• Hormone receptive positive breast cancer and diet

    Asked by Bengal on Wednesday, October 16, 2019

    Hormone receptive positive breast cancer and diet

    I am so confused. I am very interested in using diet in the best possible way to fight, protect oneself and offer the best chance of recovery and keeping recurrence at bay. I have been given lists of foods that one should incorporate into their diet by the oncology dietitian. Only recently I have discovered that many plant foods are high in plant estrogen and people!e with ER+ or HR+ should avoid theses things such as soy products, nuts, legumes and flaxseed, among others. What I'm finding, however, is many of the items on the avoid list are turning up in the "good things to eat" list. Many of the"healthy" foods I have been making an effort to include in my diet I'm now being told could be feeding any lurking cancer cells and encouraging them to multiply. This is scary.

    10 Answers from the Community

    10 answers
    • criley's Avatar
      criley

      That’s interesting. I’ve not heard that although my dr did say to stay away from all soy. Any other thoughts anyone?

      about 1 month ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar
      gpgirl70

      I just stay away from soy products that are not fermented. I have heard about flaxseeds being both good or maybe not so good. Never heard that legumes and nuts are an issue. Heck, at a certain point we have to eat something. I’m just trying to keep my weight in normal range because being overweight or obese is problematic also. I’m also trying to reduce stress so with eating I do the best I can and try not to become obsessive- which I was after diagnosis. I had to let some things go.

      about 1 month ago
    • Dawsonsmom's Avatar
      Dawsonsmom

      This whole eating thing is hard to keep up with. For years we’re told to eat “low-fat”, now, stay away from low fat. Don’t drink too much coffee, drink more coffee; don’t eat butter, eat butter; juice is good for you, juice is bad for you and on and on. I have decided to eat reasonably, particularly watching sugar and carbs, limiting red meat and increasing filtered water. ( We just learned that a hazardous chemical was dumped into the river that is the source of our drinking water. Happened in Aug, just now being told. ). I think we have to do what we can to manage the best we can without creating more stress for ourselves.

      about 1 month ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      I had ER+/PR+/HER2- (aka "Luminal A") b.c. My M.O. said it's perfectly OK to eat flax seeds and reasonable amounts of unprocessed (edamame) and minimally processed (soymilk, tofu, soy sauce) soy. No wild yams--but as they're true "yams" & not sweet potatoes they're pretty hard to find anyway. For awhile, phytoestrogens (those present in some plants) were thought to mimic glandular and fat-cell-produced estrogens and feed ER+ tumor cells; but recently it was discovered that what they do is occupy the estrogen receptors but block the cells' access to them--much the same way thst tamoxifen clogs estrogen receptors.

      What both my MO and cancer-center dietary oncologist told me to avoid eating are meat and dairy from grain-fed livestock, because of their exposure to bovine growth hormone and higher estrogen content. Grass-fed meat, and dairy from grass-fed animals, are fine in reasonable amounts. And to lose body fat, don't cut down on dietary fat--cut down on (or eliminate) sugar, non-resistant starches and refined carbs: sweets, sweeter fruits, juices, white potatoes, grains (even whole). Dietary fat gets burned; but carbs get turned first into glucose, which if not turned into glycogen for muscles to burn, turns to fat which gets stored rather than burned.

      Your adrenal glands and certain fat cells (i.e., white and yellow, but not brown) make an androgen which the liver enzyme aromatase helps convert to estrogen. You can't survive without adrenal glands, but you don't need any more than 15-20% body fat to function healthily. You can diet and exercise away the fat in your cells (and an empty fat cell has more difficulty making androgens), but you can't lose fat cells themselves except by surgical excision, liposuction or cryotherapy (e.g., CoolSculpting, SonoBello)--which procedures are not without risks.

      about 1 month ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      A clarification: wild yams are a source of phyto-progesterone. And do not take black cohosh, cat's claw or evening primrose, because they contain a type of phytoestrogen that does feed ER+ tumor cells.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      Thanks for all the input, friends. I've kinda decided one can really start to over think all this. I will try to eliminate some of the worst offenders but continue to stick to a well balanced "healthy" diet with much variety; friuts, vegetables, dairy, etc..... There are so many different lists, all telling us something different, but I think common sense trumps them all. But I will bring this up with my oncologist at my next follow-up.

      about 1 month ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      Nuts are perfectly OK--and a great source of healthy fats.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bengal's Avatar
      Bengal

      I'm becoming more aware of ingredient list on foods. Must admit I never realized so many products have processed soy in them. It's sorta like everything has added sodium; now everything has added soy as well. The most depressing discovery is chocolate. A treat of chocolate is one guilty pleasure I look forward to. Now I learn most chocolate is made with soy. Except, of course, for the really expensive ones which I cannot afford. Come on. Leave us something!

      19 days ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      I buy the darkest chocolate I can find--preferably organic--and eat ONE square a day, slowly at that, along with my coffee. That's all it takes to calm down my sweet tooth. (I've been near-keto for months, and am down over 40 lbs & still going; I wear an Invisalign retainer, which has to be removed for eating, then brush & floss after. Makes snacking not worth it). My problem is all the sugar in the mass-market brands. But at least it keeps me away from the vending machines...

      18 days ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      And for Halloween, I bought stuff kids like but I don't, so not tempted to nibble. Went through 10 lbs of candy and ran out by 7:30pm.

      18 days ago

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