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Nutrition for Breast Cancer

Nutrition for Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is said to be one of the biggest killers of women around the world today. Statistics from the University of Maryland Medical Center explain that every year in the United States, about 185,000 women are diagnosed with some form of breast cancer. Along with these statistics, about 40,000 women die per year because of breast cancer related complications. In 99% of all cases of breast cancer, women are involved. Only a few men are diagnosed with this condition.

What are the symptoms of breast cancer, and what are the possible causes of the disease? Doctors often recommend their patients to performs routine breast self examinations (BSE) to be able to detect lumps or other abnormalities in their breasts. If a woman detects a change in the shape and firmness in her breast, or if there are skin problems in the breast area, she should see a doctor right away. Some of the causes of breast cancer are genetic, while some sources explain that hormonal levels in the body can cause the growth of the tumor. Sometimes, exposure to carcinogenic substances may be the cause. In other instances, women who have breast implants develop a form of breast cancer.

Currently, the treatments for breast cancer include chemotherapy with radiation therapy. There are several drugs that have been tested and recommended for chemotherapeutic use, and it has been observed that the administration of regular radiation sessions allow chemotherapy drugs to work better against breast cancer tumors. In some cases of breast cancer, a mastectomy or surgical removal of one or two breasts may be needed.

What is the nutrition for breast cancer that should be followed? Sources from the University of Maryland Medical Center suggest that antioxidant-rich foods should be added to the diet. These foods include blueberries, cherries, squash, and tomatoes, among many others. Vegetables like spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage should be eaten more often. It is best to avoid foods with trans-fat, preservatives, and foods that contain substances that can cause allergies. For protein sources, it is best to avoid red meats, and opt for leaner protein sources including tofu, soy, and some types of fish like tuna, herring, salmon, and others.

Nutrition for breast cancer also involves supplementing the diet with B vitamins, calcium, vitamin C, pro-biotics, and others. Omega-3 fatty acids are also highly recommended, and these forms of fatty acids are found in many types of nuts as well as fish. The fish types that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids are herring, salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, and sardines. It is advised that at the least, 2 fish serving per week should be consumed.

This is the reason why fish oils are becoming popular supplements as nutrition for breast cancer. Fish oil supplements come from the above mentioned species of fish, and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids such as docosahexenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentenoic acid (EPA). As mentioned in a 2003 paper Indoor and Built Environment, DHA and EPA have already proven effective against tumor growth, and when added to the diet, makes a patient more receptive to the benefits of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Nutrition for Breast Cancer

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