Eat to Beat the Odds of Breast Cancer

By Rachel Johnson, Ph.D, M.P.H., R.D., September/October 2007

Health update: can diet make a difference?

"Great article! There are a number of foods with phytochemicals that have been proven to prevent or fight cancer: Berries, cruciferous vegetables and tomatoes are 3 of them. There are some lists of foods that prevent cancer at http://www....

1. Drink moderately, if at all

Much of the research connecting breast-cancer prevention and diet is inconclusive, according to Laurence Kolonel, M.D., Ph.D., director of the epidemiology program at the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and co-author of a forthcoming major review of diet and cancer. However, one of the areas where consensus is strongest is the role of alcoholic drinks. “Even as little as one drink a day increases breast-cancer risk,” he says. While we know consuming alcohol in moderation has benefits for the heart—and heart disease kills far more women than cancer does—you’ll need to weigh your decisions about drinking if you have other risk factors for breast cancer. Consider limiting yourself to one drink a day; more won’t provide additional heart benefits. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you may want to avoid alcohol altogether.

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