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       Breast Practices

• Food is Medicine – Hippocrates
  ~400 B.C.

• Food choices can help lower your
  risk for developing cancer.

• Food choices made during and
  after treatment can support your
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• There are all different kinds of
  treatment for cancer patients..

  – Surgery
  – Radiation Therapy
  – Chemotherapy
  – Hormone Therapy
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• But for today, we’re going to focus
  on “Diet Therapy!!”

• Let’s look at the foods available to
  us that naturally help fight cancer.
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• The food groups that support you
  the most for both prevention and
  protection are…
    (drum roll) – PLANT FOODS!!
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• Plant foods provide protection two

  – 1st Way– Phyto-chemicals
     • “Phyto” is Greek for plant
     • Plant chemicals protect you from free
       radical cell damage
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• Free radical damage to DNA is
  thought to be one of the
  mechanisms by which cancer

• Your body’s primary cancer fighter,
  natural killer cells, are boosted in
  number and aggressiveness when
  you eat plant foods.
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• Antioxidants

  – “anti oxidation”
  – They are the antidote to oxidation
  – Plant foods are the main source of
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• The second benefit of plant foods is
  the “f” word (no, not THAT word)!

  – Acts like a sponge to clean out your
  – Speeds up transit time, thus keeping
    blood and lymph cleaner
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• Fiber also soaks up extra estrogen
  and eliminates it along with fecal

• Women who eat a lot of plant foods
  eliminate 2-3 times more estrogen
  than women who don’t (New
  England Journal of Medicine)
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• Does eating soy help breast
  – It looks like the “age” of regular
    consumption plays a role in its

  – The younger you are when you start
    eating soy, the more protective it is
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• Not so much for adults.

• This explains why Asian women are
  protected but American women are

• Genistein, one of soy’s
  phytoestrogens, may interfere with
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• Phyto-estrogens are substances in
  plants that imitate female estrogen

• But… plants cannot make human

• However, they can influence
  hormonal metabolism
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• Other dietary recommendations:

  – Eat Less Fat
    • Foods that are high in fat, and this
      includes dairy products, are associated
      with shorter survival rates in women with
      breast cancer
    • Fats are twice the calories of carbs and
    • Even 1000 extra calories per day can
      raise your risk for recurrence
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• Follow MyPyramid for guidance on
  numbers of servings and serving

• Frequent, small feedings may help
  you eat adequate calories
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• Making good food choices can help
  – Prevent or reverse deficiencies
  – Preserve lean body mass
  – Help you tolerate treatments
  – Minimize nutrition side-effects
  – Maintain strength and energy
  – Protect immune system
  – Aid in recovery and healing
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• See handout provided with
  recommendations for managing
  side effects from cancer treatments.
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• What about physical activity??

  – 45 minutes per day, at least
    five days a week, reduces the risk for
    developing breast cancer

  – Exercise controls weight. The lower
    your weight, the lower the risk.
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• Physical activity is also important
  after a diagnosis of cancer. It helps
  patients overcome the fatigue
  associated with chemotherapy. It
  can also help reduce the side
  effects of chemotherapy.
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• Exercise improves strength and
  endurance for patients receiving
  radiation or chemotherapy
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• Maintaining physical activity during
  and after treatment results in an
  improved attitude and outlook

• Physical activity makes the immune
  system stronger and helps change
  hormone levels
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• Even more than nutrition, exercise
  has the capacity to protect and
  enhance your immune system.

• You don’t have to work as hard (as
  say cardiovascular protection) to
  get the benefits; 20-30 minute
  walks will do the job.
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       Last but not least:
  “I have one word for you…

The Graduate -- 1967
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• Let’s segue from food to food

• Plastic food containers usually have
  triangles stamped on the bottom
  with a number inside.

• The number indicates the type of
  plastic used.
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• #7 in the triangle refers to “other”
  plastics, including polycarbonate

• Polycarbonate is made from BPA
  (bisphenol A)

• It is in the epoxy resins that line the
  inside of food and beverage cans
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• It is also in hard reusable water
  bottles (specifically nalgene), sippy
  cups, food storage containers, and
  baby bottles.

• BPA is in the bloodstream of nearly
  every person in the U.S.
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• This is a problem because BPA is
  an estrogen “mimic”.

• It activates the same receptors in
  the body as estrogen.

• BPA is considered an endocrine
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• Steps to protect yourself:
  – Avoid plastic containers with a “7”
    unless you are sure it is not
  – Prepare and store foods in glass,
    porcelain, or stainless steel
  – Don’t microwave in polycarbonate
  – Don’t wash them in the dishwasher.
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What questions do
   you have??