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Breast Cancer- Can a food reduce the risk?

09 Jan 2016

Any cancer results from mutation or abnormal changes in the genes which are responsible for controlling the growth of cells in body. If such changes occur in body , the mutated cells grow unchecked and form a tumor in that part of body. If it is malignant , it can spread to other parts of the body also.

Breast cancer is formation of lumps or  tumor in the breast .  Breast cancer symptoms can vary from a lump or swelling or skin changes. Some of the cancers may have no symptoms at all. Sometimes you might have symptoms, but they are non-carcinogenic and can be due to cyst or infection. Then these are not dangerous.

Important point is that you keep doing  self-examination monthly and immediately consult a doctor if you notice something wrong . It can be followed by mammogram and other tests like ultrasound, MRI, CAT scans, PET scans etc. The earlier the breast cancer is detected , the better are your chances of beating it.

Actually there is no food or diet that can prevent you from getting breast cancer.  Also  if you get breast cancer no food can cure it . But there are some foods that boost your immune system and help the body  fight against the disease. Also if someone has undergone treatment for breast cancer , these foods help in fast recovery and restoration of body immunity. The main things to be taken care/consumed are:

LOW FAT DIET:-May reduce the risk of breast cancer. Reducing  fats means loss in weight which reduces the chances of breast cancer.

FRUITS :- Like strawberries ,red pepper are rich in vitamin C  - an antioxidant which blocks the formation of free radicals.

WHEAT BRAN:-Wheat bran contains phytic acid and lignans which help  block the growth of mammary cancer( proved in Lab studies)

FLAVONOIDS :-Research show that  those who consumed  Flavonoids over their entire lives have lower risk of breast cancer.SOY is a rich source of flavonoids.

FIBROUS FOODS:- 10 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day help  fight against cancer. Make it a  habit to buy and consume more fruits at home. Avoid processed or frozen fruits.

OMEGA -3 FATTY ACIDS :- This Is found in soy ,flax seeds ,walnuts and fish .This fatty acid reduces blood fat  thus protecting us against cancer. Include it in your daily diet.

VITAMIN D :-It decreases the risk of cancer , perhaps it is toxic to cancer cells. Most of us do not get enough vitamin  D because we live most of the time indoors and outdoors with sun screen. So 20 minute  exposure of  sunlight (in the morning)   is sufficient for the daily dose of Vitamin D . But we should stay in sun just after  sunrise , because the rays are not so strong  at that time.

Mushroom is also a rich source of Vitamin D.  

FOLATE:- Folate decreases the risk of cancer .Spinach ,tomatoes, orange juice etc  contain a lot of folate.

TOMATO SAUCE (Homemade) contains lycopene which prevents cancer.

MONOUNSATURATED FATS :- This type of fat has anti carcinogenic property. Rich source of this fat is olive oil. So include  virgin olive oil in your diet.

GREEN TEA :- It is high in antioxidants .But do not add milk in it . The casein in  milk has been shown to inhibit  the beneficial effects of tea.


Note : All tumors /lumps in the breast are not cancerous.  If you feel any lump in your breast , don’t panic and consult the doctor immediately . As stated : An early detection will help you fight better with it and recovery is also fast and almost complete.


Dr. Suman Setia , BAMS ,DNHE, PGDHHM

Last Modified: January 10, 2016 04:04 AM
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