One of the most formidable challenges millions of cancer survivors face following the conclusion of their initial treatment is dealing with fears of a recurrence. New research indicates the consumption of certain vegetables may be proactive in lowering the risk of a relapse. In a study involving Chinese women diagnosed with breast cancer, scientists found those who ate the most cruciferous vegetables had a 62% reduction in their likelihood of dying from the disease and a 35% reduction in its recurrence, compared with those who consumed the least.
Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, as well as bok choy, kale and arugula. Turnips and watercress, along with mustard and collard greens are also members of this plant family. Chief author, Dr. Sara Nechuta notes the most commonly eaten ones in China include turnips, Chinese cabbage/bok choy and greens, while the most popular in America and other Western nations are broccoli and sprouts.
Although earlier studies have suggested that cruciferous vegetable consumption may be associated with prevention of breast cancer, the new study is among the first to investigate the effects of these vegetables in women who have already been diagnosed with the disease. The results were presented at a recent meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.
The research involved nearly 5,000 women between the ages of 20 and 75 who had been diagnosed with cancer. Scientists evaluated the women’s dietary and lifestyle practices at 6 months, 18 months and 36 months following their diagnosis. The association between cruciferous vegetables and lower death and re-occurrence rates was clear even after adjusting for other variables such as exercise and meat intake.
Nechuta cautions that American women may not see the same benefits because the cruciferous vegetables most popular in this country are different from those in China. She explains that different vegetables have different bioactive compounds. Furthermore, Nechuta states that American women eat far less of these vegetables than Chinese women. Nonetheless, she asserts there is no harm in encouraging women to increase their intake of these foods.
Dr. Laura Kruper of the City of Hope in Duarte, California conveys her assessment of the study, saying she believes the research has merit and recommends further studies to establish a cause and effect relationship. She urges her patients to limit alcohol, red meat and sugar, in addition to eating more greens and flaxseeds. Dr. Kruper also advises consuming cruciferous vegetables, as well as vegetables that do not fall into the cruciferous category.
Another study finds that almost half of cancer survivors do not die of cancer. Instead, they die of illnesses unrelated to cancer, such as heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Lead author, Dr. Ni Ying, advises cancer survivors not to be so focused on cancer that they neglect other chronic conditions.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.