Two of the main lifestyle factors that are commonly discussed within oncology research are nutrition and physical activity.
Preliminary studies on specific diets and foods are largely inconclusive when it comes to prevention or causation of breast cancer. Some trends can be observed in isolated studies, but when reviewed as part of a more in depth study these trends prove to be insignificant. Similar findings are revealed when studying different exercise regimens. Both physical activity and diet are important for many facets of our health, but there is no “anti-cancer” diet or exercise program to follow.
Although there is no specific solution there are some things we commonly consume that can be linked to increased risk of certain cancers. Specifically for breast cancer, research has shown that alcohol consumption does increase the risk of breast cancer development as well as recurrence. Additionally, obesity in post-menopausal women can lead to an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
These studies suggest that there is no specific diet or fitness program to help minimize your risk, but rather that the best way to reduce your risk is to have a generally healthy and balanced diet and engage in regular physical activity. The same advice is recommended for diet and physical activity after a cancer diagnosis.
For some breast cancers additional recommendations can be made for certain foods to avoid and additionally which supplements should be added. Many of these recommendations are based on your cancer pathology as well as your treatment plan for your cancer.
If you are wondering how to decide what diet may be best for you at each stage of your cancer journey you should consult with a regulated health care professional who is able to provide nutritional guidance.
Contact our office today to learn more, and set up a consultation with a regulated health professional.
Key, T. J., Bradbury, K. E., Perez-Cornago, A., Sinha, R., Tsilidis, K. K., & Tsugane, S. (2020). Diet, nutrition, and cancer risk: what do we know and what is the way forward?. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 368, m511. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m511