The Role Of Diet In The Prevention And Treatment Of Breast Cancer. The focus of “No Bra day” is to create awareness on breast cancer screening. Breast Cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control. Breast cancer can begin in different parts of the breast.
On 24th October 2021, Hon. Anna Akyaa Siaw (Federal UHAS WOCOM) organized a zoom meeting to address the issues of breast cancer. The Theme for the meeting was THE ROLE OF DIET IN THE PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF BREAST CANCER. Benedicta Baah Afrifah was the host for the zoom meeting and the special guests are Dr. Rudolph Mensah (Technical Lead; Research Monitoring and Evolution at TAMD, Ministry of Health, Accra) and RD Florence Eto (Snr. Dietician at 37 Military Hospital).
GENERAL OVERVIEW ON BREAST CANCER by Dr. Rudolph Mensah via zoom
- Most women do not know their breasts well, be comfortable looking at your breasts.
- Know the normal to be able to detect the abnormal.
- Do Breast Self Examination frequently and once every year, seek professional screening.
- When you detect any abnormalities in your breast, don’t panic visit the nearest health facility;
there are other anomalies of the breast other than breast cancer.
- My men, your lady’s breast is not for pleasure alone but as you are enjoying it, know those
breasts as well; be her breast examiner.
- The best gift you can give your mum, sisters, wives or girlfriends in this month is to get them to
do a mammograph.
- The focus of no bra day is to create awareness on breast cancer screening, it means take off
your bra and get screened; early detection saves lives.
- There’s 100% survival rate when breast cancer is detected early.
- It’s better to mammograph your breasts than to Instagram them.
In 2021, an estimated 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the US, along with 49,290 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. In women under 45, breast cancer is more common in Black women than in white women.
A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The most significant risk factors are sex (that is being a woman) and age (growing old).
Our diet affects us both positively or negatively. The high intake of red meat, fresh and processed, increases the risk of breast cancer, whereas the high intake of soy goods and skim milk reduces the risk. The intake of vegetables and foods containing fiber also helps to reduce the risk. Some may ask how processed foods increase the risk of breast cancer.
These processed foods are normally high in calories, salt, sugar, and saturated fats, all of which contribute to obesity which is a known risk factor for cancer. Even seemingly foods like farmed salmon may contain chemicals that can even increase the risk of cancer. Alcohol can also increase the levels of estrogen and other hormones associated with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. It can also increase the risk of damaging DNA cells. Same for Tobacco.
THE ROLE OF DIET IN THE PREVENTION AND TREATMENT OF BREAST CANCER by RD. Florence Eto via zoom
- Tobacco use, alcohol and processed foods increase your risk of breast cancer.
- Be of healthy weight, don’t be overweight, obessed or underweight. Be lean as possible but
don’t be underweight, it predisposes you to infections as it compromises your immune system.
- Be goal oriented in your quest to lose weight and don’t starve yourself.
- Don’t lose weight hastily, research has shown that you may gain the pounds you lost and even
more, rather lose weight gradually as you eliminate unhealthy diets and replace them with
healthy ones; research has shown that if you do something continually for 21 days, it becomes a
part of you.
- Choose foods that are nutrient rich, not sugar, calorie or refined sugar rich.
- Reduce your intake of low calorie foods as it makes you take in more than necessary within the
- Opt for foods containing fibre such as legumes fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- As much as possible, take in natural or close to natural products.
- A healthy plate should have 2/3 of legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables and 1/3 of
- Eat 3 cups of legumes in a week.
- Finally my gob3 lovers, RD. Florence Eto says it is a healthy option but try and include variety in
taking it; don’t always go for the beans, gari and fried plantain. You can eliminate one and add
another that is replacing fried plantain with roasted ones, adding some onions or pepper sauce
or eliminating the gari. You can eat gob3 every day but try and include variety.
For people who are obese and would like to lose weight, it’s advisable to do so wisely instead of starving themselves. People should also add some variety to their diet. Also, when replacing unhealthy foods, it’s advisable to start gradually and replace them with healthier ones. With one focusing on the healthy diet aspect, one has to also do some self-examinations frequently and also seek professional screening. It’s better to know the normal to be able to detect the abnormal.
Many people have survived breast cancer from early detection and treatment. Parents should play a role in making their girl child not shy of them so that they can report cases if they have shown any of these signs. The community should shun mocking people with Breast cancer and should play a major role in spreading awareness. The church, mosques, homes, communities, media can play a major role in spreading awareness.
We all should know that a Breast saved is a life saved …!!!
Let’s buddy up with one another because no one should fight cancer alone!