Obesity is No. 1 risk for breast, other cancers

Interested in knowing what you should eat to minimize your risk of breast cancer and other types of cancer? It’s simple — and it’s something you’ve heard many times before.

“I don’t know that there’s anything that I would say that’s specific, beyond what we view these days as being a healthy diet,” oncologist Heather Allen said.

“The bottom line is, what’s healthy for the body when it comes to cardiovascular risk works for cancer as well,” oncologist Fadi Braiteh said.

But, of course, there’s a caveat to that.

“Unfortunately,” Allen said, “it’s not the diet that a lot of people in this country follow.”

From the aspect of what goes into your body, the breakdown is pretty simple. Braiteh said the keys are low carb, low fat and high protein.

“Certainly looking at fruits and vegetables, good whole grains,” Allen said. “If you’re going for a protein source, minimizing the red meat — more fish, maybe chicken. Watching more of the sugar and fats.

“But there’s nothing really radical about that.”

But both physicians stress that what comes out of your body — in terms of calories and fat burned — is even more important than what goes in.

“The No. 1 increased risk for cancer is obesity,” Braiteh said. “So, being healthy and fit, body mass index, having more lean muscle and less fat tissue is the goal. It’s not just how much you weigh on the scale, it’s how you look.”

Which brings us back to diet, at least as a starting point.

“The first thing is to try to choose food and drink that help you to get and maintain healthy weight,” said Mary Wilson, a registered dietitian and extension nutrition specialist with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. “Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat; with processed meats, the use of nitrites to preserve it can be a risk. Eating at least 2½ cups of fruits and vegetables a day can reduce the risk of some types of cancer, and choosing more whole grains than unrefined grains.”

But Braiteh said that to help reduce the risk of cancer, the exercise you get has to be the type that will challenge your cardiovascular system.

“It’s not just walking in the park that’s going to do the trick,” he said.

Studies have shown that women who have survived breast cancer are more likely to reduce the risk of the cancer coming back if they exercise regularly. It’s important, he said, to keep lean muscle up, fat tissue down, by exercising regularly at least three times a week, with an emphasis on cardio, such as on a treadmill or elliptical trainer.

If you’re not successful in preventing cancer, Braiteh said diet also plays a role in treatment and recovery. Nutritional needs become much more complex, he said, because of the often-fraught relationship between food and treatments such as chemotherapy, which can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

“Taste is altered,” he said. “Even the foods they used to like, they don’t like.”

“Sometimes,” Allen said, “if people are going through treatments, whether it be chemotherapy or whether it be radiation, we sometimes have to alter diets because, No. 1, patients will often lose their taste. Things will taste bitter or metallic.”

Sometimes, she said, work-arounds can help. If the person being treated simply has no appetite, multiple small meals — especially of “high-calorie food that are a lot of bang for your buck” — are suggested. So, sometimes, are liquid supplements such as Ensure or Boost.

Braiteh said those small meals should, again, focus on high protein.

“Stay away from high carbs and high sugars that fill you immediately,” he said.

And, he said, it’s best to avoid nutritional supplements other than a multivitamin unless they’re suggested by your doctor, because they can feed the cancer cells as well as the healthy body. A lot of people, he said, figure they may not benefit from them, but they won’t harm them.

“It might very much harm,” he said.

The physicians said other factors can affect the diet of people undergoing treatment and whether their nutritional needs are met.

“People have a lot of fatigue,” Allen said. “If they’re the ones trying to make the meals, they don’t feel like doing the shopping and the cooking, so you try to get by with things that are easy to prepare and can be prepared ahead of time, during times when they have more energy.”

Soups, pudding and similar foods that go down easily are often recommended, she said.

“Foods that have a strong odor are generally not a good idea because that can affect someone who could be nauseated,” Allen said. “You usually don’t want anything that’s very spicy, although for some people that’s their normal diet.

“It’s not a one-size-fits-all. You’re really trying to work with the foods that the person normally likes, to encourage them to use those foods.”

And beverages. Braiteh said hydration also is very important.

“The biggest challenge that people forget about is getting dehydrated easily,” he said. “Because of the chemotherapy, people lose the urge to thirst. We should not rely on thirst.”

The emphasis when it comes to beverages, he said, should be on water, teas, iced teas and Gatorade. Alcohol, he said, should be avoided because it acts as a diuretic.

Wilson said research hasn’t proven or disproved a connection between breast cancer and soy foods.

“There just isn’t anything to say,” she said. “We just don’t have enough information. It doesn’t appear that there is an issue. There have been a couple of things to raise your eyebrows, but nothing definitive enough to release to the general public. It’s just not clear enough to know.”

And so it’s back to the basics.

“I don’t know that there is any superfood,” Allen said. “Organic makes a lot of sense, but I don’t know that there are any data to support that. People can get pretty opinionated about this. I think you want to sort out what’s been substantiated by fact rather than opinion.”

