The thought of breast cancer is scary and troubles women worldwide.
What may cause you to raise your eyebrows is that women in Asian countries such as China have lower incidences of the illness. Dietary preferences may explain this phenomenon.
What is breast cancer?
Simply put, mammary cancer happens when cells in the breast turn rogue. They grow fast, forming tumors which a doctor can usually detect via a mammogram or an X-Ray of the chest area. Though these tumors are more common in women, they may develop in men as well.
Malignant tumors that begin in the milk duct, or ductal carcinomas, are the most familiar type of breast cancer. Cancers arising in the lobules, or lobular carcinomas, happen less.
Breast cancer starts with thickened tissue in a woman’s breast. These cells form what most people call a “lump.” She may feel a sting in her armpits that has no links with her menstrual period. Her skin may redden, and a rash may develop around her nipples. Discharge may flow from one of them.
What raises the risk of breast cancer?
While experts cannot pinpoint the causes of breast cancer, they can identify what puts a woman at a risk of developing it. Your tendency to contract it is high if you have the following attributes. Your propensity for breast cancer increases when you are older. Cancer develops in postmenopausal women rather than those who are younger.
80% of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50.
Genetics and family history may determine the likelihood of getting the Big C. If a close relative has it, the risk of you contracting it is high. That said, breast cancers are common, and a majority of them are not hereditary. The possibility of breast cancer may arise if you had benign breast lumps. They include atypical ductal hyperplasia and lobular carcinoma. There is a likelihood of them metastasizing if they develop again.
Further, women with high levels of estrogen are more likely than their peers to have breast tumors. If you had your periods earlier than other women your age, be alert to this. How heavy you are may decide whether you get breast cancer or not. Obese menopausal women are more likely than their slimmer peers to develop growths in their mammary glands. They tend to produce higher levels of estrogen.
An interesting point to note is that taller women are more prone to breast cancer than shorter ones, though experts still need to establish the reason for this. Women who consume more alcohol have a higher risk than others of developing breast cancer. If you want to kick cancer to the curb, take no more than one alcoholic beverage per day.
Breast cancer raises its ugly head because of increased levels of estrogen and progesterone in the female body. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) may contribute to the development of tumors. Women who need to replace estrogen in their bodies are more likely than others to contract the disease. Combined estrogen and progesterone therapy increase their risk.
The Diet Factor: Why Chinese Women Are Less Likely to Develop Breast Cancer
These risk factors aside, a woman’s diet may be one of the biggest reasons for getting breast cancer. Jane Plant, a renowned professor of geochemistry, received a breast cancer diagnosis from her gynecologist. She decided to put up a fight against the disease.
Her husband, who worked in China, found that the breast cancer rates were much lower there than in Western countries. The Plants discovered that Chinese diets comprised only 14% of fat compared with Western diets, which contained 36% fat. Jane then realized that few Chinese ate dairy produce.
She started to follow a revolutionary diet plan that changed her fate for the best. She replaced high-fat dairy products with low-fat Cheese and skimmed milk.
The lump in her breast remained the same size after her first session of chemotherapy. She removed dairy from her diet, and it shrank after the second session. It vanished after her third chemo session, a phenomenon which astounded specialists at Charing Cross hospital.
Jane’s experience brings to mind that the dietary choices could be responsible for the onset of cancer. A low-fat diet does a lot to reduce the signs of the disease.
Say Goodbye to Breast Cancer with these ten low-fat foods
Plant’s theory may not be far off the mark. If you follow a low-fat diet like the Chinese do, you can keep the Big C at a distance. These non-fattening foods will be a great help.
The Chinese add lots of mushrooms to their noodles and omelets. A study in the Chinese health journal PLos One revealed that a diet high in mushrooms offers protection from breast cancer. If you dislike Chicken Chow Mien, you can add them to stews, scrambled eggs or stir-fries.
2. Broccoli Sprouts
These vegetables are high in antioxidants. The Center for Cancer Research found that one of them, Sulforaphane, may target cancer growth. Have them in sandwiches and salads.
These fruits are high in ellagic acid, an antioxidant that may slow cancer development. Scientists from the Beckman Research Institute discovered that it restrains the enzymes that may cause breast cancer.
The American Journal Of Nutrition supports Jane Plant’s theory that dietary changes may help to stop breast cancer development. Researchers studied the Asian diet and found that legumes and soy contributed to lower rates of breast cancer. If you do not like stir-fried legumes, try a lentil burger. You may substitute them with kale as well.
If you want to prevent breast cancer, go nuts. That is, have handfuls of walnuts. Scientists from the Marshall University School of Medicine in West Virginia discovered that the Omega acids, phytoestrogens, and antioxidants in them control cancerous enzymes. Be creative and add walnuts to soups, muffins or even pizza.
The Chinese name for these delightful fruits is “Lan Mei”, and they explain why many of their women do not get breast cancer. Pterostilbene, a potent antioxidant in them, cause cancerous cells to self-destruct. This fascinating process is known as apoptosis. Enjoy blueberries with yogurt and cereals.
Women who take in high amounts of folate have low breast cancer rates. Spinach has lots of this Vitamin-B compound. If you want to enjoy this low-fat food as the Chinese do, fry spinach leaves with prawns and a little soy sauce.
Women prize eggs for their ability to control hair fall and various skin conditions. The Choline in them helps with these ailments, and breast cancer as well. A study found that it ensures the proper functioning of cells. The Chinese fry them with noodles and make slurp-worthy omelets with them.
The Chinese enjoy raw fish dishes every lunar new year, and they could explain why breast cancer rates among them are not significant. Vitamin D in salmon prevents “good” cells from turning rogue. Omega-3 fat in this fish stops the spread of cancerous cells in the breast to other parts of the body.
10. Rye and Whole Grains
If the idea of raw salmon does not excite you, eat more grain instead. The American Institute for Cancer Research found that the lignans, fiber, phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins in them helped to stop cancer cells from spreading. Eat rye bread with eggs, tomato or sprouts.
Why do fewer Chinese women get breast cancer? Low-fat diets are the simple answer to this question. Eat these foods and say goodbye to it for good.
By Michelle L.