CHALLENGE: BREAST CANCER
About one in eight American women develops breast cancer in her lifetime. An estimated 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are inherited, and several other uncontrollable factors, such as getting older or starting menstruating before age 12, also increase risk. Still, many risk factors are under your control.
What to do: Lifestyle factors linked to increased risk of breast cancer include lack of exercise, obesity, eating processed meats and drinking alcohol, especially in excess. Other risk factors are emerging.
“To reduce breast cancer risk, strictly limit high-glycemic-index carbohydrates, such as baked goods, bread, added sugars, and sugary drinks,” says Russell Blaylock, MD, author of Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients (Kensington, 2003). “Sugar fuels cancer growth.” High-glycemic carbs also can fuel obesity.
A topic sometimes debated is the role of soy foods in breast cancer. “Avoid soy foods, especially highly processed ones such as soy sauce and soy protein isolate and concentrate,” Blaylock says. “They can stimulate an enzyme called aromatase, which is a major breast cancer promoter.”
Cancer-preventive supplements Blaylock recommends include olive leaf extract, curcumin and vitamin D3. He also advises avoiding bug sprays and pesticides, because breast tissues store these toxic compounds.
What to eat: Blaylock advises eating plenty of nutrient-rich vegetables, especially cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli sprouts, kale and cauliflower; black raspberries and other berries (or berry extracts); and healthy fats, especially DHA omega-3 fish oil.