Erika Diaz Quinones
Surgeon by Anahuac. He has a specialty and master’s degree in specialized clinical nutrition. He has a diploma in clinical pharmacology. Honorary member of the Iberoamerican Immunonutrition Association.
Office: Business & Therapy Place Interlomas. Office T28. Av. Jesús del Monte 37.
Col. Jesús del Monte.
We are celebrating the international day of the fight against breast cancer. We have made great strides in raising awareness and early detection of this disease that affects so many people worldwide. And without a doubt one of the most important issues in a comprehensive treatment for breast cancer is diet and we are going to answer everything you need to know.
Why is diet important for cancer?
It is SUPER IMPORTANT, many times these patients are advised to stop eating because if they eat they feed cancer, this is totally FALSE and can cause serious malnutrition problems in our patients.
We must understand that cancer is a group of cells with an accelerated metabolism and that we eat a lot or little, it will feed, if we do not eat well our immune cells are denuded and CANNOT FIGHT CANCER.
Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are responsible for slowing down the rate of reproduction of cancer cells and in this way, giving the immune system an opportunity to destroy the tumor.
In recent years, antibody therapies called immunotherapies have also been developed, which have the function of helping the immune system to activate itself and to overcome these camouflage mechanisms that cancer cells have.
So what is recommended to eat if you have breast cancer?
It depends on what type of breast cancer it is. There are 3 types or classes of breast cancer:
Tumors that are sensitive to hormones (estrogens or progesterone).
Tumors that express a protein called Her2
Tumors that do not express any membrane proteins and are called triple negative.
For hormone sensitive tumors, FOODS that contain phytoestrogens or that promote the creation of estrogens and progesterone in women MUST BE AVOIDED as it would promote cancer. Some of these foods are soybeans, soy milk, soy sprouts, soybeans, foods rich in soy lecithin.
Foods very rich in vitamin B6. This is why oncologists ask patients not to take supplements or multivitamins as they may contain things that affect treatment.
For Her2 positive cancer, avoid foods rich in saturated fats, limit the consumption of omega acids (because they can cause an inflammatory effect), margarines, alcohol, pork or chicken rind skin.
For patients with triple positive breast cancer avoid: alcohol, corn oil, high fructose corn syrup, cold cuts like bacon or pepperoni.
And the famous remedies? What’s up with soursop, moringa, and some herbs?
We must be very careful with herbal and naturopathic remedies, since we do not know the concentration or the dose or amount that each one contains, there are times that we do not even put the same amount in one tea as another because some leaves are larger what others.
Many herbal, naturopathic and even homeopathic remedies finally have to be processed and cleaned from the body through the liver, and this, if we add it to chemotherapy or treatments, ADD EXTRA WORK TO THE LIVER and we are trying too hard. Even liver enzymes can be altered and chemotherapies or treatments may have to be stopped for this reason.
There are other remedies and teas or even supplements that in addition to being expensive, can affect the liver or kidneys.
Soursop and its leaves have not shown a result in serious clinical studies, as well as other remedies, so their use is not recommended, the vast majority, they interfere with the absorption mechanism of action of the same treatments.
How to eat to help treat breast cancer?
Eat in a balanced and balanced way.
Avoid ultra-processed foods.
Avoid artificial sweeteners.
Go to an onconutriologist to be able to have an assessment of your nutritional status.
Eat fresh and seasonal foods.
It is recommended to eat grapes, preferably purple, cold or frozen.
Stay well hydrated with natural water.
Do not self-prescribe or take nutritional supplements without supervision.
Can diet cure cancer?
There is no such thing as a diet that cures cancer, what exists is an interdisciplinary treatment where medical specialists in oncology collaborate with onco-nutritionists, psychologists and physical therapists to optimize the results of the treatment.
There is a diet to prevent cancer or prevent it from coming back once the treatment is finished, and this diet is to have a calorie intake based on your height, weight and physical activity, based on a good intake of protein, low carbohydrates glycemic index and healthy fats, avoiding sugary drinks and ultra-processed foods.
How restrictive does the diet of a cancer patient have to be?
It should not be very restrictive, it should be well balanced and balanced, removing some foods that should not be consumed because they could cause inflammation, alterations in the microbiota, remove refined sugars during treatment, change white flour for whole grain, improve fruit consumption and natural vegetables, avoid ultra-processed, dyes, flavorings and monosodium glutamate.
Are there any recommendations to avoid breast cancer?
Yes, exercise regularly, starting by walking 15 minutes a day, little by little we are activating ourselves.
Eat a diet rich in natural fruits and vegetables, a good supply of protein, and eat low-glycemic carbohydrates.
Avoid processed and industrialized foods.