Dear Flowernbee and Julie
I too am a great believer that stress exacerbates health problems. I am not saying that it is a direct cause of cancer, but when highly stressed over a long period, hormones such as cortisol are released which in turn, can impair the immune system. We all know that we are more at risk from colds etc when stressed so I guess if the oncogene that causes BC was just waiting in the wings for some trigger and we get stressed out, then it could well be part of the problem. I was highly stressed for about 10 years with a whole heap of problems including looking after a child with cancer (who is very well now) my mother dying, etc etc. I can't imagine how stressful actually losing a child must be. I have come very very close and know only too well the feeling of terror and dread associated with a child's imminent death, but you have had the ultimate worse thing in life that can happen - losing a child, nothing else can compare to that so to say you were stressed is a gross understatement. You then lost your mother, like I did. She gave me so much support during my son's illness, that to lose her halfway through was horrific. And you also lost a brother. Life has dealt you some shitty cards. In many ways, having gone through that, I am sure you are more equipped to cope with BC than most and will no doubt face it with strength.
All the very best to you
I think stress definitely is a factor. I had a horrible stressful 6 - 9 months, divorce, remortgage on my own, just general crap etc,parents no longer alive, and had no one to talk to, before my bc diagnosed, and I often wonder if it had anything to do with it. I was on antidepressants at the time because everything was on top of me, and then low and behold my bc diagnosed. We'll never know for sure, but if your body is really run down and stressed it certainly can't help.
I was diagnosed with bc last year..I didn't even think why me? I started reading a lot about bc and trying to find out what causes this cancer? I thought I have been living a healthy lifestyle - don't smoke, don't drink, cook my own food (90% of the time), on pills for only two weeks(16 yrs ago), breastfed my 3 children for up to 2 yrs each, very active working Mum.....
My husband suggested deodorant that I have been using and I later thought possibly it was caused by me being a bit heavy..I asked my consultant and oncologist if I should follow a certain diet but was told just eat healthily and in moderation and keep being positive..
Now after having chemo, mastectomy with full lymph nodes removal and undergoing radiotherapy at the moment, I am feeling a lot better.. My own conclusion about breast cancer is that all of us have cancer cell in our body but what triggers it to grow is different from one person to another..In my case I think it was related to stress as we lost our son 10 yrs ago, my mum died in 2005 followed by my brother in 2006 and I suffered a bit of depression towards end of 2006 possibly due to delayed grieving of losing our wee boy.... So, I am just happy to accept that stress is the major cause of my bc and looking forward to life without too much stress. I know it is impossible to avoid stress but I am learning how to manage difficult issues in life clearly and a good screaming or shouting do wonders...
AND reading all the comments on BCC forum has kept me going and keeping positive...I also have a good cry whenever I need too.
I have read this topic with great interest. I had a benign lump (chronic stromal sclerosis) removed in August and when another one appeared in the other breast I assumed it'd be the same thing. However I'm told it's not the same and I'm playing the waiting game again as the results of my core biopsy are due any day now. I have started to question why I'm getting these breast lumps. I have said out loud to friends, "Is it something I'm doing, eating or drinking???" My Mum isn't keen on me drinking soya milk since I was told I have an intollerance to cow's milk 2 years ago, but if anything, I would have considered this to be a positive step to take. Coincidently, she is having chemo and radio for cancer in her pelvis, likely to be hormone related. BC isn't in my family so I wouldn't class myself at a greater risk but I go from thinking it's just chance, to wondering if it's something I'm doing, eating or drinking. I asked my GP about this before and she said there was nothing I could do to be causing abnormalities in the breasts. Hmmmmmm, it's defo food for thought!
just another question to throw into the pot. Why do some women get the more aggressive types of cancer? Just going by my newfound knowledge, it would seem younger women are most unfortunate to get this type. If lifestyle has anything to do with it, you would think the older ones like me, who have had unhealthy lives would be more prone. My lifestyle was about as unhealthy as you can get until my first pregnancy, when I radically changed tact. I smoked, drank buckets of alcohol, ate absolute junk, missed meals, breathed in all sorts of horrible chemicals thanks to the RAF when they used to throw you in the gas chambers to test out CS gas and you had to take off the respirator to sample the effect. The only thing healthy I did, was loads of exercise. I am lucky enough to have a less aggressive DCIS. You would have thought that I would have the worst type if lifestyle was a major factor? Like most things, there are so many different variables, who knows?
PS I did have a shed load of fun though along the way with very little stress so that could help??
my theory about why there are so many younger women on this site is that they are more likely to be familiar with computers. the average age for diagnosis is 65, with 80% diagnosed over 50. Younger women are also going to live longer with it therefore more likely to keep logging on
well that's my theory anyway. I was diagnosed at 48, found lump aged 47 and I am now 52
I grew up with: "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die" - a family motto in a family that lives to its nineties. I may be about to break with tradition in terms of cremation date - but I'm not going to change the way I eat - everything except processed & chemicals. It hasn't stopped my getting cancer - but it's very satisfying.
I don't eat meat either and I certainly don't have a bland diet!Must admit I missed the cheese when I went dairy free though but have just found a nice vegan mozzarella which melts a treat on toast!
And I have taken the plunge too - no dairy in my diet any more. It's really labourious - reading EVERY single label (!) and I don't eat Beef, but I do eat chicken & fish. It's worth a try - so long as you eat a sensible diet you can get all the nutrition you need from sources OTHER than dairy. It's not hard once you get the hang of it!! Don't be scared though - counterproductive to happy living!!!! What you are currently doing diet wise isn't necessarily wrong - it's just a lifestyle choice. Some of us think it will work - some think it won't - but nothing is for sure is it?
Well, I cut out dairy and I think it was the way forward for me.Being triple neg its made me feel I'm doing my bit to help keep it at bay.Even if being dairy free is not the reason I'm still NED, it certainly helped (especially in the early days) by giving me a branch to hold on to - if you know what I mean!
We hear so much about diet and what is harmful and what is good for us and it is totally confusing. I do think you shouldn't do anything drastic - the only thing you could cut out from your diet which is of no use nutritionally is refined sugar. I have heard nothing about its role in cancer, butj it does plays a part in other health problems such as diabetes, tooth decay etc. However, dairy produce is another matter. It does contain lots of fat, but also contains lots of minerals and vitamins and protein which are good for us. If you did cut out dairy you would need to ensure you ate a balanced diet to compensate. Please get professional advice before doing anything major to your diet. I still think a balanced diet including some dairy, lots of fruit, veg and a little lean meat fish or other types of protein is the best way.
You may find it helps to read the fact sheet on diet and breast cancer. You can find this by using the following link:-
I hope you find this helps.
do people think that dairy should be cut out of the diet then!!
I don't know what to do. I read that sugar makes cancer cells grow quickly. I am so worried about mine coming back for a third time I don't know what to do best. Do I cut out surgar and dairy and eat more red things. I am scared.
I have family in the west of Ireland,and you'd be surprised at the high incidence of BC there! Most people's drinking water is from their own wells,The women are hard working, they walk miles to town, get lots of fresh air and exercise and eat a fresh healthy diet - which includes a heck of a lot of butter and cheese!!!
I have heard that theory too about more hormones being present in water. Also, environmental changes, global warming may have affected cancer rates? I guess like everything else, loads of different reasons.
I just wanted to add that I have a theory about why there seems to be so much more bc around, though this only applies to hormone receptive cancers and of course is not the only reason (lipstick being one!). The contraceptive pill has been widely used for the last 30 years or so and the hormones pass into the water system - I think this also explains (to some extent, of course) the decline in male fertility.
Could be talking rubbish though!!
Hi all, I went dairy free after reading Jane Plant's book during chemo.I'm triple neg so felt I'd nothing to loose and possibly an awful lot to gain! My tumour was so aggressive the BC was expected to return within 10mths and I was given a 40% chance of living 5yrs.I'm 4yrs, 4mths down the line and counting! I really don't know if its diet or luck,but I'm still NED and feeling well.Being dairy free certainly hasn't done me any harm ......and it's helped keep the middle aged spread at bay!!!!
I read that book and a few other and I have come to the conclusion that a little of what you fancy is good for you, so the odd glass of vino once in a while and chocolate etc can do you no harm. As others have said in the past in other threads, we shouldn't feel guilty about what we do or don't eat. A healthy diet is good even if you don't have bc. I was 27 when I was dx last year. I had no risk factors (don't smoke, slim, no family history at all etc). I have dealt with the bc thing pretty well. I had a delayed diagnosis of a year nearly (I didn't get triple assessment) and I have to say that that was more upsetting for me. I am now coming to peace with it though. I wrote a letter of complaint to the bc clinic involved and they have admitted that the cancer was probably there when I saw them. So now, I am thinking I just want to get on with living life.
Best wishes to all,
don't shoot the messenger - I was paraphrasing a review I had read and just to clarify what I meant with false hope is that encouraging people to adopt healthier living is good and beneficial, but to get them to pin their hopes on something that may never (and hasn't been proven) to work, is in my opinion false hope. I didn't mean to offend anyone by that, but I do remain sceptical about these so called "miracle" cures. As I said, I keep an open mind,
Whoa Toothfairy!!! Very negative!!
Give people false hope when there isn't much?!!!
Horses for courses I say!!
In my humble opinion, to say there isn't much hope is an opinion best kept to oneself!!
To review all the info out there and then come to your own conclusion is the most educated way of doing things isn't it?!!
I say get all opinions out in the open and then make your own decisions. and apologies for getting the name wrong - I shouldn't type so late at night!!! Must be the drugs!!
Let the debate rage on!!! But stay positive about it!!
i havent read this book but read some reviews, who are critical because not much evidence to substantiate it. also , one reviewer remarked on the fact that she advocates soya milk, which could have adverse affects on oestrogen? I keep my mind open but as most of you have said, too many variables to getting bc to be able to pinpoint one - far too simplistic and a bit dodgy to give people false hope when there isnt much.
The book is by Jane Plant not Rachel Plant. I read it out of interest, but personally came to the conclusion that she is a bit of a crank. Maybe time will prove me wrong. Who knows.
It is interesting to see that breast cancer rates are now going up in the far east despite their diet. Some scientists think it is due to the reduction in family size and having children later. There are so many theories out there.
I was dx at 44 last year, with none of the known risk factors. I have a friend dx at 45 a few years ago, two dx at 40 and 43 three years ago and another dx last year at 47. We all live in the same village. I just don't believe them anymore when they say it is rare in under 50s.
I am focusing my energy into being positive about finishing my treatment and then getting my life back on track rather than wondering what I could "blame" for getting breast cancer (I was diagnosed less than a month after my 34th birthday) however I believe in my case it is a combination of genetics (both grandmothers had cancer in their 40s one of which was breast cancer) and I confess I was a heavy smoker and wine drinker, and also I have had a lot of anxiety/stress to cope with in the last 10 years which I don't think helps either. I have quit smoking and don't even miss it now, the things that were "on my mind" have been resolved and I am still partial to the vino but not like a fish any more. My diet is currently ruled by what I can and cannot stomach because of the chemo making me feel sick but when I am "back to normal" I will continue eating healthy food, I have always liked a mostly healthy diet in any case. But I don't want to become obsessive - so long as I don't smoke, don't drink excessively, and have a balanced diet and some exercise I believe what will happen will happen.
You can get Dr Rachel PLant's book from Amazon. She has written a few but the ,ost relevant one - and the best one to read first - is "Your Life in your Hands". As as someone quite rightly points out, a change in diet is good with or without BC. This book is aimed at people without BC but looking for prevention - as well as trying to help those of us with BC. I have now completely erased Dairy and Dairy Meat from my diet (one of my best friend's husbands is a Director of a very large and well known Organic Dairy brand and he is trying to see both sides of the arguement!) and have significantly reduced dairy in my 3 kids' diet too. If you really like milk, try Rice or Oat milk - not as bad as they sound!!! And easily available in good supermarkets. Ultimately, I think it is worth a punt for me anyway!
Let me know what you think - rubbish or relevant?
I,m 39 dx last May at 38 grade 2 IDC with 1 node ER pos. I had taken the contraceptive pill for 20 yrs with a couple of breaks for 2 Children. I was told on DX to stop taking the pill straight away, When I asked if that had caused my BC I was told not necessarily. I think it may have alot to do with it but they wont say in case they are sued.
