Publicado en: Mie, Dec 5th, 2012


-Por Kristie Leong, MD

Being diagnosed with breast cancer can be psychologically devastating – pero la tasa de curación del cáncer de mama nunca ha sido mayor. Medicamentos de quimioterapia convencional pueden detener el crecimiento y propagación del cáncer de mama, Pero también hay formas naturales de aumentar la capacidad del cuerpo para combatir el cáncer. Claro, if you have breast cancer you should consult your doctor before using supplements, especially if you’re taking chemotherapy since some supplements can interfere with chemo. What are some natural ways to help your body better fight breast cancer?

The Importance of Diet

Two large studies that looked at the effects of diet on breast cancer survival suggest that diet is an important weapon in the battle against breast cancer. In the Nurses Health study, researchers followed 1,982 post-menopausal women with breast cancer for 13 years to see how diet affected their prognosis. They discovered that women who ate the most omega-3 fatty acids from sources such as fatty fish and those who ate more poultry, fiber-rich foods and vegetables had a lower death rate than women who ate fewer of these foods.

En otro estudio, researchers followed 374 post-menopausal women with early breast cancer for 10 years and found those who ate a diet rich in vegetables and foods high in vitamin C were less likely to die of the disease. Still another study endorsed by the National Cancer Institute showed that eating a low-fat diet reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

Soy has been an area of controversy when it comes to breast cancer. Soy is a natural source of isoflavones, natural compounds that bind to estrogen receptors on breast tissue. Isoflavones have a weakly stimulatory effect but weaker than natural estrogen produced by the body. This may help to reduce the risk of recurrence by blocking estrogen stimulation of breast cells.

Some experts feared that soy could increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence by its weakly stimulatory effect on breast tissue, but a recent study showed the opposite. It found that post-menopausal women with estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer and taking anastrozole as hormonal treatment had a lower risk of breast cancer recurrence when they ate a diet rich in soy foods.

This data taken as a whole suggests that if you’ve had breast cancer, you should eat lean protein sources such as chicken and turkey, and add more omega-3 rich fatty fish such as salmon and sardines to your diet – but choose wild salmon, not farmed, to reduce exposure to heavy metals and other toxins. Another option is to take an omega-3 supplement from a reputable manufacturer.

Replace high-fat foods with more vegetables, especialmente crucíferos como el brócoli, Col, cauliflower and kale since they contain indoles and glucosinolates that help eliminate cancer-causing toxins from the body and lower estrogen levels. It may also be beneficial to add fermented soy to your diet from sources such as tempeh and miso, but talk to your doctor first.

What you drink is important too. One study showed that post-menopausal women who drank 6 grams or more of alcohol per day had a higher risk of breast cancer recurrence and a greater chance of dying from the disease. A good option is to replace alcohol with green tea. One study showed that drinking more than 3 cups a day of green tea was linked with a lower risk of breast cancer recurrence. If you can’t tolerate the caffeine or don’t enjoy the taste of green tea, take a high-quality green tea extract, but be sure to talk to your doctor first if you’re taking chemotherapy.

Other Supplements to Consider

Other supplements that may reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence include vitamin D3, indole-3 carbinol and coenzyme Q-10. There’s preliminary evidence that all of these may be beneficial, but the studies are smalland some are inconsistent.

Por lo menos, get a vitamin D level checked and start supplementing with vitamin D3 if your levels are low. There’s some evidence that women with low vitamin D levels have a greater risk of breast cancer recurrence, although this is still unproven.

La línea de fondo?

Diet and some supplements may help the body better fight breast cancer, so empower yourself by eating a healthy diet – and discuss the possibility of taking supplements with your doctor.

Cornell University Fact Sheet. “Diet and Lifestyle and Survival from Breast Cancer”.
Instituto Nacional del cáncer. "Dieta baja en grasas puede reducir el riesgo de recaída de cáncer de mama" “Alcohol May Increase Risk for Breast Cancer Recurrence”
CMAJ • November 23, 2010; 182 (17).



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