Cut Breast Cancer Risk with Low Fat Diet

breast cancer symptoms
Yes, you have heard it right - diet loaded with fats increases your risk of breast cancer, and cutting down on your consumption of fatty foods can significantly reduce your chances of this type of cancer during your postmenopausal phase.

October is breast cancer awareness month. So I want to do my bit to spread awareness about this fatal disease. What about you?

A research report submitted with the American Association for Cancer Research reveals that women on a low fat diet fare slightly better than those relishing foods loaded with fats. Alternatively, sustained low fat diet also raises the survival rates among postmenopausal women after  being diagnosed with breast cancer. In order to continue to reap benefits of such dietary intervention, it is critically important for women to stick to low fat diets.
breast cancer prevention

Warning Signs of Breast Cancer
The American Cancer Society has released glaring statistics about breast cancer, claiming that 246,660 women are expected to be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer the end of 2016. Unfortunately, about 40,450 women may lose their battle against breast cancer the same year.

Breast cancer is virtually the most common type of cancer affecting American women, with 1 in 8 women likely to develop invasive breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Risk Factors
breast cancer causes

To understand the causes of breast cancer, it is important to understand that it is the multiplication of cells in your body that results in cell mutation.


Hormones may play a role in making one person vulnerable to breast cancer. It ocurs when normal breast cells become cancerous due to changes or mutations in their DNA.



In most cancer cases, DNA mutations are inherited. As a result, mutations are in each cell, increasing your risk for developing cancer. Most DNA changes in breast cancer cases are acquired in breast cells, as opposed to the misinformation spread everywhere that is is inherited. These acquired mutations may be caused by certain factors, such as radiation or cancer-causing chemicals.

Most breast cancers diagnosed thus far have had several acquired gene mutations.

What is DNA?

It is the chemical in your every single cell that forms your genes.

What are Genes
Genes decide how your cells will function. Most kids and siblings look like each other as their parents are the source of their DNA. Some genes, however, control the growth, division, and death of your cells.

For more details on the causes of breast cancer, please visit American Cancer Society.


Did you know a vitamin D deficiency is associated with tumor progression and metastasis in breast cancer?

Studies conducted on mice reveal that the mice fed with a low vitamin D diet developed breast cancer tumors more quickly than the other group that received a standard diet.
Breast Cancer Symptoms
breast cancer signs

Lump in the breast -
The most common sign of breast cancer is a painless lump, which does not change in size, nor disappear in a menstruating woman. Can you feel lump in your breast or a harder area than the adjoining tissue?
  • The lump feels different from the rest of the breast. 
  • It may feel heavier than the breast tissue. If you are a menopausal women, you should be extra careful with any breast lump appearance. 
  • In your case, any lump attached to the chest wall or skin that cannot be moved could be a breast cancer sign. 
  • One point that differentiates breast cancerous lump from others is that it is hard, different from the rest of the tissue, and irregular in shape. 
  • But this does not mean cancerous lumps cannot be soft, tender, or even rounded. Any lump spotted in or around the breast is an urgent call for diagnosis. 
  • Moreover, pay special attention to any lump spotted in the armpit, which could be hard, small, or tender. These are warning signs of breast cancer metastasis or spread to  lymph nodes. 
  • A painless lump is a common breast cancer sign these days, which does not disappear or go away even after menstrual periods.
  • It does not mean it will be painless. Can you feel unusual pain in the breast or  armpit?
Rash/redness around the nipple
Can you feel or spot a rash in or around your nipples?
If so, this is an aggressive form of breast cancer, known as inflammatory breast cancer.
In that case, the cancer affects the breast skin and lymph vessels.
In such type of breast cancer, there are no lumps, but you can feel that breasts have become warm, swollen, with a reddish appearance. The rash may appear like an insect bite! The rash could be itchy!

If you spot any such symptom around the nipple, it could be a sign of breast cancer. It's time to do other checks and get yourself diagnosed immediately.  Any unexplained change in the shape or size of your breast is a call for attention. It could be in the form of unexplained swelling or shrinkage or dimpling of the breast, especially on one side. If your breasts have started to be asymmetrical. However, there are women who have naturally asymmetrical breasts - where one breast is larger than the other. But if your breasts have started to appear asymmetrical recently for reasons beyond your imagination, please consult with your doctor immediately. It could be a sign of breast cancer.

Changes in Nipple
Does your nipple feel turned slightly inward or inverted? 
Does it feel red, swollen, or scaly? 
Is the skin around the nipple dimpled? 
Does the skin around the nipple resemble like that of an orange skin? If you spot any of these signs, see your medical professional immediately. Additionally, any other change in the nipple, which could be dimpling, retraction, burning sensation, itching, scaly rash, or ulceration, could be a forewarning of any underlying breast disease. 
Is there a discharge from any or both nipples?
This does not mean that the discharge would occur only upon pressing. Rather, it could be in the form of spontaneous discharge. When you try to press nipple gently, watch out for any unusual discharge, which may be bloody or clear. In some cases, it could be of any other color. 

Swollen lymph glands:  Do a monthly self-examination to see for signs of breast cancer under your armpits. Do your lymph glands appear swollen in your armpits? Press gently to see for any such swelling or similar signs.

Breast pain: Sharp, needle-like, tingling pain in one breast could be an early sign of breast cancer. It could be combined with breast tenderness. Persistent pain in one breast, which is in no way related to hormonal treatment or menstrual cycle could be a breast cancer warning sign.

Breast Cancer Treatment, Prevention
Treated in the early stages, breast cancer can be cured fully. I have lost one relative to breast cancer when I was merely two year old. Those were the times when hardly anybody had heard of breast cancer in India. Recently, another relative was diagnosed with the deadly disease. Thankfully, she was able to diagnose her breast cancer symptoms at any early stage (2) and got herself treated.

She has had to go under the knife to have her breast tissue, breasts, and nipples removed. Yes, she underwent total mastectomy and radiotherapy.
For detailed information on breast cancer treatment, please check National Cancer Institute research studies.

If you spot any such breast cancer signs, please visit your doctor immediately. You never know what breast cancer stage you have reached. Prevention is better than cure. Stay active, stay fit, and stay breast cancer free.

Please spread this message around. It could help raise awareness of breast cancer signs that most women are unaware of.

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