Breast Cancer

Some nutritional considerations from Dr Campbell’s website with this article from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Check out some of the topics he has written about (see one below) and see some of the professional people that work closely with Dr Campbell, like;

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D. The Cleveland Clinic
Suzanne Havala Hobbs, Dr.PH., M.S., R.D. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Henry J. Heimlich, M.D., Sc.D. The Heimlich Institute
Lawrence Kushi, Sc.D. Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente
Virginia Messina, M.P.H., R.D. Nutrition Matters, Inc.
John McDougall, M.D. McDougall Program, St. Helena Hospital
Milton Mills, M.D. Gilead Medical Group
Myriam Parham, R.D., L.D., C.D.E. East Pasco Medical Center
William Roberts, M.D. Baylor Cardiovascular Institute
Andrew Weil, M.D. University of Arizona
Also log onto to see what Dr Pam Popper is involved with and sign up for both of their newsletters

Breast Cancer: Nutritional Considerations

  • A plant–based diet: Researchers have long noted a low incidence of breast cancer in countries where traditional diets are based on plant foods. In contrast, a striking increase in breast cancer incidence has been noted in migrants who abandon traditional diets (e.g., rice, vegetables, and soy foods) and adopt Western–type diets high in meat, dairy products, and fat.Part of this risk may be related to eating fiber–depleted, fatty foods that increase blood levels of estrogen or to an increase in estrogen production from fat cells. High–fiber foods help to remove excess estrogens from the body in the same way that these foods remove cholesterol.
  • Maintenance of a healthy body weight: Large studies, including the Women’s Health Initiative, indicate that breast cancer risk increases significantly with overweight and obesity. Lower body weight also appears to improve the prognosis in patients with breast cancer. Overweight patients with breast cancer were shown to have a shortened life expectancy and greater risk of cancer recurrence after treatment.
  • The same low–fat, plant based diet that reduces fat intake and increases fiber will also help reduce body weight.
  • Reduced intake of saturated fat and meat: The high intake of saturated fat and meat may be a part of the reason that breast cancer is much more common in areas where Western diets prevail.In the Nurses’ Health II Study, premenopausal women who ate the most fat had a slightly increased risk for breast cancer. This risk was attributed mainly to the intake of red meat and high–fat dairy products.Lower fat diets may also improve survival in patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer. A Japanese study showed increased death rates when high–fat foods (particularly butter and margarine, cheese, ham, sausage, and dairy products) are consumed. Other studies have suggested that patients who eat the least fat when they are diagnosed have a better prognosis. Further, results from a large randomized clinical trial, the Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study, showed that postmenopausal women who ate a low–fat diet were less likely to develop a recurrence of breast cancer, compared with those who ate a standard diet.

Increased fiber intake: A large study of postmenopausal women found that women who ate the most fiber had the lowest risk. And the risk was even lower among women who ate the least fat. High–fiber, low–fat diets also reduce serum estrogen, which is known to be associated with breast cancer risk.

With the addition of exercise, this type of diet is known to help keep blood glucose levels within normal limits and to lower the risk for adult–onset diabetes, both of which have been related to increased breast cancer risk.

Fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes (including soy products) are particularly good sources of fiber. Studies show that women who eat more fruits and vegetables may have greater long–term survival from breast cancer, possibly because of the combinations of carotenoids, folate, and phytochemicals present in these foods.

When the intake of these foods begins before or during adolescence, the healthy effects are especially prominent.

  • Reduced or eliminated alcohol intake: Alcohol intake is associated with an increase in the incidence of breast cancer. People who had two (approximately 30g of alcohol) or more drinks per day had a 40 percent increased risk compared with nondrinkers. Even one drink daily increases one’s risk by up to 10 percent.
  • Increased intake of folic acid: Eating foods high in folate may help lower the risk for breast cancer, especially in women who consume alcohol. Foods that contain folic acid (green leafy vegetables, legumes, and oranges) are likely to be preferable to folate supplements, due to their fiber, beta–carotene, vitamin C, and phytochemical content, all of which may have important roles in reduction of breast cancer and cancer risk in general.

Breast Cancer, Diet and Lifestyle

By Mary-Ann Shearer

The incidence of cancer has increased dramatically in the last 2 decades, with the incidence of breast cancer corresponding to that increase.

Some of the reasons I’ve researched that contribute to this disease follow below;

  • One of the most common factors that appear in research is that breast cancer is more common among women who have a high intake of animal fat and protein. It is suggested that a high intake is the inclusion of more than 1 portion of animal protein or fat per day.
  • High intakes of meat and red meat were associated with a significant increase in breast cancer.


Increased intake of animal fat and animal protein shows a corresponding increase in breast cancer.


  • Breast cancer mortality rates among women in Uruguay are the highest in the Americas. Previous studies in Uruguay have associated breast cancer with high intakes of alcohol, red meat, and saturated fat. A recent study confirmed that increasing intakes of red meat, beef and fried meat was clearly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Cancer Epidemiology 8/97.
  • Some researchers indicate that dairy products also contribute to breast cancer.
  • So what is it in animal protein and fat that seems to cause cancer?

