Recent Findings: Vegetables & Fruits Improve Breast Cancer Survival

Previous and recent findings from the Women’s Healthy Eating and Living Trial (WHEL) indicate that many women diagnosed with breast cancer do better with a diet rich in vegetables and fruits.  Most recently, researchers have found that women diagnosed with early stage breast cancers have up to 31% fewer new cancers (either breast or in other locations) if they consume a diet consisting of 5 servings of vegetables, 3 servings of fruit, 16 ounces of vegetable juice, and at least 30 grams of fiber each day.  This 31% reduction is in comparison to women eating the 5 servings of vegetables and fruits (combined) and at least 20 grams of fiber per day.

Women in the study were followed for, on average, over seven years.  The women with the greatest protective effect were the ones that did not experience hot flashes after breast cancer therapy.  It seems experiencing hot flashes after breast cancer treatment may confer some protective effect on its own.

The Bottom Line:

Eating plenty of vegetables, fruits and their juices seems to substantially reduce the risk of new cancers in some women with history of breast cancers.

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