October was breast cancer awareness month. It is estimated that this year in Canada 25,000 women and 220 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and that 5,000 women and 60 men in Canada will die from some form of cancer. Breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosis and it is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Canadian women, after lung cancer. The good news thanks to earlier detection, greater awareness and improved treatments fewer women are dying from breast cancer, in fact breast cancer deaths are down 44% in the past 30 years.
When discussing cancer, it is important to remember that prevention is the best treatment and the two factors that each one of us can directly control are diet and lifestyle. Dr. Kaleb has put together his top 5 nutrition & lifestyle tips to help prevent breast cancer.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Weight gain after age 18 to between the ages of 50 and 60, has been consistently associated with risk of breast cancer after menopause. When the ovaries stop producing hormones after menopause, fat cells produce most of the estrogen in the female body. The more fat tissue in a woman’s body, the higher her estrogen levels are likely to be, and the higher her risk of breast cancer.
- Reduce exposure to xenoestrogens. A large number of synthetic chemical compounds that we all encounter have estrogen-like activity. Among them: plastics, common pesticides, industrial pollutants and hormone residues in meat, poultry and dairy products. Dr. Kaleb recommends limiting exposure as much as possible. Choosing hormone free animal products and organic produce is a good start.
- Use healthy fats: Monounsaturated fats found in a high quality, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avacado oil and polyunsaturated omega-3 fats from freshly ground flaxseed and oily fish such as wild salmon and sardines may help reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Include whole soy products in your diet. Soy foods contain many cancer-protective substances, including isoflavones. Try to eat one to two servings of whole organic soy-based foods a day, such as organic edamame, tofu, soy milk.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables! Especially cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, bok choy and cauliflower, which contain many different cancer-protective phytonutrients.
To learn more about how diet and lifestyle can influence your health make an appointment to see Dr. Kaleb today. Call 604-974-8999 or book online at