How to prevent breast cancer

Wonder how to prevent breast cancer, having heard of and seen its devastating effects on the lives of women around you? Science tells those who are willing to listen that making changes to their diet are so far the best ways to prevent breast cancer.

"Roughly half a million Americans this year will go to the doctor's office and be told that they have cancer of the breast, prostate or large bowel."

Dr. Colin T. Campbell,PhD. The China Study.

This is not some faceless half a million. It could be your mom, sister, friend, yourself... I’ve read one woman’s posting on an Internet forum, where she described feeling angry, scared and powerless after being diagnosed with cancer at the age of 27. She said she believed it would never happen to her. The reader responses were astounding: "Get real, almost every one of us will get cancer, so you should have been prepared for this," wrote one. These were cancer survivors giving their best advice to the novice.

They obviously did not know that one can “prepare oneself” for life without cancer by altering one's menu. Moreover, your chances of avoiding diabetes, stroke, heart attack, and osteoporosis are greatly influenced by what you choose to eat for lunch, breakfast and dinner. The readers were not familiar with the mountains of scientific evidence of prevention of breast, colon and other cancers through nutrition. They did not see documented cases of breast cancer cure and did not consider nutrition as one of the treatments for breast cancer.

Meet Dr. Colin Campbell, whose landmark cancer research, The China Study, is the most comprehensive nutrition study ever conducted. For this work of his lifetime, the American Institute for Cancer Research presented him with their Research Achievement award in 1998. Much of his career has been focused on the study of cancer.

Risk factors of breast cancer

Dr. Campbell points out that there are at least four important risk factors of breast cancer that are affected by nutrition. One is high blood cholesterol. Three others are caused by “excess amount of female hormones, including estrogen and progesterone.” These risk factors are: early arrival of first menstrual period, late arrival of menopause, and high levels of female hormones in the blood. Increased levels of female hormones lead to increased risks of breast cancer.

How to prevent breast cancer by controlling estrogen levels

Dr. Campbell finds the close connection between breast cancer and estrogen exposure particularly important because, "diet plays a major role in establishing estrogen exposure."

Diets low in animal foods reduce female hormones and cholesterol levels in the blood. They also delay arrival of menstruation and lower the age of menopause.

This empowers us women to reduce the risk of breast cancer by taking control of our estrogen levels. We can do it by reducing or avoiding animal protein based foods and consuming more plants.

How about your genes or the environmental factors?

We usually hear about genes and environmental factors as the main cause of breast cancer. We rarely, if ever, hear that "less than 3% of breast cancer cases can be attributed to family history." 1,2 Nor do we hear that the rate at which environmental chemicals are metabolized into products that cause cancer is very much controlled by what we eat 3.

Simply put, by choosing the Western diet we weaken the ability of our bodies to fight diseases and increase the rate at which environmental factors can affect our health. The good news is that we are in control of what we previously thought we had no control over. We do not have to wait for the other break ground gene research, we can start protecting ourselves right here and now.

You might think "Why did I not hear about this from my doctor?"

Dr. Campbell points out that "food as a key to health represents a powerful challenge to conventional medicine, which is fundamentally built on drugs and surgery." (The China Study, p.182).

What you are about to read is so shocking that I chose to quote the doctors themselves.

“Nutrition training of doctors is not merely inadequate, is it practically non-existent.”

Dr. Colin T. Campbell,PhD. The China Study.

“In 1985, the National Research Council report found that physicians receive, on average, only 21 classroom hours of nutrition training during their four years of medical school. Most nutrition courses are taught not in relation to public health problems, like obesity, cancer, diabetes… but is incorporated in other courses.” (i,e, pharmacology)

Dr. Colin T. Campbell,PhD. The China Study.

“Pharmacology courses became a mainstay and biochemistry and nutrition took a back seat,” confirms Dr. Blaylock, a neurosurgeon. “Doctor’s entire education have been based on a belief in pharmaceutical agents to treat disease with no consideration given to the role of nutrition…After graduation, most doctors work long hours at a pace few others in our society could event attempt… They sacrifice many of their weekends, lose sleep and have little time to spend with their families. Insurance companies, government agencies, liability lawyers, and an even-constraining healthcare system have battered them beyond endurance."

Many of the doctors who came to appreciate the preventive medicine and nutrition connection are members of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). PCRM programs combine the efforts of medical experts and grassroots individuals, so you can join too. PCRM resources, including downloadable fact sheets, help both medical professionals and laypeople like you and I to put powerful preventive medicine to work.

Do your part in the breast cancer prevention.. Start now!

What you can do today is to think for yourself and take control of what you eat.

Knowledge is power, but knowledge is useless without action! Here are some things you can do now:

  • Read more about breast cancer prevention. There are thousands of medical studies that provide an undeniable link between breast cancer and animal protein consumption. There are peer-reviewed studies, such as work of before mentioned Dr. Colin T. Campbell, that show that breast cancer prevention and reversal of cancer are possible on the early stages of disease. Check out:

    Read more statistics and research in the epic work of Dr.T Colin Campbell, The China Study.

    Dr William Harris, M.D. explains statistical correlation between nutrition and breast cancer: Breast cancer statistics

    Learn about Dr. Max Gerson and his lifetime work and experiments of curing various degenerative diseases, including cancer, by the raw vegan diet and juicing.

    Do you know about Mishio Kushi and macrobiotic cooking ? Applying principles of macrobiotic helps to ease many health conditions. Read an interview with Christina Pirello, who runs a vegetarian cooking show on more than 200 TV channels.

    Learn more about causes of breast cancer and practical ideas on cancer prevention at the PCRM's Cancer Project.

  • Read how to transition to a plant-based diet. My site is filled with tips and recipes to help you.
  • Give it a try for a week or a month. Download PCRM's free vegetarian starter kit with answers to the most important questions, easy steps and menus to help you.
  • Increase amount of greens you consume every day - use my healthy smoothies and greens recipes
  • Experiment with my healthy recipes
  • Try out steps to eating healthier you could take today

Every year, many of us participate in the fundraising events - we walk, run, bike, and bake in hope to raise money for the research to find cure for cancer. Meanwhile, researchers with prominent names in the field point out that there is a huge body of evidence already to support the link between proper nutrition and breast cancer prevention (and other types of cancer, too). Remembering that only less than 3% of the breast cancer can be attributed to the family history, are you willing to try to change your diet to influence the other 97%?


1. Peto J, Easton DF, Matthews FE, et al. “Cancer mortality in relatives of women with breast cancer, the OPCS study.” Int.J.Cancer 65 (1996): 275-283

2. Colditz GA, Willett W, Hunter DJ et al. “Family history, age and risk if breast cancer. “Prospective data from the Nurses’ Health Study.” JAMA 270 (1993): 338-343

3. T Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M Campbell II . The China Study: the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted and the startling implications for diet, weight loss, and long-term health. P.166


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