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Breast Cancer Risk May Decrease With Improved Diet

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an improved diet may help reduce your risk for breast cancer Hemera/Thinkstock

Did you know that 25 percent of cancers could be prevented just by modifying our diet?

Some research suggests as many as 35 percent of cases could be prevented by changing diet. (1) That’s 35 out of every 100 cases.

Japanese women have less breast cancer compared with American women. It would seem that this isn’t genetic because if Japanese women come to live in the United States, their rates of breast cancer go up, pointing to an environmental or lifestyle cause.(1)

What Types of Foods are Thought to Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer?


Higher consumption of meat has been shown in some research to increase the likelihood of breast cancer. The greater amount of meat consumed, the higher the risk, and this was particularly significant for postmenopausal women. (2)


Fats are also thought to increase the risk of breast cancer and reducing fats in the diet has been helpful to women who already have early-stage breast cancer and are receiving conventional medical treatments for it. (3)

There is some evidence that reduced fat consumption can improve treatment outcomes and in one study published in the Journal of the National Institute of Cancer, a reduced fat diet lessened the risk of cancer recurring in women who had recovered from breast cancer.(3)

John E. Niederhuber, M.D said, “Certainly there is accumulating evidence that a healthy lifestyle -- reduced fat consumption and exercise -- is a worthy goal to decrease risk and to optimize long-term therapy outcome."


The American Cancer Society also say that alcohol consumption is connected to breast cancer and the more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk of getting breast cancer. More cases occur in heavy drinkers but the risk is still increased even if you only drink a few alcoholic drinks per week. (4)

Scientists aren’t sure how alcohol may be linked with cancer. It could be because it disrupts hormones that control the functioning of the body. It could also be because alcohol may be carcinogenic because of the way it is produced. (4)

Phytochemicals in Fruit and Vegetables

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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