It appears that consuming high levels of protein and fat, from animals that are given oestrogen based hormones to promote growth, is a factor. Heated fat and too much animal fat, prevents the body using Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s). These EFA’s are essential for the production of prostaglandins, which are essential in turn for the production of Progesterone, which is the hormone that counter balances estrogen. Without sufficient Progesterone we suffer from the natural consequences of too high Oestrogen levels, one such consequence is breast cancer.

Many women today exclude the natural foods that contain these EFA’s in their natural form because they are convinced that these foods will cause weight gain. EFA’s in their most natural and usable form are found mainly in natural plant foods, high in fats, such as, Avocado, raw nuts and seeds, olives, sweet corn and cold pressed oils like extra virgin olive and cold pressed flax oil. Without these foods in our diet it is impossible to take in enough EFA’s and therefore pretty impossible to produce enough progesterone to balance the normal oestrogen we produce, let alone balance the extra oestrogen we are taking in from animal protein and fat.

Incidentally without these EFA’s the whole Endocrine system cannot function correctly and as this system controls the metabolism, appetite and water levels in the body, without them, you could find that you actually gain weight!

  • The Endocrine system is intricately involved in the Immune function, which is the system that helps the body prevent and fight cancer
  • Alcohol is another substance that appears to promote breast cancer. Alcohol is known to upset the Endocrine system (hormones)

Alcohol and Breast cancer

Studies in France have found that regular intake of alcohol in women (4 litres or more a month of red wine; that is about half a 1 wine glass per day) is associated with a substantial increase in the risk of breast cancer among premenopausal women.

European Journal of Epidemiology Sept 1997:  A pooled analysis of 6 studies (USA, Canada, Sweden, Netherlands), involving 322,647 women over a period of 11 years supports the hypothesis that alcohol intake is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in women. Each intake of 10g daily (found in less than a glass of wine) of alcohol is associated with a 9% increased risk in breast cancer. JAMA Feb 18 1998

Dr Robert Mendelsohn in his book, “Male Practice” suggests that further factors contributing to breast cancer:

  • The contraceptive pill
  • DES or Diethylstilbestrol, prescribed to dry up breast milk, or as a morning after contraceptive pill
  • Hysterectomy and Hormone replacement Therapy
  • Radiation from x-rays
  • He states that not ever having children and never breast-feeding when you do, is also a factor in Breast Cancer. It appears from statistics that the more pregnancies you have and the longer you breast feed the less chance there is of developing breast cancer. From a purely dietary perspective, I suggest you increase your intake of fresh fruit and veg., as they are high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytoestrogens and water-soluble fibre, that all play a role in prevention of all cancers.

Other foods or substances that upset the hormonal system, and could possibly contribute to cancer are caffeine, refined sugar and artificial sweeteners

Phytoestrogens and Breast cancer

Phytoestrogens are a group of naturally occurring chemicals derived from plants. They have a structure similar to estrogen, and have anti-estrogenic effects in the human body. IImportant groups of Phytoestrogens include isoflavones found mainly in soy products and lignans, which are found in the fibre present in most plant foods. (lignans are very high in Flax oil)

The results of a study completed in Australia indicate that consumption of Phytoestrogens may be associated with a substantial reduction in breast cancer.

Lancet Oct 4 ’97 Carrots, Spinach, Vitamin A and Breast Cancer

  • Consumption of carrots and spinach is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. Eating these vegetables 2 or more times a week showed a significant reduced risk of breast cancer.
  • It is not certain whether the reduced risk is due to the carotenoids or other unknown substances, as supplementation of the known nutrients showed no reduced risk.

Where do you start?

  • Do this by starting all your cooked meals with raw vegetables, trying to eat at least one total fruit meal each day and by snacking on fruit and veg, in-between meals instead of sweets and crisps.
  • If your life is so busy you are not sure you are taking in enough vegetables, try drinking a glass of freshly extracted mixed vegetable juice daily. This should include at least some green, red and yellow vegetables.
  • I find taking 2-3 tsp BarleyLife (dried, juiced organically grown sprouted barley leaves) , 1-2 tsp Just carrots (dried, juiced, organically grown carrots) and ½ -1 tsp Redibeets (dried, juiced, organically grown beetroot), the most convenient way to do this.
  • Reduce the amount of animal fat and protein to no more than once a day (less than 3 X a week is better, and Professor Colin Campbell from Cornell University, the nutritional biochemist who headed the most comprehensive nutritional research ever done, maintains that no animal protein is best to avoid breast cancer. Animal protein and fat includes meat, chicken, fish, cheese, butter, yoghurt and cream.
  • If you do feel the need for additional protein rather eat raw nuts and seeds, many of which contain as much protein as meat, chicken or fish without the estrogen. (See chapter on protein in Perfect Health -The Natural Way)
  • Make sure you are obtaining enough EFA’s by eating at least 1 natural plant food contain raw fat, such as Avocado etc.
  • Taking at least 1-2 Tbsp of cold pressed flax seed oil (like our Natural way pure liquid flax or blend or Aimega blend of oils in capsules) a day will benefit you tremendously in this area.
  • Try replacing alcohol with natural unsweetened fruit juices or spring water and remove all substances that upset or hinder the Hormonal (Endocrine) system.
  • Aim’s Renewed Balance progesterone cream helps correct estrogen overload as does Aim’s Revitafem. All Aim’s products are available at the wholesale price directly from the company.

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