A recent study suggests that women who’ve been treated for breast cancer who are in satisfying romantic relationships may have a lower risk of health problems after treatment. This is mainly because breast cancer survivors in satisfying romantic relationships felt less stressed and in turn had lower inflammation throughout cancer treatment and after. But this doesn’t mean you’re compromising your health if you’re not in a relationship. Having a romantic partner isn’t for everyone. Single people can be happy and healthy, too, especially if they have a good social network of family, friends, clubs, hobbyists, or a religious organization.
For breast cancer prevention, it's important to eliminate or limit processed, packaged, sugary, fast foods, which:
Decrease appetite suppressing hormones
Cause weight gain
Increase cellular inflammation
Kill good gut bacteria
Weaken the immune system
"A processed food is a food item that has had a series of mechanical or chemical operations performed on it to change or preserve it. Processed foods are those that typically come in a box or bag and contain more than one item on the list of ingredients."
Here are some unprocessed snack ideas:
Raw or roasted seasoned veggies
Nut butters - all natural
Pitaya and Acai bowls & smoothies
Nice cream with frozen bananas
Cherry Chia Pudding
No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies
BPA is a chemical that acts like estrogen in the body. Estrogens have been linked to the increased risk of developing breast cancer. BPA is found in many plastic products, food and formula can linings, dental sealants, and on the shiny side of paper cashier receipts (to stabilize the ink). Recently, researchers at Duke University Hospital were among the first to discover that BPA helps the survival of inflammatory breast cancer cells. http://ow.ly/k1j150B48sg. France has banned BPA in food packaging and California lists BPA as being toxic to the female reproductive tract.
Changing to BPA free plastic may not be better. BPA free chemicals BPF, BPS, bisphenol F, bisphenol AP, bisphenol AF, bisphenol Z, bisphenol B are not safe alternatives to BPA. Learn how to Limit your exposure to BPA at http://static.ewg.org/pdf/ewg_bpa_guide.pdf.
Flavonoids, plant polyphenols present in fruits and vegetables, are emerging as promising arsenals for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer and other chronic inflammatory diseases. Many mechanisms of action for flavonoids in the prevention of breast cancer, include anti-estrogenic activity, induction of cancer cell death, prevention of oxidation, induction of detoxification enzymes, regulation of inflammation and the immune system, and changes in cellular signaling. The main dietary sources of flavonoids include teas (particularly white, green, and oolong), citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits, lemons) and citrus fruit juices, berries, cherries, apples, red and purple grapes, cocoa-based products, legumes, onions, scallions, kale, broccoli, asparagus, leafy greens, red cabbage, parsley, thyme, oregano, celery, hot peppers.
The top 4 spices proven to fight inflammation. Cloves, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric. Curcumin is the main active ingredient in tumeric. Curcumin, a bioactive ingredient of the plant Curcuma longa, exerts an inhibitory effect on triple-negative and other breast cancer cells.
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.
We cannot achieve optimum health without adequate sleep. Sleep has a powerful effect on immune function and inflammatory signals. Sleep is healing. Our body recovers, repairs itself and regenerates while we sleep. A lack of sleep is linked to many cancers, including breast cancer. After just one night of only four or five hours of sleep, your natural killer cells, the ones that attack cancer cells, drop by 70%. Also, when you don’t get enough sleep, you are susceptible to weight gain, a risk factor for breast cancer. Aim for 7-9 hrs of sleep every night. Implement good, consistent sleep habits. If you still have trouble sleeping most nights, I highly recommend that you seek help from your doctor sleep specialist.
Your diet plays a big role in the development of breast cancer. Research shows that certain foods can not only help prevent breast cancer but also dramatically improve the odds of survival among those who have been diagnosed with it. Women who avoid meat and dairy products can dramatically lower their risk of breast cancer and recurrence. Instead, I recommend following a plant-based diet. A plant-based diet is anti-inflammatory, low glycemic and rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are plant compounds that fight disease and cancer. Try this delicious Spicy Almond Butter Noodles recipe and other plant-based recipes from Purple Carrot at http://ow.ly/AfHn50AKQcg. Are you following a plant-based diet? Why or why not. Please comment below.
When it comes to fighting breast cancer, I highly recommend incorporating as many cancer fighting "superfoods" into your daily diet as possible. High on my list of "superfoods" is flaxseed. Not only is flaxseed loaded with nutrients, omega-3 fats, and fiber, research shows that eating flaxseed may help prevent and treat breast cancer by blocking the inflammatory effects of interleukin-1, a master regulator of inflammation and immune responses in our body. To learn more about the research on flaxseed and breast cancer, watch this short video at http://ow.ly/FfGm50AI6IW. Need some ideas on how to incorporate flaxseed into your diet? Add ground flaxseeds to your favorite smoothies, shakes or bowls. Replace eggs in recipes with one tablespoon of flax seeds and three tablespoons of water to replace one egg. Try these delicious Peanut Butter Flaxseed Pancakes by the Minimalist Baker at https://minimalistbaker.com/peanut-butter-flaxseed-pancakes/.