By Divya Samant, Dietician, Health Factory
Breast cancer is a kind of cancer that develops from the uncontrolled and abnormal growth of the breast cells. The cells undergo mutation and gain the ability to keep dividing without control or order, producing more cells just like it and forming a tumor.
Malignant tumors are cancerous. Left unchecked, malignant cells eventually can spread beyond the original tumor to other parts of the body.
Cancer (all types) is the third leading cause of death in the UAE after cardiovascular diseases and accidents. Data from the UAE Ministry of Health indicate that cancer accounts for approximately 500 deaths per year.
Facts about Breast Cancer
- Every 1.7 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer worldwide.
- There are about 2.6 million female survivors of breast cancer in the world
- 27% survival rate in advanced stage
- 98% survival rate in early detection
- 25% of women with breast cancer are less than 50 years old
- About 2 to 4 of every 1000 mammograms lead to a diagnosis of breast cancer.
- 70% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no identifiable risk factor for the disease
* Information taken from TAKE A PINK PLEDGE TO FIGHT BREAST CANCER- educational booklet -Dubai Health Authority
Adopting the right eating plan and getting regular exercise can significantly lower your risk of breast cancer. There’s no medication that can provide that kind of protection for average-risk women. A careful grocery shopping can help in creating an anti-cancer nutrition plan.
Below are the top super foods/ antioxidant rich foods that can help you fight breast cancer
Studies have shown that green tea components suppress the development and recurrence of breast cancer. Like many plant-based foods, tea contains flavonoids, known for their antioxidant effects. One flavonoid in particular, kaempferol, has shown protective effects against cancer. Kaempeferol is also found in leek, garlic and onion. Green tea is thus widely used in breast cancer prevention and therapy.
These are counted under world’s best super foods. Brussels sprouts may have unique health benefits in the area of DNA protection as one cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains just 56 calories but is packed with more than 240 percent of the recommended daily amount (RDA) for vitamin K1, and nearly 130 percent of the RDA for vitamin C.
Plus, Brussels sprouts are a good source of fiber, manganese, potassium, choline, and B vitamins. They even contain protein. What is perhaps most exciting about Brussels sprouts, however, isn’t only their incredible array of nutrients. It’s their antioxidants and other phytochemicals, which have been proven to fight chronic diseases, including cancer.
Brussel sprouts are also a rich source of folate. When someone has low levels of folate, it’s more likely for mutations in DNA to occur thus leading to cancer.
Flaxseeds are the richest source of plant lignans, having about 3 times the lignan content of chia seeds and 8 times the lignan content of sesame seeds. Milled flaxseed has lignans which may decrease the cancer growth making it perfect a breast cancer management diet. Flaxseeds can be sprinkled on salads and can be mixed with sandwich spreads. Flax seeds oil do not contain lignans.
Studies have proved that broccoli is one of the best cancer prevention food. Sulforaphane—a compound in broccoli—reduced the number of breast cancer stem cells (which cause cancer spread and recurrence) in mice, according to research from the University of Michigan. Eating broccoli may not deliver enough sulforaphane to achieve the same effect, but to get the most you can, eat your broccoli raw or briefly steam or stir-fry the green florets.
Salmon contains the marine fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which have chemopreventive properties. A study found that DHA increased survival times for almost half of a group of stage IV breast cancer patients
Walnuts are one of the few vegetarian and vegan sources of super anti-inflammatory Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Additionally they have phytosterols. . This composition shows the anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that these may give them their tumor-fighting potential.
Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) rank among the highest of all fruits and vegetables in their capacity to destroy free radicals. Blueberries are rich in resveratrol, which in particular, plays a role in breast cancer management by enhancing the effect of the often-prescribed drug tamoxifen in fighting breast cancer cells.
Photo credit: ♥Adriënne -for a better and peaceful world- / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA