Nutrition and Breast Cancer: Prevention, Treatment and Recurrence

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer worldwide and the most commonly occurring malignancy in women (22.9% of female cancers), with more than 2 million of new cases diagnosed in 2018; clinically, is a heterogeneous disease. Due to the complexity of biology, understanding the etiological heterogeneity of breast cancer sub-types will help in guiding treatment, predicting survival and informing prevention strategies.

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Source: https://www.facebook.com/WHO/photos/4%EF%B8%8F%E2%83%A3-women-are-diagnosed-with-breast-cancer-every-minutebe-aware-of-breast-cancer/3452281184817240/

Several risk factors have been identified: non-modifiable factors include older age (>65 versus <65 years), genetic predisposition (including DNA mutations and family history), early menarche (<12 years), late menopause (>55 years), age at first pregnancy over 30 years, infertility and not having children, use of contraceptives, hormonal treatment after menopause, and no history of breastfeeding. Based on the most recent evidence, lifestyle recommendations were drawn up by the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) which are: (1) maintaining a healthy body weight, (2) being physically active, (3) following a fiber- and soy-rich diet, and (4) limiting the intake of fats (in particular, saturated fatty acids) may improve overall survival after BC diagnosis.

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Figure: Breast cancer sub-types and relative prevalence. TNBC: triple negative breast cancer

Source: American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2017–2018.

Dietary Factors in Breast Cancer Incidence and Recurrence

A healthy lifestyle, including weight management and high-quality diet, influences both the risk of developing BC and post-diagnosis outcomes. Mainly, sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary habits, such as excessive intake of high-caloric processed foods (rich in sugar and saturated fats), as well as low intake of healthy foods (containing ω-3 fatty acids, natural antioxidants, fiber) ultimately leads to obesity, contributes to increased adipose tissue inflammation, creating a favorable environment for breast cancer development and progression.

Based on studies,  some foods and nutrients e.g., refined carbohydrates, saturated fats, junk foods, red and processed meats are considered potential risk factors for breast cancer. In contrast, fiber, ω-3 poly unsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), vitamins C and E, fruits and vegetables have protective role by reducing oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.

Impact of  Nutritional therapy on Women with Breast Cancer

Therapy usually runs 3-6 months and is often accompanied by side effects, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, dry mouth and changes in taste or smell perception. Weight gain associated with changes in body composition with increase in fat mass and loss in muscle mass, also known as sarcopenic obesity,  is the most common side effect occurring in women receiving chemotherapy.  It should also be underlined that low BMI (<18.5 kg/m2) is associated with poor prognosis. Therapy-induced nausea has substantial impact on eating enjoyment, leading to inadequate energy and essential nutrient intakes, and resulting in malnutrition, reduced compliance with treatment regimens, reduced immunity, emotional distress and negative quality of life.

Thus, maintaining a healthy weight in BC women, by increasing physical activity and decreasing body fat, may be a reasonable intervention to improve prognosis. Beside limiting drug-induced side effects, some dietary interventions can also enhance therapeutic efficacy, thus improving the quality of life for cancer survivors e.g., Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids (ω-3 PUFAs); green tea, antioxidant vitamins and minerals such as vitamin-C, E & D, selenium, zinc, polyphenols, calcium etc.

Significant reduction in body weight, reducing fat (fats, oils and sweets), necessarily making healthier choices; consuming increased fruits and vegetables found to be potentially beneficial for women with breast cancer.

 

In recent past, the concept of nutritional support as part of a comprehensive cancer management program has gained increasing interest. Being overweight or obese is, indeed, associated with increased risk of developing certain forms of cancer. Evidence suggests that nutritional intervention as key factor in determining cancer prognosis, patient quality of life and, notably, efficacy of anti-tumor therapies. Among Breast Cancer patients, diet, physical activity and weight management, indeed, play a major role in improving survival. Non-communicable diseases like cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease are multi-factorial, and diet, although related, is only one of the risk factors together with lifestyle choices, genetic and environmental factors accounting for the patho-physiology of that particular disease. .

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Grilled Chicken

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Grilled Chicken

  • Author: Nilita Das
  • Prep Time: 4 hrs 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 7 mins
  • Total Time: 4 hrs 17 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Continental
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Cooking the simplest dishes are the hardest to get them right sometimes, grilled chicken is one of them. People think that marinating alone will save grilled chicken from drying out; in fact, it’s often the marinade causes the problem! It is not necessary that every time we use boneless chicken breasts, as I often do, we can make grilled chicken using a good leg piece. One can enjoy grilled chicken over a caesar salad to get a perfect healthy main course, children also love them.


Scale

Ingredients

Chicken leg pieces – 2 nos.

Garlic cloves big, minced – 4 nos.

