WIN-ning Wednesday: High Fiber Lowers Breast Cancer Risk

As a Naturopathic Doctor, I’ve long known that cancer can be prevented, and the top preventative measures are diet and lifestyle.  When it comes to nutrition, eating fresh foods, lots of fiber and limiting sugar, meat and alcohol intake can have a major influence on immune strength, cellular integrity, cellular detoxification, hormone balance, weight management and therefore, cancer prevention.  Also, in lifestyle, reducing stress, good sleep habits, exercising regularly, sweating regularly and reducing exposure the modern day environmental burden also plays a role.

I was happy to find that Reuters, the worlds largest international multimedia news agency, posted an article involving recent research about how woman who have a high fiber intake in their diet have less risk of developing breast cancer.

You can read the article here: Women who eat lots of fiber have less breast cancer.

The protective link between cancer and fiber has been illustrated in past cancer research, however it’s always refreshing to see it come up again in recent studies.  There have been countless studies on the protective aspects of a plant based diet, vegetables from the broccoli family, apples, flax seed and the list goes on.

The development of cancer is multi-factoral.  Plus, every person is biochemically unique and has varying degrees of cellular vulnerability depending on health history, lifestyle, diet, family history and predisposing risk factors.  This makes it very difficult to generalize what needs to be done to prevent cancer.  Nor will cancer be prevented 100% of the time by one specific thing.  However, reducing as many risk factors as possible, increasing as many preventable measures, and integrating these aspects permanently into one’s lifestyle, can help reduce cancer development.  Furthermore, it is ideal to individualize a course of action in prevention, since each woman is so unique in their own lifestyle and choices.

There is a brilliant book that I think EVERY WOMAN should own that is EVIDENCE BASED and very thorough in the understanding of breast cancer cause and prevention.  The book is called “The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Breast Cancer: A Practical Manual for Understanding, Prevention and Care” by Dr. Sat Dharam Kaur.  

Dr. Kaur has immersed herself in the field of breast cancer prevention and has twice been called upon as a guest speaker at the World Conference on Breast Cancer.  Her book is so well put together, and so comprehensive, that there will be no mysteries as to how to prevent breast cancer once it has been read.  She also encourages that woman seek an individualized approach, since every woman will have unique components to her health that need to be considered.

One of my favourite parts of the book is within the first few pages of the first chapter.  There is a check list of risk factors and protective factors.  I can go through the list and check off which ones apply to me.  The goal of this exercise is to not only identify what could be a risk factor, but then to take those risk factors and work on transforming as many of them into protective factors.  I may not be able to eliminate every risk factor, however I make a conscious effort to work on most of them.

Dr. Kaur has been working in Breast Cancer Prevention since 1989 and also offers one of the most comprehensive workshops in health care regarding breast cancer awareness and prevention.  Her program is known as The Healthy Breast Program.  You can learn more about her, the program and gain free resources by clicking on the link.

With a strong history of cancer in my own family, this truly helped to motivate me to be proactive in my own cancer prevention and overall health care.  A long time ago, I talked myself out of the “wait and see” approach.  To me, annual screening is nice option we have in Canada, and although main stream medicine calls this a “preventative” measure, I know far to many women who find out at the time of their screening that they have cancer.  There is more that can be done between the annual check ups.

Today I’m inspired to keep up my daily fiber intake from a variety of sources: fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and beans.  Fiber does a body good!

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