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.
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.