Also I breast fed my 2 babies, the 2nd one for 10 months. I,ve always been fairly slim and ate a healthy diet, exercised and I gave up the ciggies 15 years ago so who knows.
Love to you all
I think Cathy expressed this well. BC was always around, but not such good treatment as today and nobody discussed CA openly. All members on my mother's side have died from BC, and certainly the older members did not have much treatment at all, apart from a mastectomy when it was already too late, we certainly did not discuss it openly in the family. My mum is still with us - thank god - and at 84 has lived many years since dx at 58. But as she had a family history, she had more tests at a time when routine screening was not available and her CA was picked up very early. My sister had a preventive double mastectomy because of DCIS in one breast and numerous calcifications in the other and she is fine now, but again she was tested regularly and so was I. Personally, I don't think it has anything to do with diet, as many young girls who have a very good diet and sensible lifestyle (i.e.not too much alcohol and no ciggies) still get this disease. But I do think that the modern screening and treatment options are very advanced now and many girls , even with secondaries, live much longer than years ago.
What none of us , who have been diagnosed with BC, must do is to 'blame' ourselves n any way - BC is not selective and anyone, young or old can get it and can have recurrences. Blaming yourself is not productive and only adds to the stress of a dx and can't help much with your future. But if anyone wants to change their diet to a healthier one, obviously this can only be a good thing for general good health, not just BC.
Try reading Dr Rachel Plant's book "Your Life in Your Hands" and then pose the question "is it down to diet & lifestyle?". Amazing book - even if you don't believe the hype, you can't ignore some of the facts. I have to say that I am radically changing my diet as the days go by (I had by Masectomy & Recon 4 weeks ago and start my chemo in 2 weeks). It is not a sacrifice on my behalf and is def. worth a try. I am 37 with Grade 3 IDC, 6cm lump.
I was wondering if women in the past who got cancer just died and nobody was really sure why. I know my mother and I were talking about this and said that a few women she knew when she was a girl, just "took badly" and died quickly with no-one really knowing why. I guess the disease has been around for a long time, but not recognised or talked about in a way that is it now?
I think alot of it definitely has to do with the modern way of living, the chemicals that are in various products, the deodorants etc, or whatever is going into the food chain. I'm another "oldie" at 51, but it's heartbreaking to see the amount of young women, and young men suffering from this awful disease. There was three of us in the same corridor at work who were diagnosed at the same time. Scary.
Someone once brought up Chenobyl in Russia as being a possible cause. I know it's years and years ago now, but it could be the after effects. I don't believe it's just all the preventative scanning that is throwing up all the results. All sorts of cancers seem to be much more common than they were say 40 years ago. At one time if you heard of someone with breast cancer it was rare or rareish, if that's a word !!! Now everyone you talk to has a friend or a member of their family who has had it.
Hi Bubs 1955
It makes you wonder does'nt It, my son nicky was diagnosed with Breast cancer Aug 28th 06 , at the age of 24, not only the age thing but being such a young man, he underwent a radical mascectomy, plus duct removal as had spread, and 6 months chemo then radio.
I still find it hard to get my head around, no one knows why it happened or much else really.
Anyway I hope everything has gone well with your treatment
love and hugs
I'm one of the younger women affected by breast cancer. I was diagnosed last June with invasive ductal carcinoma, grade 3 with one lymph node affected and a 4 cm lump together with 8cm of DCIS and I've had all the treatment possible. You are right there do seem to be quite a lot of us on here unfortunately. I often wonder if it's things like microwaves (I used mine a lot) or mobile phones which I also use a lot.
I am a woman of 52 who has just been through chemo, surgery and rads and have found this website and the forum just so very helpful, I cannot tell you. It is all very well reading about, say, a mastectomy or chemo in a book, but to hear it from the mouths of the people undergoing these procedures/treatments is far more informative.
What amazes, and indeed saddens, me is that there are so many younger women (i.e. in their 20s and 30s) being diagnosed with breast cancer.
So the question I am asking is this - why are so many people being diagnosed so young (apart from the fact that screening techniques are more advanced than previously and women are more "breast aware" and going to their GP - initially - if they feel an abnormality)?
Is it something to do with what we are eating, or the chemicals we are exposed to in everyday life?
I'd love to hear your thoughts.