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Vegetables Might Reduce Risk of Breast Cancer Recurrence

Posted Jul 16 2010 7:39am
While more and more research studies are reporting the benefits of vegetable consumption for reducing our odds of developing breast cancer , fewer research studies have explored the possible impact of vegetable consumption on breast cancer recurrence.   Despite the relative lack of research in this area, early results suggest that a diet high in vegetables might reduce the risk breast cancer recurrence

A new breast cancer study published online in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment confirms and expands on the importance of vegetable consumption for breast cancer survivors.  Vegetable consumption by over 3,000 breast cancer survivors who participated in the Women's Healthy Eating and Living Study was examined in relation to breast cancer recurrence and tamoxifen use.  The results of this investigation showed that
  • Breast cancer survivors with the highest third of vegetable consumption had about a 31% reduced risk for breast cancer recurrence.
  • Breast cancer survivors who were taking tamoxifen and in the highest third of vegetable consumption had a 44% reduction in risk for breast cancer recurrence.
  • The risk for breast cancer recurrence was reduced by about 35% in breast cancer survivors who were taking tamoxifen and eating higher amounts of cruciferous vegetables.
  • Women taking tamoxifen who fell in the highest third of vegetable consumption AND above average cruciferous vegetable intake had about a 52% reduced risk for breast cancer recurrence.
These new breast cancer study results confirm earlier reports that eating higher levels of vegetables appears to decrease the risk for breast cancer recurrence.  Based on the results of this new study, the benefits of vegetable consumption might even be greater for breast cancer survivors who are being treated with tamoxifen.  While overall vegetable consumption is an important part of healthy breast cancer diet, it also appears that adding plenty of cruciferous vegetables to one's diet can help reduce the odds of breast cancer recurrence.  Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower are good sources of indole-3-carbinol and sulphoraphane, phytochemicals that have been shown to have cancer fighting properties.

While we are continuing to learn about the importance of fruits and vegetables for overall health and breast cancer risk, many of us still do not consume adequate amounts.  We should all consider re-designing our dinner plates so that at least half of it contains fruits and vegetables.

To learn more about diet and lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your personal risk of breast cancer, read my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer .
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