THE BREAST CANCER RISK PROFILE

 

Cuadro de texto: The Risk Profile enables us to bring a series of individualized guidelines and recommendations to the patient, which are destinated to reduce the risk as low as possible, through the action on risk and protective factors that are known among Uruguayan women.

THE BREAST CANCER RISK PROFILE

After almost 10 years of nutritional research in cancer, we created in 2003 a report called Breast Cancer Risk Profile. It is an individually tailored report, which brings an information of general and particular risk. This risk is based on a series of relevant items, found along the study period in which we analyzed data of Uruguayan women (who have an extremely high incidence of the disease, internationally speaking).
The patient fulfills a long questionnaire that has queries on sociodemographics, food intake, family history of cancer, medical history, reproductive history, among others. A detailed anthropometric assessment is performed based on several body measurements, in order to calculate body composition (fat and muscle %) and somatotype (endo-, meso- and ectomorphism).
We make then a thorough analysis of this information and create the report. Risks are estimated from the following areas, at least: family history of cancer, reproductive factors, red meat intake, white meat intake, dairy foods, oils and fats, high-glycemic foods, vegetables, fruits, alcohol intake, physical activity, psychosocial stress, metabolic disturbances, medical history and the fat/muscle ratio. These basic areas involve 14 points, which could be increased when including some non-clinical parameters, as serum levels of vitamin D and lipids (cholesterol fractions, tryglicerides), among others.


 

 



BENEFITS FOR THOSE PATIENTS ALREADY TREATED

Cuadro de texto: According to the current knowledge, you can reduce up to 60-70% the risk of developing breast cancer through changes in food and lifestyle, 
in the same way you would prevent certain cardiovascular diseases.
Furthermore, and not less important, in the last 5 years several scientific papers were published 1-14 which report that the course of the disease was better among those patients who made some nutritional and lifestyle changes (adequate dietary modifications, reduction of weight excess or obesity, inclusion of exercise) compared to those who didn’t. Improvements in the disease-free survival (time without reappearance of the disease) and in the global survival (deaths occurring later in time) were reported, even only changing one of the mentioned aspects.

If you are an obese patient or with an evident overweight, and also if your fat fraction is higher than the adequate, you are in higher risk to suffer a relapse of the disease. If you have an imbalance of the fats you eat, too. If you have a sedentary lifestyle with no kind of physical activity, too. And if you were diagnosed with breast cancer and none of these quoted points nor their importance have been communicated to you, you must know that you have in your hands the chance of improving the expected results of those therapies prescribed to you.

Do not accept comments just like “That is not so much …”, “It has not been shown…”, “Eat what you like…” or similar expressions. There is some scientific evidence that has begun to support the possible changes pointing to a healthier style, or in other words, of low risk. Today in 2010, we think that those comments do not deserve any consideration. The patient or anyone who requests for a consultation should not afford the high costs that neglecting or ignoring these issues mean. There is no medical or ethical justification to denie the possibility that changing nutritional habits gives to us, since these latter do not imply adverse side effects. On the contrary, through the same nutritional strategy the risk of other potentially severe chronic illnesses can be lowered at the same time.



Knowing your breast cancer risk means –at least— 7 advantages for you:

1. Primary prevention
The risks of developing a breast cancer could be reduced, as well as for other modern chronic diseases (other cancers as colorectum, uterus, ovary and cardiovascular, metabolic, autoimmune and degenerative diseases).

2. Secondary prevention
The most adequate periodicity of clinical examination and mammography could be reconsidered in each individual case, instead of managing standards of general population.

3. Tertiary prevention
After or during the oncospecific therapies (chemotherapy, hormonotherapy, e.g.) the patient can contribute to change her inner metabolic-hormonal environment, and as a consequence such therapeutic optimization can contribute in order to improve the prognosis.

4. Hormonal Replacement Therapy
You can count on a broader risk assessment when considering the HRT as an alternative if you are experiencing the climacteric or the menopause.

5. Fear of breast cancer
Thanks to the knowledge, you can minimize or attenuate that fear of the disease, which not always is really justified.

6. Risk and protective factors
The patient as well as the physician can have a panoramic view of the factors that play a role in the disease, especially of those which can be modified in benefit of the patient’s health.

7. Making consciousness
The patient (the healthy one as well as the one who is afflicted with the disease) can make consciousness about the need of making some adjustments in her nutrition and in her lifestyle.


 




 

References
1. Rock CL, et al. Nutrition and survival after the diagnosis of breast cancer: a review of the evidence. J Clin Oncol 2002; 20:3302-16.
2. Kroenke CH, et al. Weight, weight gain, and survival after breast cancer diagnosis. J Clin Oncol 2005; 23:1370-8.
3. Holmes MD, et al. Physical activity and survival after breast cancer diagnosis. JAMA 2005; 293:2479-86.
4. Berrino F, et al. Adjuvant diet to improve hormonal and metabolic factors affecting breast cancer prognosis. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2006; 1089: 110-8.
5. Fink BN, et al. Fruits, vegetables, and micronutrient intake in relation to breast cancer survival. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2006 ;98(2):199-208.
6. McEligot AJ, et al. Dietary fat, fiber, vegetable, and micronutrients are associated with overall survival in postmenopausal women diagnosed with breast cancer. Nutr Cancer 2006;55(2):132-40.
7. Skeie G, et al. Diet among breast cancer survivors and healthy women. The Norwegian Women and Cancer Study. Eur J Clin Nutr 2006 ;60(9):1046-54.
8. Kushi LH, et al. Lifestyle factors and survival in women with breast cancer. J Nutr 2007;137(1):236S-42S.
9. Wayne SJ, et al.Diet quality is directly associated with quality of life in breast cancer survivors. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2006;96(3):227-32.
10. Pierce JP, et al Influence of a diet very high in vegetables, fruit, and fiber and low in fat on prognosis following treatment for breast cancer: the Women's Healthy Eating and Living (WHEL) randomized trial. JAMA. 2007 ;298(3):289-98
11. Michels KB, et al. Diet and breast cancer: a review of the prospective observational studies. Cancer. 2007;109(12 Sup):2712-49.
12. Blackburn GL, et al. Dietary fat reduction and breast cancer outcome: results from the Women’s Intervention Nutrition Study (WINS). Am J Clin Nutr 2007;86(suppl):878S– 81S.
13. Rock CL, et al. Women's Healthy Eating and Living Study Group. Longitudinal biological exposure to carotenoids is associated with breast cancer-free survival in the WHEL Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 ;18(2):486-94.
14. Kellen E, et al. Lifestyle changes and breast cancer prognosis: a review. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2009 ;114(1):13-22.

 


Nowadays, health is an award to moderation and balance.

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