Breast cancer: Nutritionist counsel women on proper diets
Miss Yemisi Olowookere, a Nutritionist at Garki Hospital, Abuja, on Wednesday said good nutrition may reduce the risk of breast cancer progression or recurrence.
Olowookere told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that improper diet was contributory factor to breast cancer.
According to her, cancer is a disease characterised by abnormal cell growth and can occur in any organ.
In some ways the genes lose control of cell growth, and reproduction becomes unstructured and excessive.
“For example, certain substances in food are thought to be carcinogenic, nitrites in cure and smoked food such as bacon, and ham can be changed to nitrosamines during cooking, also high fat diets have been associated with breast cancer.
“Newer studies point to dietary changes that can offer the most hope for preventing breast cancer or re-occurrence,’’ she said.
Olowookere said women should cultivate the habits of eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, saying that vibrant intense colour is one indicator of Phyto nutrient content.
She said high fibre, whole grains and beans should also be included in the eating pattern because they can be a good source of fibre, but refined grains usually are not.
“Limit red meat; avoid processed meat such as sausage, delimeat and hot dogs instead low fat diet with emphasis on healthy fats.
“Also limit processed and refined Grains and sugar and drink plenty of fluids as well as be physically active to help achieve and maintain healthy weight.
“Eating a variety of vegetables, fruits and whole grains daily, avoiding processed and high-sugar foods, and being physically active are very important ways we can take control of our risk of cancer,’’ Olowookere said.
She said some of the causes of developing cancer are having a family history of cancer and overweight or obese especially after menopause.
“Exposed to a high level of the hormone estrogen. This may occur if you have never given birth or if you had your first menstrual period at a young age.
“Drinking alcohol, whether you choose beer, wine or liquor, drinking too much alcohol may increase breast cancer risk.
“Eating a low fat diet may help prevent weight gain, which in turn may prevent breast cancer risk,’’ Olowookere said.