Many Regional Cancer Care Associates patients want to know if changing their diet can help prevent breast cancer, slow down its progression or prevent it from coming back. Some researchers have been able to link certain foods to a decreased risk, but for the most part, nothing is conclusive. However, most researchers seem to agree that eating a healthy diet, particularly one with low-fat foods and lots of veggies, may be the most beneficial.
If you’re a breast cancer patient or survivor, talk to your doctor or nutritionist about your own diet. They may be able to recommend a specific diet plan catered to your needs.
The Mediterranean Diet
Some research suggests that a Mediterranean diet may be able to prevent disease progression. This is largely because the Mediterranean diet is fairly well balanced. It primarily consists of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, cereal grains, olive oil and fish.
- Vegetables. One study suggests that nutrient-dense, plant-based diets may help fend off breast cancer. Another recommends kale, squash and sweet potato in particular because they’re high in carotenoids, antioxidants with cancer-fighting properties. It’s believed that some types of foods, like vegetables, make your body less prone to developing breast cancer.
- Beans and Grains. Several studies have found that high-fiber diets may result in less recurrence. Fiber helps patients maintain a healthy weight, which is important because excess weight can be a risk factor for cancer in some cases.
- Fish. Fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a positive breast cancer outlook. In particular, salmon, haddock, cod and sardines may be a great addition to your diet if you’re worried about your breast cancer metastasizing or reoccurring.
Talk to Your Doctor
Despite some research surrounding food and breast cancer progression, there is still no specific diet that doctors can all agree upon. Following treatment, some patients with breast cancer may be underweight, overweight or dealing with abnormal hormone levels. Sometimes hormone therapies can cause patients with breast cancer to develop a high level of bad cholesterol in their blood, so it may be important for them to manage their diet in order to correct the issue. Some patients may also have decreased bone health and other side effects.
Unfortunately, there is no miracle food that can slow down the progression of breast cancer. However, sticking to a healthy, balanced diet and making sure you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals can help keep your body strong.
Schedule an Appointment
It’s always important to work with a doctor you trust when dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis, especially when you have critical questions. For answers regarding your own diet and breast cancer treatment plan, make an appointment at RCCA today.