Tetsuo Kato writes:
Breast cancer's etiology is very complex.
Although detailed mechanisms of how breast cancer develops are not clear
yet, scientists now basically agree that two factors, life style and heredity
interact in the occurrence of breast cancer. The fact there is difference
in rates of incidence of breast cancer among races - Asians including Japanese
suffer less than Europeans and Americans - strongly supports the contribution
of heredity. On the other hand, it is suggested through some epidemiologic
researches that female hormones like estrogen, fat accumulation (being
overweight), animal fat intake, alcohol intake have effects on the occurrence
of breast cancer.
In terms of inheritance, Mrs. Yuki Masuda is Japanese. However, it is not so simple to conclude that she is free of breast cancer as she is an Asian. Since she lives in Canada for almost 20 years, the contribution of the environmental factors might not be ignored. In her case, it is luckily proved that Mrs. Masuda is cancer-free. However, it is important to check her life style, especially diet habit for further protection of the cancer and other diseases affected by life style.
We already know a good deal about her life style through an interview with her. She likes to stay at home; she doesn't exercise much; she is a moderate drinker; she eats quite a bit of beef and pork; she dislikes most vegetables; and she prefers to eat Western-style desserts like rich cakes and ice cream. This kind of eating habit is thought very familiar with and promotional for incidence of life style depending disease syndrome.
From this information, we can estimate more or less that she takes much sugar and animal protein but she doesn't consume them as energy sources, as she doesn't seem to be an active exerciser. This probably makes biosynthesis of fat in her body very active. This can be one of the reasons Masuda is approximately 15 kilos overweight and that her LDL level is above the normal.
It is now suggested that fat is the culprit with the epidemic proportions of breast, colon and prostate cancer. Moreover, obesity, which is defined as accumulation of quite large amount of fat in the body, is considered as an adverse prognostic factor of the breast cancer. In this sense, low fat and sugar diet accompanied with adequate physical exercise is first recommended for Mrs. Masuda for not only prevention of breast cancer but also reducing LDL-level. Apart from promotion of fat synthesis by sugar intake, intake of large amount of simple sugar results in jumps in blood sugar with the body reacting with insulin production and frequently hypoglycemia. As she admits, she likes very much sweets and cakes which are super rich in simple sugar. Due to this, she may frequently suffer from hypoglycemia. This might be one of the reasons that she can never accomplish diet.
Not simple sugar but complex carbohydrates avoid hypoglycemia as the latter requires longer time of digestion until it produces simple sugar. Level of blood sugar and insulin secretion can be constant with the complex carbohydrates. Coarse-grained breads, whole wheat and bran cereals, raw or lightly steamed vegetables, fresh fruits are all in this class of complex carbohydrates. If she still aims at dieting, she'd better consume much more above-listed food materials.
Another problem with her eating habit is that she takes few vegetables. It is now widely known that fiber elements contained in vegetables is negatively correlated with the incidence of colon cancer. In order to reduce risk of colon cancer, she is recommended to take more vegetables. As for alcohol, the influence of alcohol intake on cancer development is still arguable. However, as she has a tendency to drink a moderate amount, it might be better to reduce the amount of alcohol she drinks.
As for LDL, it is considered a strong risk factor for developing arteriosclerosis. That is, reducing the LDL-level is a very important way for her to prevent from incidence of arteriosclerosis as well. Cholesterol is one of main components of LDL so that low cholesterol diet can be highly recommended for her for the protection from arteriosclerosis.
We know that changing eating habits is not so easy. However, as we learned from Mrs. Masuda's case, undesirable food consumption may affect a variety of health problems. Among them are very vital ones like arteriosclerosis. As a conclusion, in the case of Mrs. Masuda, medical treatment for her might not be necessary at this stage. What she really needs is help to make her aware that her overall diet style is associated with such diseases of affluence as diabetes, arteriosclerosis and heart disease. If well persuaded, she would think more positively of a change in diet. If her medical doctor could provide her with a concrete menu for dieting, it would be very helpful for the patient to go on an actual diet.
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