& Breast Cancer : The Prevention Connection
selling book, The Breast Cancer Prevention Diet: The Powerful Foods,
Supplements, and Drugs That Can Save Your Life (1999) by Dr. Bob Arnot
has focused the media spotlight on diet and nutrition as a cancer prevention
the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) President Fran Visco called
the book "misleading and harmful." Which opinion is right and
what does it mean to us?
reaction is based on the knowledge that breast cancer is a complex disease.
The risk factors are not fully understood. They include, among others:
heredity, environment, obesity, level of physical activity, whether a
woman has had children, and how old she was when the first child was born.
Black women have a higher rate of breast cancer deaths than white women.
Scandinavians and Ashkenazi Jews have a higher incidence than other white
plays a role in cancer, including breast cancer. Dr. Arnot suggests monthly
breast self examination and an annual clinical exam including a yearly
mammogram. He also recommends exercise to reduce your chances of becoming
a breast cancer victim. The lifestyle and diet changes he feels will prevent
cancer include avoiding alcohol, cigarettes, and chemical estrogens. You
should attempt to maintain a low fat, high fiber diet rich in soy (35-60gms
daily). Meat, dairy, and eggs should be hormone free. Fresh fruit and
vegetable juice, flaxseed (25gms) for the Omega-3 fatty acids, and oily
fish or fish oil capsules should be included every day. He warns against
eating rice, potatoes, pasta and other high carbohydrate foods that lead
to the production of insulin when digested.
a look at some of the information that the scientific community accepts
as valid in the role of diet as a cancer fighter. The American Cancer
Society has published "Guidelines on Diet, Nutrition, and Cancer
most of the foods you eat from plant sources.
Eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. (authors
note: most sources agree that cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, spinach,
kale, mustard greens, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, and pumpkin are
good vegetables to include in your diet.) Eat other foods from plant sources,
such as breads, cereals, grain products, rice, pasta, or beans several
times each day.
your intake of high-fat foods, particularly from animal sources.
Choose foods low in fat. Limit consumption of meats, especially high-fat
3. Be physically
active: achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Be at least moderately active for 30 minutes or more on most days of the
week. Stay within your healthy weight range.
consumption of alcoholic beverages, if you drink at all."
that some of the recommended foods are the same ones that Dr. Arnot warns
is considered one of New Yorks leading health and nutrition experts
by the scientific community. Her 1999 article, "Reducing Your Risk
of Breast Cancer: How Your Diet Affects Your Risk," agrees with many
of Bob Arnot's recommendations. She also includes warnings such as, "While
some researchers believe that the phytoestrogens in soy are beneficial
for women, others are afraid that they can be dangerous for women with
breast cancer. At this time, studies are inconclusive as to the long-term
physiologic effects of the phytoestrogens contained in soy. Until more
information is available, it is a good idea not to overdo your consumption
of soy foods if you are at risk for, or have been diagnosed as having,
This is in
direct contrast to the recommendations in the Breast Cancer Prevention
Diet. Dr. Arnot says to load your diet with soy, 35-60gms daily! He says
to eat miso, tofu, roasted soy nuts, soy cheese, soy milk, soy nut spreads,
soy burgers, links and patties, soy flour, soy frozen desserts, soy protein
bars, soy protein shakes, and tempeh. If soy is dangerous for women with
breast cancer and you follow these directions ...you may be in serious
healthy diet is always a good idea, so is getting regular excercise, avoiding
stress, living in a healthy environment and having good genes.
that there are NO easy answers in the war against breast cancer. Anyone
who tells you that they know all the answers is someone to be avoided.
Buy the book if you want, read it and take the information in it for what
it's worth - some sound ideas, but some unproven facts that can be dangerous.
Like everything else about this disease, you need to do your own homework.
Get all the information from anyone and everywhere, mix it well and take
it to your doctor for final approval.
see -> Reduce
Breast Cancer Risks - Watch Your Weight
on the Web:
Diet Raises Breast Cancer Risk
fat diet breast cancer hope (BBC News)
Cancer & Diet