June 3, 2023

Can diet impact breast cancer risk?

Pin It

A well-balanced diet can help ward off health problems – and that includes breast cancer.

According to Amanda Amigo, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and certified specialist in Oncology Nutrition at Cleveland Clinic Florida’s Maroone Cancer Center, there isn’t one specific food proven to increase a woman’s risk for developing breast cancer, but alcoholic beverages are another story.

“A high alcohol intake is associated with a higher risk for breast cancer,” said Amigo. “Women who drink one alcoholic drink per day compared to non-drinkers really have a very small increase, but if women are drinking 2-3 alcoholic drinks per day compared to non-drinkers, you have about a 20 percent increase in your risk of breast cancer.”

As far as specific diets go, Amigo said research suggests following a Mediterranean-style diet may lower a woman’s risk of breast cancer. She said the Mediterranean diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains – and these plant-based foods are high in antioxidants. She adds that antioxidants may help protect cells from damage and therefore may decrease cancer risk.

Amigo said the most common dietary question she hears from women is whether eating soy impacts risk of breast cancer. Soy contains compounds called phytoestrogens, which have a chemical structure similar to human oestrogen.

High levels of human oestrogen have been linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. But according to Amigo, phytoestrogens and human oestrogen are very different. In fact, research suggests that eating whole soy foods, like tofu, may actually lower breast cancer risk.

“There have been several large observational studies that have shown women who have a high intake of whole soy products actually have a lower risk of developing breast cancer,” said Amigo. “Studies that have looked at patients who are breast cancer survivors show those who have a high intake of whole soy products actually have a lower risk of mortality.”

Another common question about cancer is whether sugar ‘feeds’ cancer. According to the American Cancer Society sugar doesn’t make cancer grow faster, but eating a lot of sugar can lead to weight gain which may increase the risk of breast cancer.

Cleveland Clinic Florida is part of a community-based cancer research program established by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The program includes clinical trials sponsored by the NCI and Pharmaceutical-sponsored trials – all carefully chosen in order to offer expanded treatment options. Integration and collaboration with Cleveland Clinic in Ohio provides a unique opportunity to patients in Florida, bringing the latest cancer prevention and treatment research findings to both the national and international community.

For more information about breast cancer, visit www.clevelandclinicflorida.org/cancer

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About ieyenews

Speak Your Mind