Over a period of last half century, breast cancer has been one of the most commonly occurring cancer type in woman. This notorious disease has managed to become a part of female genes from one generation to another. According to National breast cancer coalition (NBCC); 1 in 8 woman is affected by this disease in United States only. This can give a fair idea of the probability of disease’s occurrence worldwide. Although, the death rate due to this horrendous disease have reduced to almost 1% annually. However, there is still plenty of scope to avoid and kill the disease at it root.
Breast cancer is a typical type of cancer that causes the irregular and uncontrolled cellular growth in breast and/or armpit area.
Signs and symptoms of breast cancer:
- Redness in the nipple area
- Peeling or flaky skin surface of breast
- Lumpy breast
- Lumpy armpits
- Nipple suddenly becomes inverted or strange looking
- Size and appearance of breast changes
What is the cause of Breast cancer:
It’s usually assumed that only diseases like hypertension and diabetes require dietary modification and lifestyle correction. Although, you can deny all you want; but when it comes to diseases like breast cancer there are plenty of lifestyle based causative factors.
These causative agents include:
- Hereditary and genetic transfer of cancer gene
- Alcohol and drug abuse
- Frequent exposure to radiation
- Old age or growing age
- Trauma or breast injury
- Hormonal irregularities
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Chronic stress and anxiety
- Unhealthy weight and obesity
- Lazy and sluggish lifestyle
- Prolonged or late menopause
- Choosing to avoid breast feeding after delivery
How to prevent Breast Cancer from occurring:
Doctors often say that Prevention is better than Treatment. And rightly so! Based on above-mentioned causative factors – the following steps must be taken to avoid breast cancer from occurring in the first place:
- Self-examination must be done every few days
- Avoid exposure to radiation
- sunlight exposure for loner period of times must be avoided
- In the case of family history of breast cancer; yearly or twice-yearly mammography must be done
- Wear comfortable bras that do not compress or hurt the breast
- If hormone therapy is being carried out; then frequent examination must be done
- If you have delivered a child; try to breast feed as it minimizes the probability of disease
- Genetic examination can lead to diagnosis of faulty genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2). If faulty genes are found than mastectomy is the option of choice to avoid the onset of disease.
How can food help with Breast Cancer:
Ideally a diet that is rich in innate chem-preventive and chemo-protective agents will reduce the chances of getting cancer of any sort. Over the years scientists have identified certain food groups that when consumed for a longer period of time will impart chemo-preventive properties.
These foods include:
Turmeric has a high place in terms of an herbal supplement. Even health professionals’ advice the consumption of turmeric root in form or other on a daily basis. However, the root is particularly beneficial against breast cancer or any cancer of the sort. Turmeric contains a rich percentage of Curcumin which is a potent anticancer as well as chemo-preventive agent. It acts by following ways:
- Inhibits proliferation of breast cancer stem cells
- Induces apoptosis of old and mutated cells
- Curcumin also acts by inducing arrest at cell cycle. This in turn stops rapid metastasis and division of cells
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Cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of Phenethyl isothiocyanate. These compounds play an extremely beneficial role along with other anti-breast cancer drugs such as doxorubicin and paclitaxel. Prophylactic anticancer properties of green vegetables are also immensely high.
They act by following ways:
- Play synergistic role with anticancer drugs to enhance apoptosis and killing of excess cell metastasis
- Inhibits the chances of p53 deficient type of leukemia
- Induce cell cycle arrest at G2 stage
- Inhibit cellular migration of tumor cells from one part of the body to the other
Cruciferous vegetables that are particularly important in this regard are:
- Garden cress
- Brussels sprout
- Water cress
Cucurbitacin containing fruits and vegetables:
This is an extremely beneficial constituent when it comes to fight against breast cancer. Research shows that cucurbitacin act along with anticancer Telomerase to inhibit the proliferation and metastasis of cancer cells. Furthermore; it acts as chemotherapeutic and chemoprotective agent by following ways:
- Enhance the expression of p53 gene. This gene if remains inactive or is entirely absent that there is a high probability of any type of cancer.
- Induce cell cycle arrest in Estrogen receptor (ER) negative type of breast cancer. This is particularly beneficial as ER negative type of breast cancer is quite peculiar.
Foods containing cucurbitacin are as follows:
- Winter melon
- Honey dew melon
Antioxidants are the armors against breast cancer:
Breast cancer or ay other type of hereditary cancer is more likely to be triggered when the toxins ad free radicals surpass their tolerable concentration in the body. the oxidative stress produced by the toxins on the body acts as a cherry on top in causing cancer. It is therefore, advised by the health professionals to eat diet that is rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants act by attacking the free radicals produced as metabolic and respiratory by-products. No free radicals mean no oxidative stress and thus, no gene mutation.
Food rich in antioxidants are as follows:
- Berries such as strawberry, blueberry, cranberry, cherries
- Citric fruits such as orange and lime etc.
- Dark chocolate
- Juicer (Cold Press)
- 1 Head Cauliflower
- 1 Grapefruit (Pink)
- 1 Red Delicious Apple (Stem & Seeds Removed)
- 1 Pomegranate
- 1½ Thumbline Ginger
Go for Garlic:
Everybody has their different preference when it comes to eating garlic. Roasted, garlic powder, garlic extract etc. all are different forms in which garlic is consumed. But the astonishing thing is the exemplary role garlic plays as an anti-breast cancer agent.
Garlic contains many essential constituents. Research has shown the following exceptional chemoprotective properties by volatile constituents of garlic:
- Enhance cell signaling and thereby enhance cell metabolism and deterioration at its specified time
- Increase the activity of anti-cancer drugs
- Cause substantial reduction in over all tumor size with regular consumption
“Soursop seeds have anti-cancer potential, which contain various compounds that are selectively cytotoxic. This means they target cancerous and other malignant cells for destruction while leaving healthy cells unscathed. They contain compounds, known as “Compound 1,” which is selectively cytotoxic to colon adenocarcinoma cells (HT-29), and with a potency up to 10,000 times greater than the chemotherapy drug adriamycin (doxorubicin).”
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When we hear cancer, our mind automatically takes us to the idea of mortality and death. Although this was true back in the day when research and medication were just not enough. However, today there is plenty of hope esp. for breast cancer survival. Adaptation of healthy diet and lifestyle is always the first step towards both Prevention and Treatment.