancer treatment.

Research It: If you are physically up to the task, take some time to research your cancer diagnosis and inform yourself of the various aspects of the illness and how it is likely to affect you. There are a lot of good websites out there that provide invaluable information about cancer symptoms, causes, and treatment options, as well as national and regional cancer statistics. There is something empowering about understanding your breast cancer diagnosis and everything that is likely to come with the illness before it starts to overpower you.

You may be experiencing a flood of emotions after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. That’s normal. What is most important now is that you get the love and support you need to make it through this difficult health situation. And please keep in mind that every person who is diagnosed with breast cancer reacts differently and will likely have unique coping mechanisms for dealing with the diagnosis. There is no one right answer for responding to a breast cancer diagnosis.