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.
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.