The war against breast cancer is fought every day. Up to 38,000 women in England are diagnosed with it each year, along with 260 men. But did you know that a change in diet could help prevent the onset of breast cancer
Oestrogen, which can potentially trigger abnormal cell growth, seems to be the reason why the statistic between the two genders is so staggering. The hormone is far more present in women than in men, making it 100 times more likely that a female will be diagnosed with the cancer than a male. In extreme yet limited cases, some people are genetically predisposed to having breast cancer. Mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes make it 45-90 per cent more likely for them to develop it. Angelina Jolie is in this small pool of individuals who carry this abnormality, which triggered her decision to undergo a double mastectomy. However, only 1 in 500 women are at risk of developing these genetic irregularities in the United Kingdom.
Although screening tests are useful preventative measures, there are also other steps people can take to improve their odds of a cancer-free life. With there being a 10 per cent chance of an otherwise healthy individual developing breast cancer, awareness of certain foods could prove to be a powerful ally in keeping the illness at bay; with 80 per cent of diagnosis believed to be preventable by lifestyle changes, this is especially significant. And the best part is that all of these resources can be found right in your local supermarket.
Research suggests that a diet high in fruit and vegetables could potentially defend the body against breast cancer. That’s because they contain powerful vitamins and nutrients in the form of carotenoids, antioxidants, and lycopene, all of which are linked to protecting the body. Indulging in colourful fruits and vegetables such as red peppers, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, and kale not only create a treat for the palette, but could also reduce the threat of cancerous cells. Lycopene is found in tomatoes, and can either be ingested in a favourite recipe, or taken as a supplement. The important thing is that these substances combat free radicals, molecules that attack healthy cells and are believed to be involved in causing cancers such as breast cancer. Fortifying the body with antioxidants, substances which stabilise the behaviour of free radicals, has been associated with preventing the development of the disease.
While a hearty steak sounds like a dinnertime dream to some, there is also a correlation between red meat and growth of abnormal cells. Cancer is fundamentally a question of these abnormal, or mutated cells, growing unchecked and invading healthy tissue. Studies suggest that cutting back on red meat, limiting salt intake, and moderating alcohol consumption quashes the likelihood of such growth by 20 per cent.
Cancer awareness is growing every day, and this blog aims to shed light on some of the research that has been conducted over the last several years. Consulting with a qualified professional will not only give you the tools to aid in your own well-being, but will also ensure you have received the best feedback possible in protecting yourself, or someone you love.
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