Support for Breast Cancer

by Margaret Stoklosa

The incidence for breast cancer has been estimated to be about 13% (or 1 in 8) with the average age of diagnosis occurring at 62 years (1).  Statistics vary by ethnicity with black women more likely to die from breast cancer, Hispanic women less likely to be diagnosed, and Chinese and Japanese women more likely to survive. Currently, 5-year survival is high overall due to early detection and treatment options. While chemotherapy, radiation, hormonal therapy or immunotherapy are often used, a support team and supportive dietary and lifestyle measures help to ease the effects of these caustic treatments.

General dietary and lifestyle guidelines include:

1. Follow the Mediterranean Diet Pattern

  • 4-5 servings of fruits daily
  • 4-5 servings of vegetables daily
  • 6 servings of whole grains daily
  • Low-fat fermented dairy
  • No more than 20% fat (specifically for ER- and/or PR-)
  • Include nuts, seeds in daily meals
  • High consumption of carotenoids (leafy greens, carrots, oranges, tomatoes, cantaloupe, broccoli, bell peppers)
  • Limit red meat to no more than twice weekly
  • 2-3 servings of fish weekly (refer to this guide for low-mercury fish:

2. Be mindful of blood sugar spikes and incorporate low glycemic load foods (i.e. non-starchy vegetables)

  • Important for ER- and/or PR- tumors

3. Incorporate decaffeinated green tea daily – up to 5 cups daily

4. Ensure at least 25g of fiber

5. Exercise when possible, with 3-5 hours of walking weekly

6. Eliminate alcohol

  • 5% increase in risk for pre-menopausal
  • 9% increase in risk for post-menopausal

If you need nutritional support, please reach out to schedule a consultation with our in-house nutritionist. You can also Follow us on Instagram for health tips: meridian_medical or Book your consultation by calling our office at 240-766-4552


(2) PMID: 31277273

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