by Aaron Turpen, BreastCancer.co
There are several studies showing that estrogen levels are related to many types of breast cancer. There are even cancer types associated with whether or not they are estrogen-reacting and treatments involving estrogen inhibiting pharmaceuticals to treat those. Often, however, women may test high in estrogen levels, but not high enough or be at risk enough otherwise that doctors will prescribe anything to lower those levels.
In those cases, reducing breast cancer naturally, through diet and healthy means, is an obvious option people may wish to take. Even those who are on estrogen-reducing drugs can talk with their doctor about lifestyle changes that may augment their estrogen reduction program.
Estrogen-reducing foods and ‘Breast Cancer Diets’
Breast cancer prevention diets are often quite the fad, but not always a healthy solution. Luckily, there are many foods that have been researched and proven to be helpful in reducing estrogen levels or improving breast cancer risks. Unfortunately, these foods are readily available and often ignored by most people as they are not often the foods associated with our relatively rich American diets.
Whole grains can sometimes block estrogen that may be linked to some breast cancers. Research is not definitive, but the fibers in whole grain are known to react with some estrogen types and research has shown that cultures with healthy diets that include whole grains have lower breast cancer risks than those that do not.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, of course, are often associated with healthier lifestyles and with lower breast cancer risks.
Specific vegetables, such as crucifers (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage) are known to help the body shift “bad” estrogen into better forms. These veggies also contain vital antioxidants that are known to help cells block cancerous activity. They are also very healthy, of course, and part of a balanced diet.
Weight and Breast Cancer
Most of the study into foods and breast cancer has been on lifestyle choices, weight gain/loss, and obesity. Women with a healthy lifestyle tend to have lower breast cancer risks and better weight management than women who do not.
Eating more of the foods listed above and similar foods known to be beneficial to cancer prevention in general will usually lead to a healthier lifestyle overall, which will lead to better weight management and lower risks for cancers of all types.
Estrogen & Breast Cancer Risk: Factors of Exposure, 1998/2002 Cornell University Fact Sheet
Food and drink to lower estrogen levels?, BreastCancer.org