“There’s still a lot of research to be done,” Wilson said. “What we know at this time is that the best advice we can give people to possibly reduce their risk for breast cancer is regular physical activity, reducing lifetime weight gain by increasing exercise and limiting calories, and reducing or limiting alcohol consumption. Eating a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods.

“We’ve heard that in a number of different arenas, as we look at reducing risk for chronic disease in general.”

Contact reporter Heidi Knapp Rinella at hrinella@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0474.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
CES final night showcases Drake at XS Nightclub
Drake performed for CES attendees and club-goers at XS Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2019 Has A Cordless Hair Dryer
CES Has A Cordless Hair Dryer (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Panel talks Impossible Burger 2.0
Panel talks Impossible Burger at CES during launch at Border Grill on Monday, Jan. 7. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Dream of AJ Montgomery
AJ Montgomery lost part of his leg in a vehicle accident but found his dream as a performer in “Le Reve.” (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kelly Clinton-Holmes of the Stirling Club
John Katsilometes chats with Kelly Clinton-Holmes, director of the Stirling Club's New Year's Eve entertainment.
Month-by-month entertainment coming in 2019
“True Detective” Season 3, HBO (Jan. 13) Travis Scott, T-Mobile Arena (Feb. 6) Robbie Williams, Encore Theatre at Wynn Las Vegas (March 6, 8, 9, 13, 15 and 16) “Game of Thrones” Season 8, HBO (April) Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas Motor Speedway (May 17-19) “Fiddler on the Roof,” The Smith Center (June 4-9) “The Lion King” (July 19) Psycho Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay (Aug. 16-18) Life is Beautiful, downtown Las Vegas (Sept. 20-22) “Tim Burton @ the Neon Museum” (Oct. 15) “Frozen 2” (Nov. 22) “Star Wars: Episode IX” (Dec. 20)
Lacey Huszcza invites you to find something to love at the Las Vegas Philharmonic
Lacey Huszcza, executive director of the Las Vegas Philharmonic talks about the orchestra's wealth of programming. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gina Marinelli offers La Strega preview
Gina Marinelli used a pop-up New Year’s Eve dinner at Starboard Tack to preview items she’ll feature at her new Summerlin restaurant, La Strega. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Year’s Eve at Sparrow + Wolf
Sparrow + Wolf’s New Year’s Eve party was a sort of official unveiling of its newly renovated space. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Debra Kelleher Of The Stirling Club
Debra Kelleher, DK Hospitality President talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the Stirling Club.
Richard Ditton Of The Stirling Club
Richard Ditton, an investment partner of the Stirling Club talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the club.
NYE at the Stirling Club
John Katsilometes reports from the reopening of the Stirling Club on New Year's Eve 2018.
Michael Stapleton of the Stirling Club
Michael Stapleton, COO of the Stirling Club talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the club.
Recap the Countdown on Fremont Street — VIDEO
Nearly 40,000 people packed Fremont Street to enjoy America's Party Downtown. As the tradition stands, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman counted down the clock on the 3rd Street Stage, alongside her husband and former mayor, Oscar Goodman.
New Year's Eve live from the Las Vegas Strip Bellagio Fountains - Video
Reporter Aaron Drawhorn near the Bellagio Fountains as hundreds of thousands gather to celebrate New Year's Eve in Las Vegas
Ryan Reaves describes the flavors in Training Day beer
Ryan Reaves talks about the flavor of Training Day, the new beer from 7Five Brewing that was launched at the PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves describes his new beer
Golden Knights winger Ryan Reaves talks about his new beer from 7Five Brewing at a launch party at PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' five biggest NYE concerts
Imagine Dragons at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Lady Gaga at The Park Theater at Park MGM, Maroon 5 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Bruno Mars at T-Mobile Arena, and Tenacious D at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Celebrate New Years Day, Hangover Day and Bloody Mary Day at Cabo Wabo
Celebrate New Years Day, Hangover Day and Bloody Mary Day at Cabo Wabo (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Symon, chef and owner of Mabel's BBQ, talks about his first Las Vegas restaurant
Michael Symon, chef and owner of Mabel's BBQ, talks about his first Las Vegas restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye @bizutesfaye
New American Eagle flagship on the Las Vegas Strip lets you customize your clothing
American Eagle flagship on the Las Vegas Strip lets you customize your clothing
Bellagio Conservatory display is Majestic Holiday Magic
Majestic Holiday Magic at the Bellagio Conservatory
Las Vegas Ready for 2019 NYE Fireworks Show
The city of Las Vegas is ready to celebrate "America's Party" with a new and improved fireworks show that will pay tribute to the Golden Knights.
Sugar Factory makes a shareable Christmas cocktail
If you’re looking to share holiday cheer, this goblet is big enough to split among at least a few friends. The bubbly punch is made with cherry vodka, cranberry juice and a scoop of Christmas tree gummy candies — just in case it’s not sufficiently sweet.
New Year's Eve fireworks are ready to fly in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and Fireworks by Grucci unveil details of “America’s Party 2019” New Year's Eve fireworks and entertainment extravaganza during a news conference at the Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like