Nutrition & Physical Fitness
Maintaining a healthy, nutrient rich diet before, during and after breast cancer treatment is especially important to breast cancer patients because they have unique dietary needs. Making good food choices could help you feel better, stay stronger and improve your overall well-being before, during and after treatment. If you are dealing with a diagnosis and/or treatment know that each person’s treatment plan is different as well as any associated possible side effects. Talk with your medical team to learn how you may be affected by treatment. They may be able to give you additional suggestions on how you can manage treatment aftereffects.
There are many resources available online and in print about breast cancer and nutrition. Here is a sampling of resources that are breast cancer focused. As always, seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider as needed.
Major Organization Nutrition Resources:
Online Nutrition Resources:
Cookbooks that focus on Nutritional Needs During and After Treatment:
Anti-Breast Cancer Cookbook: How to Cut Your Risk with the Most Powerful, Cancer-Fighting Foods by Julia Greer Dr., 2013
The Breast Cancer Cookbook: Over 100 Easy Recipes to Nourish and Boost Health During and After Treatment by Mohammed Keshtgar, 2016
The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen, Second Edition (2017): Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery by Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson—Updated Edition
The Complete Anit-Inflammatory Diet for Beginners: A No-Stress Meal Plan with Easy Recipes to Heal the Immune System by Dorothy Calimeris and Lulu Cook, 2017
Cook for Your Life: Delicious, Nourishing Recipes for Before, During and After Cancer Treatment by Ann Ogden Gaffney, 2015
Eating Well Through Cancer: Easy Recipes & Tips to Guide you Through Treatment and Cancer Prevention, 3rd Edition by Holly Clegg, Gerald Mieltello, M.D.
Foods to Fight Cancer: What to Eat to Reduce Your Risk by Richard Beliveau, 2017
The How Not To Die Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Disease by Dr Michael Greger, 2018
The Ketogenic Kitchen by Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly, both cancer survivors, 2016
The Whole-Food Guide for Breast Cancer Survivors: A Nutritional Approach to Preventing Recurrence (The New Harbinger Whole-Body Healing Series) by Edward Bauman, Helayne Waldman, et al., 2012
Local Resources for Fresh Produce:
Including produce in your diet provides nutrient rich vitamins and minerals that will support optimal health. Here are some local resources for fresh produce.
Additional Community Resources:
Abrams, D., and A. Weil. Integrative Oncology: New York: Oxford University Press, 2008
Beliveau, R., and D. Gingras. Foods that Fight Cancer: Preventing Cancer through Diet. Toronto: McClellan and Stewart, 2006
Mateljian, G. The World’s Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating. Seattle, WA: World’s Healthiest Foods, 2006.
Murray, M. and J. Pizzorno. The Encylopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria Books, 2005
Lerner, M. Choices in Healing : Integrating the Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches to Cancer. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998
Living a physically active life style has many benefits especially for those diagnosed with breast cancer. Evidence shows that people who are physically fit have fewer side effects, experience less fatigue and depression and have an overall improved quality of life and well-being. Also, some research suggests those who exercise have a reduced chance of breast cancer recurrence and better survival outlook.
Maintaining your strength during this time may be very challenging. Physical activity for cancer patients does not mean running a marathon or hiking a mountain but it does mean that, in coordination with your physician or healthcare provider, you should discuss incorporating some type of regular exercise into your daily routine that will be beneficial and safe for you. From walking to pedaling, light strength training, stretching or yoga, the benefits of exercise means a better quality of life and ultimately more energy to do the things you love to do and, you never know, you may decide to work towards a goal of hiking a mountain.
There are many resources available online to help you learn more about exercise and the benefits related to breast cancer. Here is a sampling for your convenience. To Life! offers a variety of physical activities through our community partners. Please click here for our Calendar. For further resources about other breast cancer topics, please click here.