Which Dietary Factors Affect Breast Cancer Most?

Which Dietary Factors Affect Breast Cancer Most?


“Which Dietary Factors Affect Breast Cancer Most?” My favorite cancer-specific charity is
the American Institute for Cancer Research, shown here lauding the China Study and
the documentary, Forks Over Knives, with which they share the
same bottom-line message. The healthiest diets are those that
revolve around whole plant foods. This increased awareness of the importance of plant-
based eating is something the Institute welcomes. They then translate that advice into their
Ten Recommendations for Cancer Prevention. Do we actually have evidence, though, that those who follow such advice are actually protected against cancer? We do now. Breast cancer risk was
reduced by 60% in women who met at least five recommendations
compared with those who met none. The most important dietary advice was be as lean as
possible within the normal range of body weight, eat mostly foods of plant origin, and limit alcoholic drinks. What about other cancers? Greater adherence to the AICR dietary guidelines
was associated with significantly less breast, endometrial, colorectal, lung, kidney,
stomach, oral, liver, and esophageal cancer. In other words, adherence to dietary
recommendations for cancer prevention may lower the risk of developing
most types of cancer. The drop in bladder cancer did not
reach statistical significance here, but a larger follow up study following 469,000
people for 11 years, the largest to date, found that just a 3% increase in the consumption
of animal protein calories was associated
with a 15% higher risk of bladder cancer, whereas just a 2% increase in plant protein
was associated with a 23% lower risk. AICR recommendation #10 is that cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention. The same diet that can help prevent cancer
in the first place can be used to help
save your life after diagnosis. Adherence to the guidelines for cancer
prevention was found to be associated with lower mortality among older female cancer
survivors, including specifically breast cancer. A cancer diagnosis is considered a teachable moment
to get people eating and living healthier. They revel at the growth in the number of cancer survivors in this country, now 10 million strong and growing. It’s great that those with cancer are living
longer, but even better to prevent it in
the first place so we can all live longer. Not only does adherence to the guidelines lower
cancer risk, but extends lifespan in general, because they’re also significantly associated with a lower hazard of dying from heart disease and respiratory disease, suggesting that following the recommendations
could significantly increase longevity as well. What’s good for cancer prevention is good
for your heart, is good for your lungs. And just as eating to prevent cancer
helps to prevent heart disease, eating to
protect our heart helps prevent cancer. I know it sounds self-evident, but adherence
to a healthy lifestyle has been shown to be
associated with a lower risk of death, and the more healthy behaviors we
have, the longer we get to live. That can mean not smoking, or walking every day, or
eating green leafy vegetables at least almost daily. To help differentiate the effects of
diet from other lifestyle behaviors like smoking and drinking on cancer incidence,
Adventists were compared to Baptists. Both discourage alcohol and tobacco, but the Adventists go further, encouraging a reduction in meat. In general, the Adventists had a lower cancer hazard
rate than the Baptists, and within Adventist populations, the vegetarians did even better, and those
eating the most plants did the best.

21 Replies to “Which Dietary Factors Affect Breast Cancer Most?

  1. I don't drink much of alcohol, I'm slim and I eat lots of plants – no breast cancer for me then yeah! 
    Great informations, easy to follow. THANK YOU Dr Greger 🙂

  2. The biggest culprit is the plastic water bottles!  They're photo degradable, meaning as your water sits in the sun it becomes a plastic, estrogen mimicking, tea!

  3. I honestly think many, if not most people generally know this (who really thinks excessive meat, dairy, sugar and alcohol consumption is good for them?), but they just don't want to give up their bad habits. It's more lack of willpower than lack of knowledge.

  4. I heard a crazy thing this morning.  My co-worker, who has breast cancer, is going to have a pet scan done next week, and was told she needed to build up her muscles so the pet scan can work optimally.  The day before, she was told, she has to cut out all carbs, and only eat proteins — of course, that means eggs, beef, chicken, etc.  I was about to say, No! No! No!, but she told me that's what her doctor is telling her to do and she has to listen to her doctor.  How sad this made me.

  5. I do not vegetarianism is an absolutely better choice than traditional eating (eating meats, sea foods, and instant foods), it depends on what the most important thing in one's life is. There is no argument that eating only green raw vegetables and fruits may increase your lifespan and could prevent possible diseases. But those benefits do not come for free.

    First, you will lose at least half of the flavours humans can taste. As far as I know, all current human races prefer meats or sea foods. Some people would say they do not, but that is probably because of other reasons such as health. Children are true to their nature, find any child who prefers vegetables to meats. 

    Secondly, you could be in a socially awkward situation. There are almost nothing you can eat in restaurants (the situation could be different depending where you live), food kiosks, and dinner at a friend’s house, etc. You cannot eat ice cream in the summer. You cannot drink milk, eat pizza or birthday cakes. When all your friends or family want to eat those, you will be in a socially awkward situation.

    Thirdly, you have to spend much more time preparing, selecting, and cooking your meal. Say that is 1 more hour a day. Age 20 to age 80 is 60 years. That is approximately 4 years’ worth time (sleep time is excluded). By doing so, you live up to 90, instead of 80. This could be a bad choice depending on your point of view. Someone could prefer spending 4 years of their younger time doing something they want to 10 years of 80’s in a nursing home.

    So, whichever way people choose, you cannot judge the other side. Some people prefer living longer sacrificing some of the joys, and some people are willing to sacrifice some of their life span in exchange for the joys… Do you remember a scene from the movie Matrix? A guy preferred eating meat in a virtual world to living in a crappy reality. Knowing it is a false world, does not change the taste. I think some people are like that. How can you prove living healthier & longer is the best value of human life? Some animals are happy to die younger after mating than living longer without mating. The most important thing in one’s life differs from people to people. What if one’s biggest joy of life is eating a turkey with the whole family on a Christmas? Do not try to force your value to others.

  6. Did you catch this week’s most popular video on how lifestyle recommendation adherence may reduce breast cancer risk by 60%?

    Watch below or click the link to watch on NutritionFacts.org: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-dietary-factors-affect-breast-cancer-most/

  7. Cancer prevention is really important to me… and I went vegan in April 2014 because of it.  I am worried though, because it seems that heart disease, diabetes, and cancer risks still stay high for people who are overweight/obese.   Even though I have been vegan now for 8 months, I have not lost any weight, and am still overweight.  Does the diet drop the risk more or less than the weight itself?

  8. I drink in these studies and their findings and they are informative and encouraging. Five to six years ago I was diagnosed with cancer for the second time in my life. I decided there and then to quit smoking, lose weight, and start eating better. It has been a wonderful journey full of variety and surprise. I gave up meat for Lent one year and I couldn't go back to eating meat like I had previously. I was a meat-macho-American man! I am now a joyous vegetarian and don't ever wish to go backwards. Blessings for sharing these important studies.

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