There is a link between processed meat and breast cancer. Eating bacon, sausage, ham, deli meats, and hot dogs puts you at increased risk. If you've had or have breast cancer, cutting out or cutting down on eating these high fat, processed meats and eat more fruits and vegetables can reduce your risk of breast cancer recurrence. To optimize your diet, I highly recommend adopting a whole food, plant based-diet. If you're not sure where to start, check out the 21 Day Vegan Jumpstart at https://kickstart.pcrm.org/en. It's free and will give you everything you need to start a plant-based diet.
It's true! I Much like our intestinal or gut microbiome (the microbial community in the intestinal tract), the breasts have their own microbiome. That's pretty cool, right? The breast microbiome contributes to healthy breast tissue. Research shows that lactobacillus acidophilus can reach the mammary gland so basically, your gut microbiome affects your breast microbiome. Our diet has the biggest impact on our gut and breast microbiome. Our microbiome is affected for better or worse within 24 hrs of eating healthy or fast and processed food. Alcohol, antibiotic use, environmental toxins and endocrine disrupting chemicals also disrupt the gut microbiome, which affects estrogen metabolism, important for estrogen based breast cancers. If you have to drink alcohol, drink Cabernet Franc. Eating fermented foods, diverse foods, foods with calcium-d-glucarate (oranges, carrots, apples, grapefruit, cruciferous vegetables), and plant lignans such as flaxseed, sunflower, caraway, and pumpkin seeds, legumes, and soybeans and taking probiotics, can help maintain a healthy gut and breast microbiome with protective effects against breast cancer.
Women with high levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) may be at increased risk for breast cancer according to results of a study published March 11 in Annals of Oncology. This is the largest study to date that looked at the relationship between IGF-1 and breast cancer. IGF-1 signaling is involved in 87% of invasive breast cancers. IGF-1 is a hormone produced mainly by the liver that is similar to insulin and helps promote growth, including cancer growth. Fat cells, cow's milk, and animal protein raise IGF-1 levels. So how can you lower your IGF-1 levels? IGF-1 is lowest in those who eat a low saturated fat, whole foods plant-based diet and maintain a healthy weight. Fasting and fasting-mimicking diets, such as Prolon, lower IGF-1 levels as well. Learn more about plant based cooking at Culinary Rx, an online, interactive plant based cooking class.
Research shows that consumption of high dietary fiber from fruit, vegetables, beans, and whole grains was associated with lower breast cancer risk. One study found that for every 10 grams of fiber consumed daily – slightly less than a cup of beans – the risk of breast cancer was 5 percent lower. Consuming 20 grams of fiber daily would mean a 10 percent lower risk, and so on.
Cancer survivors with chronic inflammation may have an elevated risk of recurrence. Chronic inflammation is associated with increased risk of breast cancer recurrence as it increases estrogen and insulin levels in the body and promotes tumor growth and metastasis. Inflammation is part of the body’s natural defense mechanism designed to heal injuries and defend the body against foreign invaders but when inflammation goes on too long or becomes chronic it can have damaging effects on health. An association has been found between breast cancer recurrence and reduced overall survival and increased concentrations of inflammatory markers, such as CRP, a test that can be measured by a healthcare provider. Inflammation is caused by obesity, bad gut bacteria, stress, a bad diet, alcohol, high blood sugar, toxins, food allergens & sensitivities, and poor sleep quality.
You can control cellular inflammation by eating a whole food, plant-based diet full of anti-inflammatory foods and spices such as cloves, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric, reducing stress, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling your blood sugar, and getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Drinking alcohol in any form raises breast cancer risk. This may be a hard pill to swallow but I have to give it to you straight when it comes to staying in breast cancer remission. Alcohol is a recognized carcinogen. It can cause cellular damage that can trigger cancer development. Alcohol influences blood levels of estrogen and other hormones in ways that may make cancer more likely. Higher intake of alcohol increases circulating estrogen levels. The overall estimated association is an approximate 30-50% increase in breast cancer risk from 15-30 grams/day of alcohol consumption (about 1-2 drinks/day) and and by 46% for ≥45 g/day of alcohol use (approximately more than 4 drinks per day). Even in women who drink ≤12.5 g/day (≤1 drink/day) there is a 5% increase in risk of breast cancer compared to non-drinkers. Yes, research shows that drinking alcohol can be beneficial for your heart but if you eat a whole food, plant based diet free of animal foods you will reap the cardiovascular benefits from that. Bottom line - alcohol is toxic! Learn more about the research at -http://ow.ly/mXGZ50ARWxE.
Can we talk about exercise? Obesity and high insulin levels are risk factors for breast cancer recurrence and poor survival. Regular physical activity decreases the risk of breast cancer recurrence by lowering fasting insulin levels, inflammation and weight. Moderate, regular physical activity helps immune system function by raising levels of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies, increasing circulation, and decreasing stress hormones, all which lower breast cancer risk and recurrence. Researchers have found that women who do least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week, before and after being diagnosed with breast cancer, had a 55% lower risk of recurrence compared to women who didn’t meet the minimum guidelines and a 68% lower risk of dying compared to women who didn’t meet the minimum guidelines.
Did you know that cancer feeds on cholesterol? That's right. LDL cholesterol is capable of stimulating breast cancer cells which means an increased breast cancer risk. Tumors suck up so much cholesterol that LDL cholesterol has been considered a vehicle for targeting anti-tumor drugs to cancer cells. Keep your LDL cholesterol level low by eating a whole food plant based diet free of meat, fish, eggs and dairy products. Learn more about the research at https://youtu.be/bewqr6HUBHA and https://bit.ly/39V5dTb.
Knowledge is your superpower! 20-50% of breast cancers are due to modifiable risk factors such as alcohol intake, stress, smoking, radiation exposure, chronic inflammation, exposure to estrogen, high blood sugar and insulin, high fat diet, excess weight and physical inactivity. Only 5-10% of breast cancers are due to genetic factors. Take action to lower YOUR risk. Download "10 Steps to Optimize Health During Breast Cancer Remission" at http://brandifunk.com to learn how to lower your risks! Let's start the conversation. How do you stay healthy during breast cancer remission?