advice about food please

Hi, can anyone give me some advice about food? I have er+. When i was 1st diagnosed 11years ago, i didn’t really change much of my diet. I had a mastectomy, tamoxifen and zoladex, and headed for the door, till the next check up. Now i have extensive bone mets ( still coming to terms - if you ever do - With it) I really want to do everything i can to help myself. I have read some of the posts on complementary therapies, and know it seems like a minefield. I f anyone is in the same situation as me and has some advice i would love to hear from you. I have given up alcahol and am eating more veg., always have lots of fruit and salad anyway. I looked up high oestrogen food and saw olive oil,peppers, tomatoes,carrots + other healthy food! on the list. Is there any anti oestrogen foods? The internet is very contradictary, my onc just said not to eat too much soya. Thanks Jayne.j

Hi Jayne
I went to a ‘Living Well with Cancer’ Course run by the Penny Brohn (ex Bristol Cancer Centre). They focus quite a bit on diet and the advice I was given can be summerised as - tr to get as much of your food from vegetable sources as possible, be moderate with red meat, dairy and soya. If you want to avoid these do but be aware of eating a too restricted diet. Avoid sugar, alcohol , caffiene and proccessed food. Eat organic if you can afford it but not to over worry. Basically I was advised to follow the 80% approach i.e. try to stick to the guidelines about 80% of the time but remember life is for living and kicking over the traces once in a while is not going to kill you.
Very down to earth and doable. Have a look at their website.
All the best - Jacqui

Hi Jayne

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Best wishes


Hi Jayne
Im just finishing reading 'The Rainbow Diet and How it Can Help you Beat Cancer" by Chris Woollams. Available on the Cancer Active web site or through Amazon. Iv found it to be full of very usefull information on diet and supplements and easy to read and dip in and out of. It also has a chapter “Eat to beat oestrogen” (my breast cancer was also very ER+). There is no one wonder cure but lots of things that in combination can help. The advice he gives seemed to make alot of sense to me.
After i finished my recent 9 months of treatment-I also visited a homeopathic nutritionist- thats been an expensive venture and i found it all rather daunting at first- but i took about 2 weeks to research the advice i was given and again found it all to be well founded. I am following much of this advice and I have to say my energy levels and general sense of well being is improving.
All the best

Hi Jane,
Macmillan has also produced a short video on Eating Well and the role of diet which offers advice about healthy eating and is written by one of the macmillan specialist dietitions.
All the best to you

The Haven also do a healthy eating leaflet, if you are near to one (London, Hereford, Leeds) they alo offer appointments ith a dietician which may be useful

Haya, I am so sorry that you have mets, a secondary diagnosis is always a huge shock and one which takes a long time to “sink in”, if it ever does. Like you I have bone mets and I also have liver mets.

What I would like to say is that once the cancer has spread around your body there is no food on this planet which will cure you, please don’t think that reading a book about Rainbow Diets is going to sure/ beat the cancer. It isn’t. You may think I am sounding harsh, but it’s fact. Those lucky enough to have a Primary Diagnosis are in a completely different place to us and are hoping a good diet will stop reacurrance. The advice I would give you is to eat sensibly and try to loose any excess weight ( I apologise if you are whippet thin) if you need to , this will help the burden on your spine. But - if you fancy eating a box of Mint creams, do. If you fany a bag of crisps and a glass of wine, then do it! You need to enjoy your life and not endure it!
Eat healthily, enjoy treats and talk to your oncologist, he/she will give you sensible advice. Good

the only thing I do different is dandelion tea for fluid retention but studies have shown its good for breast cancer x

I admire anyone doing what they can to help their own condition, but agree with horse 5040 regarding having a bit of what you fancy, now and then. My own situation is that I have breast cancer, despite no risk factors. My diet has always been healthy, I don’t drink caffeine at all, drink very little alcohol, am not overweight, exercise regularly and have never smoked. Despite all of this, I still got bc. So, I don’t think anyone should beat themselves up if they did/do these things.
A healthy diet is good for long term health benefits in general.
Good luck to everyone doing their bit, however small
Z x

As regards risk factors it’s important to keep them in perspective. Tiny percentages of extra risk attach to various life style choices such as smoking. But the major risk factor is being female and over a certain age. Even that doesn’t mean you can’t get BC if you are male or under the age. If everyone gave up smoking and drinking tomorrow it would not wipe out BC. You can’t blame smoking, drinking or whatever, you can only blame being alive. Sadly some people seem to think that an individual is to blame for their BC, understandable in a way because it gives the idea that you can control whether you get it. You can reduce the risk a little bit, that’s all.

I’m not blaming drinking or smoking

Sorry, Zuleika, I didn’t mean you were blaming drinking and smoking. I meant ‘you’ as in ‘one’.

