The Role Good Nutrition Plays in Breast Cancer Patients

The second-most common form of cancer in women between the ages of 25 and 75 is breast cancer, following closely behind skin cancer. The only cancer that claims the lives of more women than breast cancer is lung cancer. Breast cancer, like other cancers, occurs when cells develop abnormally. Often, a mastectomy is required as a form of treatment for this devastating disease, followed by a course of chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

Today, women understand the risks of breast cancer and are learning how to detect it early enough to be treated. Women who have a family history of breast cancer should get regular mammograms. All women should eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to help reduce the risk of breast cancer.

The Best Prevention is Regular Testing

All parts of the breasts are susceptible to breast cancer because there are more than 15 different types of breast cancer. The majority of breast cancers do spread to the lymph nodes in particular, and the most common form of breast cancer, invasive duct carcinoma, begins in breast milk and spreads to the fatty breast tissue. Approximately 70 to 80% of all breast cancers are of this type.

There are a number of risk factors that women should be aware of when it comes to breast cancer. For example, family history of the disease is a huge risk factor. Other risk factors for breast cancer include genetics, age, giving birth, and exposure to estrogen.

Regular breast screenings are important, especially for women over 40. Women should also perform self breast exams at home, and can learn how to do so from their physician. The majority of all breast lumps are discovered by the women who had them and not their doctors. Women who have dense breast tissue may need to have ultrasounds as opposed to traditional breast exams, such as mammograms.

Protein is Essential for Breast Cancer Patients

A healthy diet is important for everyone, but even more so for breast cancer patients. And a healthy diet for breast cancer patients includes plenty of protein because it provides energy, boosts the immune system, and promotes muscle growth and recovery.

A Mediterranean-style diet has been proven to decrease the risk of breast cancer, and a study of Japanese women showed that their traditional diets were better for the reduction of breast cancer risk than western diets. A plant-based diet that is loaded with protein (eating plenty of colorful vegetables and whole grains) is extremely healthy for cancer patients.

Include Protein-Packed Soy in Your Diet

Although soy is often thought of to be a food that is mainly consumed by vegetarians as a meat substitute, soy is actually an incredibly good dietary source of protein. Soy comes in many forms, so it is extremely versatile and it takes on the flavors of the other foods that it is cooked with. There are a number of protein supplements containing soy, including liquid and powdered protein supplements.

Soy is a complete protein, meaning that it contains all eight of the essential amino acids and all 14 non-essential amino acids, and has been proven beneficial for breast cancer patients time and time again in studies throughout the world. In addition to being a complete protein, soy contains Omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, folate, magnesium, vitamin E, calcium, and selenium.

Soybeans have been used for health reasons for hundreds, even thousands of years. It is reported that Benjamin Franklin was the person responsible for bringing soy to the US, and industrial pioneer Henry Ford often extolled the virtues of soy and used it for a number of purposes.

Components in soy that work to fight all types of cancer include:

Lignins – Bind cancer-causing cells (carcinogens) in the colon so that they travel through the system quicker, causing less damage to the body.

Phytosterols – May help in the prevention of colon cancer.

Phytic Acid – This is an antioxidant that may bind with, and remove, heavy metals in the body that can eventually lead to cancerous tumors.

Saponins – These are phytonutrients that boost the immune system and help fight cancer.

Protease Inhibitors – These block proteases (cancer-causing enzymes), thereby reducing the risk of many cancers. These may also suppress carcinogens.

Proteins Used in Supplements

Casein: Although it takes much longer to digest than whey, the effects of casein last longer. Although it does not mix as easily as whey, it is available in a number of flavored shakes. It is a bit more expensive than whey and must be avoided by those who are lactose intolerant.

Milk Protein: Can be a combination of a number of milk proteins, including whey and casein, and it offers short- and long-acting proteins. Again, this is not for the lactose intolerant. Also, it can be higher in calories, fat, and cholesterol than other proteins.

Egg Protein: Also known as egg albumin, this comes from egg whites and can be found in a powdered form. You will find this as an ingredient in many supplements, and it begins acting within one to three hours of ingesting it. This is good for people who can’t tolerate milk products but is not for those with allergies to eggs or chicken. Egg proteins are made from mostly natural ingredients.

Soy Protein: If you have egg or chicken allergies, are lactose intolerant, or are a vegetarian, soy protein is the protein supplement choice for you. It contains no cholesterol or saturated fats, and is considered to be a complete protein because it contains all of the essential amino acids. Like eggs, soy products are made from natural ingredients.

Rice Protein: This is also a good source of proteins for vegetarians and people with allergies or lactose intolerance. It is gluten-free and is low-carb, low-fat, and low-calorie, so it is ideal for diets. Powdered rice protein is great in shakes and smoothies, sprinkled on certain foods, or added into recipes for added nutrition.

Protein Supplement Products for Breast Cancer Patients

Protein supplements don’t just come in liquid or powder form. There are all kinds of tasty alternatives which can be found at Here are some of the different forms of protein supplements and how they are used:

– Protein Powder: These are often mixed with juice or other beverages or sprinkled on food.

– Liquid Protein: Also can be mixed, but many are flavored so that they can stand alone.

– Protein Shots: These are ready-to-drink shots of protein that you can have on the go. Many are also created as energy drinks.

– Protein Bars: A delicious, nutritious snack that you can carry along with you.

– Protein Capsules: Don’t have time to eat or drink? Pop one of these for a quick protein fix.

– Protein Shakes and Smoothies: Mix liquid or powder protein with skim milk or juice, add some fruits and/or berries and ice, blend and enjoy a great shake or smoothie. To make it even more filling, add a little bit of yogurt.

Another terrific protein supplement is Profect, from Protica. This liquid supplement only has 100 calories per serving, but provides 25 grams of protein, nearly half of the recommended daily amount. Profect is a small and portable protein shot, weighing in at only 2.9 fluid ounces.

Many of the protein supplement products that you will find are not only going to be a terrific source of protein but also contains a number of other vitamins and minerals that the body needs to stay strong and healthy.

Protica Research (Protica, Inc.) specializes in the development of Capsulized Foods. Protica manufactures Profect, IsoMetric, Pediagro, Fruitasia and over 100 other brands, including Medicare-approved, whey liquid protein for diabetic patients. You can learn more at Protica Research – Copyright

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