Eri Furukawa writes:
Mrs. Masuda is a postmenopausal 48-year-old
native Japanese housewife who has recently returned to Japan after living
in Canada for almost 20 years. Mrs. Masuda is approximately 15 kilos overweight.
She worries about developing breast cancer later in life. But she thinks
that she is not sure whether she should be overconcerned since she understands
that fewer Asian women develop this disease than women in the West. I think
her idea is wrong, because her diet is similar to that of a Western person.
And she likes to stay at home. I think her diet and lifestyle are ill-balanced.
Her first problem is that she is a moderate drinker. The best established dietary risk factor is alcohol intake, which appears to increase risk for breast cancer even among moderate drinkers. If she drinks alcohol every day, she has to limit her overall consumption of alcoholic beverages.
Her next problem is that she cooks using sweet coconut oil or margarine. To take too much oil is bad for health. She has to cut down on total fat intake. The third problem is that she dislikes most vegetables. Moreover she prefers to eat Western-style desserts like rich cakes and ice cream. Vegetables and fruits are very important for our health. These foods are plentiful sources of vitamins, minerals, biochemical compounds, and fiber-ingredients that may help to reduce cancer risk. Eating enough vegetables and fruits means an individual is likely to eat proportionately less fatty and high calorie foods. Vegetables and fruits are chemically very complex and contain many biochemicals that may contribute to reduction of cancer risk. She has to eat more vegetables and fruits and be careful not to follow an ill-balanced diet. To eat a varied diet is important. She eats three or four desserts at one time. She takes sugar too much. That results in high calorie intake.
Her problem with not eating good fruits and vegetables is connected with the fourth problem. The fourth problem is that she likes to stay at home. She doesn't exercise much. She has to exercise more. I think that walking is good moderate exercise for her. She doesn't have to think she must do hard exercise.
My basic advice to Mrs. Masuda is to maintain body weight. Low-fat, high-fiber diets are linked with lower levels of female hormones and a lower risk for breast cancer. In addition, if she is serious about preventing cancer, I think she should eat more vegetables. A well-balanced diet is important, that is, it is connected with reduction of cancer risks.
| Click the BACK button to return to the student index.|