That’s ok thumbie

I think there is far too much of a blame culture sometimes surrounding cancer , the main risk factor for getting breast cancer is haveing BREAST’S, like most ladies i didnt have any of the so called risk factors either , no family history, always ate organic, home cooked meals, very little meat, t-totall all my life ,never been over weight, very fit ,ect ect ect ,it was proberly was just bad luck, and likely a gene fault somewhere yet to still be be discovered.

I think it is natural to try and blame something for the cause of our cancers , but the truth is cancer is a very complex desease and likely has many factors involved all comeing together at once , i dont blame anything i did /didnt do for getting BC and havent change anything in my lifestyle ,as i dont see what i could have changed anyway that may have made any difference.
I think its also usefull to remember that BC has been around for a very long time ,the first ever recorded case of breast cancer for instance was found on eygptian mumies as far back as 3000 BC so long before some of the “so called” risk factors banded around today.
There are a lot of very misleading and tottally unreliable “websites” online regarding cancer , and the information and advice can be extreamly conflicting and very often wrong, unfortunatly many claims, re “Cures” Diets" “Supps” Pills and potions ect are very often aimed at the vulnerable, and especialy cancer patients so its no wonder that it can be confusing as it certainly is a minefield out there.

Diet/food has always been a Hot Topic on the forums ,its a subject that has often raised heated debate, however in the 6+ yrs that i personaly been researching the subject, along with ALT, i have yet to find any credible evidence to support any of the many claims, Diet is important in the case of obesity as being obese has now been shown to be a definate risk factor for BC , however, there are currently No foods, this includes dairy,sugar,meat ect that have been shown to have any strong links with breast cancer.

The advice from BCC ,Macmillan and also CRUK is sound, and was again confirmed along with the vast majority of other studies conducted over the yrs into diet and bc by EPIC ,The EPIC study is currently the largest , and most comprehensive study ever conducted into diet and cancer to date, EPIC included 500,000 people, in 10 different countries ,all with very different dietry needs ,ie dairy eaters/non dairy eaters, meat eaters/non meat eaters Epic also included vegetarians and vegans , In aug 2010 , EPIC concluded again that NO Strong dietry links had been found between "Breast Cancer or Prostrate Cancer ".

My advice, (for what its worth) is Always try and stick to the most reputuable and reliable websites ,where you will find up to date information that you can trust , any cancer related website that has a “Shop” or sells diet books, Supps or any other unproven treatments/remedies for cancer should signal a red flag, reptuable cancer websites will never try to sell you any of these things.

Charlie oo7 , Just wanted to raise a word of caution re the Cancer Active Website , Chris Wollams is not a medical dr, and also has No medical degree ,many claims on this particular website are pretty dubious to say the least and again totally unproven and unsubstanciated, Many Cancer Scientists, Drs,Oncologists do not support the claims made on this site, A very good blog (which is one of many online) (Written by a medical Scientist) is currently highlighting this website ,includeing the new Cancer Active book ",“Everything you need to know to beat Cancer”


Linda, very eloquently put and very informative,thank you

Thank you for all your posts. I will look at all the recommended websites. I do realise this is a hot topic and there are many views.

Hi jayne j, there was an article in the Daily Mail (of course!) just recently and I ticked all the right boxes so it’s very unlikely I will ever get breast cancer…except I have and I was diagnosed with secondaries, also er+, from the very beginning, ten years ago when I was in my early 40’s. I breast fed, for a much longer time than the average first 4-6 months, I was a young Mum, just twenty years old, have always been a non smoker and tee total. I have never taken the pill, was slim, active and had a healthy diet, with organic dairy, meat fruit and veg etc.
Some ladies with secondaries who post on the forums have asked me about my diet every now and then as I have been living, pretty well, for ten years now. I have no tips or secrets, my diet is still the same as it was. I have had some good responses to common cancer treatments available to all and that is the only reason I’m still here. Well meaning and kind friends sent me various ‘you can beat this’ diet books when I was first diagnosed. I thanked them and then gave them, unread, on to charity shops.
I’m so sorry to read of your diagnosis, I too have bone mets and was diagnosed with bc and bone mets when my hip spontaneously fractured. Quite a shock. I had a hip replacement which went well. I had no problems from the op or recovery. And since then I’ve had both hormonal treatment and chemo.
The advice I gave myself was not to ask ‘how long’ as no-one knows how you will respond to any one treatment. I desperately wanted my life to carry on pretty much as it did before…(not that it can really) but I try my best. I wish you well in your treatment. For me part of feeling ‘normal’ was not avoiding certain foods or drinking something horrible because someone has said it helps control cancer.
With Love, Belinda…x

THe Daily Mail is not all bad though Belinda, i did throw out those Yellow Wellies , (wasnt worth the risk lol)
Linda x

Hi Linda I was thinking of that thread as I was typing. x

Here it is lol, think we all need a good laugh sometimes. x