Feature Archive

Breast Cancer Survivors: Nutrition and Fitness Tips

Eat foods that are cancer-protective to help prevent a recurrence, and get back into exercise to lose extra pounds.

By Gina Shaw
WebMD Feature

Reviewed By Charlotte Grayson

A bout with breast cancer is likely to leave you eager to do all you can to prevent a recurrence. You may be frustrated that there's only so much about cancer prevention you can control.

But you do have control over one area of life: your diet. Eating well can help you take off any weight you may have gained during breast cancer treatment. It may also help protect you in the future from a breast cancer recurrence.

True, what doctors know about your diet's power to ward off a cancer recurrence, as opposed to preventing cancer in the first place, is limited, says Melanie Polk, RD, Director of Nutrition Education at the American Institute for Cancer Research.

"We know that a diet that's high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans, and low in fat and high in fiber is cancer-protective," she says. "But a lot of these factors have not been studied in detail with regard to cancer survivors. Still, there's every reason to believe that dietary factors that are cancer-protective to begin with would be protective as well for cancer survivors."