|Nutrition Guidelines To Complement Breast Cancer
Each year more than 185,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. In other
words, approximately one woman in 10 will develop breast cancer in her lifetime.
While the cause of breast cancer remains unknown, monthly breast
self-examinations and annual visits to a gynecologist play a large role in early
detection—in fact, women have been able to detect 90
percent of breast cancer occurrences through breast self-examinations. Treating
breast cancer requires a comprehensive plan, including everything from surgery
and drug therapies to social support groups. As part of this, the following
nutritional guidelines can support cancer treatments, help to prevent cancer
recurrence, and reduce the side effects of cancer medications.
- Eliminate non-organic poultry, dairy, and red meat. Non-organic foods
may contain residues from pesticides that can increase the strength or activity
of hormones in the body. Some studies have shown that increased hormone levels
may increase the risk of breast cancer.
- Eat more cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage,
cauliflower, and turnips). These improve the ability of your cells to provide
energy to your body.
- Increase your intake of high-fiber foods such as fresh fruits and
vegetables, whole grain breads, rice, and cereals. Fiber helps your body to
- Limit the amount of sugar, white flour, refined foods, coffee, tea,
chocolate, and colas in your diet. Excess amounts of these are unhealthy, and a
healthy diet is an important part of cancer prevention.
- Add foods to your diet that support liver function, such as
artichokes, beets, carrots, yams, onions, green leafy vegetables, lemons, and
- Consider taking garlic supplements—studies
have shown that garlic may reduce the risk of cancer. Note: garlic should not be
consumed at the same time as anticoagulants nor in the 2 to 3 weeks prior to
scheduled surgery. Recommended dose is 600 to 900 mg a day of enteric-coated
odorless garlic extract. Look for a product that has been standardized to
contain 1.0 to 1.4 percent alliin.
- Drink green tea. Some researchers believe that the antioxidants in
green tea may reduce the risk of breast cancer. A recommended dose for general
health is 2 to 3 cups a day (decaffeinated) or 300 to 400 mg in capsule form
(look for a product that has been standardized to contain 80 percent total
polyphenols and 55 percent epigallocatechin).
- Take coenzyme Q10 (120 mg three times a day) and/or bromelain (500 mg
twice a day, between meals). Researchers believe both may have anti-tumor
- Vitamin A (25,000 IU a day), vitamin E (800 IU a day), and vitamin C
(3 to 6 grams per day) may help to decrease the side effects of radiation and
chemotherapy. Vitamins C and E are also powerful antioxidants.
- Melatonin (10 to 50 mg a day) appears to inhibit cancer growth. In
Europe, many people who have cancer include this nutrient in their complete
cancer treatment program.
Brown MD. Green tea (Camellia sinensis) extract and its possible role
in the prevention of cancer. Altern Med Rev. 1999;4(5):360-370.
Bushman JL. Green tea and cancer in humans: a review of the literature.
Nutr Cancer. 1998;31(3):151-159.
Integrative Medicine Access: Professional Reference to Conditions, Herbs
& Supplements. Newton, Mass: Integrative Medicine Communications;
You WC, Zhang L, Gail MH, et al. Helicobacter pylori infection, garlic
intake and precancerous lesions in a Chinese population at low risk of gastric
cancer. Int J Epidemiol. 1998;27(6):941-944.
|Review Date: May 2000|
|Reviewed By: Integrative Medicine editorial|
Copyright © 2004 A.D.A.M., Inc
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