Who Gets Breast Cancer and Who Survives?
Women on a Low-Fat, Veggie-Rich Diet Are Safer from Breast Cancer continued...
A low-fat, veggie-rich diet also seems to help prevent breast cancer
recurrence. Women with early-stage breast cancer who consumed less than 33
grams of fat daily slashed their odds of recurrence by about 24 percent in one
NCI study. And new research found that eating at least five servings of fruits
and veggies a day (and getting three hours weekly of moderate exercise) can cut
in half your risk of dying from breast cancer.
"We know that a high-fat diet boosts hormones that promote cancer cell
growth," explains McTiernan. And a low-fat diet also fends off the extra
pounds that boost breast cancer risk. As for fruits and veggies, "the more
you eat, the greater your chance of consuming more cancer-fighting antioxidants
and phytochemicals," explains Jennifer K. Reilly, R.D., senior nutritionist
for The Cancer Project, a nonprofit consumer-education group in Washington,
Women Who Exercise Are Less Likely to Develop Breast Cancer
Like it or not, exercising regularly is one of the best ways to both prevent
breast cancer and survive a diagnosis. And you don't have to expend much energy
to get some benefit — just 1.3 hours weekly of moderate activity lowered
women's risk of developing the disease by 20 percent in one University of
Southern California study. The same goes when it comes to beating the disease:
A Harvard University study of almost 3,000 women with breast cancer found that
those who did the equivalent of walking just an hour a week at a pace of 2 to 3
mph reduced their risk of death by 20 percent.
Exercise packs a lot of powerful anticancer punches: It reduces levels of
circulating estrogen, which feeds hormone-sensitive tumors; it lowers levels of
insulin, a hormone linked to recurrence; and it helps you drop the extra pounds
that up your risk. Walking is the easiest way to get moving, so consider buying
a pedometer: Simply clipping one on has been shown to motivate all women to
sneak in more steps each day, and a University of Alberta study found that
breast cancer survivors who received a pedometer increased their exercise by
almost 90 minutes a week, compared with a 30-minute increase a week among those
who didn't get one. So take a step in the right direction for your health.