Dried thyme – 1 tsp

Dried oregano – 1/2 tsp

Salt – As per taste

Freshly ground black pepper – 1/2 tsp

Lemon zest – 1 tsp

Lime juice – 1 tsp


Instructions

  • Mix all of the ingredients well except for the chicken.
  • Massage the marinade into the chicken legs until evenly coated.
  • Place in a bowl in the refrigerator, let the chicken marinate for at least 4 hours.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-to-high heat and brush oil over the grates.
  • Place the chicken legs on the grill and cook covered for 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  • Do not overcook. Transfer the chicken to a platter and serve with ceaser salad.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 428 kcal
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 38 g

Keywords: healthy chicken recipe, quick chicke recipe

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Suji (Semolina) Upma

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Suji (Semolina) Upma

  • Author: Nilita Das
  • Prep Time: 8 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Suji or Semolina, also known as Rava, are widely used in Indian cooking. Sometimes sweet, sometimes savory, sometimes as crunchy coating, semolina has many wonderful appearances.

Suji upma is a healthy, easy-to-make and popular breakfast dish from South India with all sorts of flavors and vegetables in it.  This traditional dish is just done by roasting semolina and flavoring it with ghee (or oil), cashews, urad dal (lentils), chana dal (husked Bengal gram), onion, ginger, chopped vegetables of choice and additional herbs and spices. Sugar can be added for a mildly sweet and savory dish.

What makes upma special are all the fried ingredients that are used for tempering. These ingredients may vary depending on the recipe, but usually include some sweet, savory and nutty flavors.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup semolina flour
  • 1 tablespoons ghee (homemade preferred) or refined vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon split black gram (Urad dal)
  • 1 small onion chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 small green chills split lengthwise
  • Few curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup diced boiled carrots
  • 1/4 cup boiled green peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt as required
  • Water as required

Instructions

  1. Place semolina in pan and cook over medium heat until toasty but not browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

  2. Return pan to medium heat and heat ghee or oil until shimmering. Add the mustard seeds and split black gram, stir until they splutter, about 30 seconds. Add the onion, fry until slightly soft, about a minute (take care not to brown). Add slit green chillis, curry leaves and stir until fragrant, about a minute longer. Add the carrots, peas, turmeric powder, and sugar, and stir until fragrant and the mixture is coated with the ghee/oil, about 1 minute.

  3. Add toasted semolina and stir vigorously until the mixture resembles wet sand—about a minute. Add the salt and gently pour in the water. The semolina will bubble and spurt as it absorbs the water. Reduce heat to low. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. The Upma absorbs water very quickly and tends to dry out too, so turn off the heat and cover for 1-2 minutes when the mixture is slightly runny. Serve immediately with choice of chutney.



Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 188 kcal
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Sodium: 7 g
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 31 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 g

Keywords: healthybreakfast easy-to-cook nutritiousrecipe healthyeating quickupmarecipe

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Sevaiya Upma

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Sevaiya Upma

  • Author: Nilita
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 8 mins
  • Total Time: 18 mins
  • Yield: 1 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Sevaiya Upma is a very popular and common South-Indian breakfast recipe using vermicelli instead of semolina. Sevaiya Upma is also easy to prepare and a good choice when you need to prepare food within minutes.  Sevaiya upma is light on the stomach which has perfect combination of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals to start your day.

It is a delicious and quick snacking option for all your hunger pangs. This is so light that it is known to be all-time favorite meal and not just restricted to breakfast.


Scale

Ingredients

1.       Refined vegetable Oil- 1 Tsp
2.       Vermicelli (Semiya/Sevai)- 1 Cup
3.       Mustard Seeds- 1 Tsp
4.       Coriander Leaves(Optional) – Few
5.       Green Chillies (slit or chopped)- 1pc.
6.       Curry Leaves- Few
7.       Onion (medium sized, finely chopped)- 1pc.
8.       Green Peas- ¼ cup
9.       Carrot (Small Size, chopped)- ¼ cup

10.   Capsicum-¼ cup

11.   French Beans (chopped)- ¼ cup
12.   Turmeric Powder- Pinch
13.   Red Chilli Powder(Optional)- Pinch

14.   Salt- As per required

15.   Water – As  required

Instructions

  1. Dry roast the sevaiya in a kadai and keep aside.
  2. Now, in kadai heat 1 tsp oil and splutter 1 tsp Black mustard Seeds, 1 dried red chilli, 1 green chilli (optional) and few curry leaves. Sauté well.
  3. Further, add chopped onion and sauté slightly.
  4. Also add green peas, carrot, capsicum and French beans. Sauté for few minutes.
  5. Additionally, add turmeric powder and salt. Sauté for a minute.
  6. Now add in roasted semiya and mix gently with all the ingredients.
  7. Add water as required to cook the sevai well. Cover and cook for 2 minutes or till vegetables turn soft.
  8. Do not overcook as sevai will get mashed.
  9. Finally, serve sevai upma with Tomato garlic chutney.
  10.  If one wish, can add roasted crushed peanut (1tsp) before having it.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 110 kcal
  • Sodium: 6 mg
  • Fat: 4.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: vegetablesevaiupma healthybreakfast easy-to-cook nutrientdense

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