After I Complete Breast Cancer Treatment, Should I Follow Any Special Diet to Reduce the Risk of Recurrence?

Question: After I have completed my treatments for breast cancer, should I follow any special diet to reduce the risk of recurrence?

Answer: There's not a lot of research with the role of nutrition after a diagnosis and after treatment for breast cancer. There is some research going on right now -- the Women's Healthy Eating and Living Study -- that's looking at the role of nutrition and reducing the risk of recurrence. This can be an area where you can take the research on prevention now and use that in what might help but won't hurt.

Now true, a scientist is not going to take the prevention research and put it on top of after a diagnosis because there's a different place in the cancer process that's going on.

But if you consider having a plant-based diet, having fruits and vegetables, five to nine servings a day, having healthy fats like cold-water fish, omega-3 fatty acids, using olive oil as a dressing for the monounsaturated fats, having plant-based foods that are a good source of a combination of different fibers, having a trail mix of different nuts and seeds and dried fruits to get the minerals and the nutrients.

There are a lot of things that you can do to enhance the nutrient density of your diet as well as getting the phytochemicals, the plant chemicals that are being researched in disease prevention. So there, there are a lot of positive steps that one could take with their diet to possibly reduce the risk, but at least it would be a diet that might help and certainly wouldn't hurt.

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