Much like other types of cancer, a plant-based diet may be beneficial in preventing (see here and here), slowing, and even treating breast cancer, despite flawed or deceptive studies to the contrary. Diets containing less meat may reduce the risk of breast cancer by lowering one’s exposure to anabolic steroids, heterocyclic amines, saturated fat, trans fat, and industrial pollutants. Dairy contains hormones that may increase breast cancer risk directly, or indirectly by contributing to premature puberty. Melatonin suppression by meat and dairy may also play a role. Eating a single egg a day has been associated with nearly three times the odds of breast cancer. Kimchi, acrylamide in crispy carbs, multivitamins, and alcohol may also increase one’s risk, and, from a breast cancer perspective, folate in beans and greens may be preferable to folic acid in pills. Vegetables in general may be protective against breast cancer. The most protective are likely cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli (see here and here), kale, cabbage, and allium family vegetables (such as garlic, onions and leeks). Also potentially protective are amla (against both cancer cell growth and invasion here), mushrooms (stuffing mushrooms are best), and avocadoes (though there is natural toxin in avocadoes that may be a problem). Among fruits, organic strawberries appear to preferably block cancer cell growth and, like other berries, may block breast-cell DNA damage. Apples also appear to reduce breast cancer risk. Soy foods have the distinction of both helping prevent breast cancer (in part by supporting normal pubertal development) and improving survival, even for women on Tamoxifen. To further decrease risk of breast cancer, look to daily tea consumption (including a few herbal varieties), coffee, flax seeds (which also may improve survival—see here and here), black beans, the correct level of vitamin D, the spice turmeric, and an hour of exercise daily. Avoid certain ayurvedic medicines due to lead and other contaminants. Dr. Greger covers breast cancer in his full-length presentation, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, where he explores the role diet may play in preventing, treating, and even reversing our top 15 killers.
Topic summary contributed by Sue.