Evidence suggests a Mediterranean diet can actually help reduce the risk of getting cancer
Researchers revealed the stunning findings at the world’s biggest cancer conference in Chicago, reports the Sunday People . A Mediterranean diet can stop breast cancer coming back, experts have discovered.
More than 300,000 Brits are diagnosed with various cancers every year and one in eight British women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives.
Many will beat the disease if diagnosed early enough but then live in constant fear of it returning.
Now new research suggests adopting the diet of fresh fish, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oil could dramatically reduce the chances of cancer coming back.
There is already strong evidence that the Mediterranean diet can help reduce your risk of developing cancer in the first place.
But the new findings, presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago, suggest the diet could make a significant difference to those recovering from the disease.
Scientists studied more than 300 women who had been treated for early stage breast cancer and split them into two groups.
One half followed a Mediterranean diet while the other continued a normal, healthy diet.
After three years, 11 patients in the group on a normal, healthy diet saw their breast cancer come back.
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But remarkably, none of the patients on the Mediterranean diet relapsed, according to the study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Lead researcher Claudia Biasini, of the Hospital of Piacenza, Italy, said: “The adoption of a Mediterranean Diet in this study has reduced the risk of cancer recurrence.”
Dr Erica Mayer, ASCO’s breast cancer expert, added: “The whole topic of lifestyle interventions for breast cancer survivors is a very important one.
“There is substantial research going on into what we should be recommending to breast cancer survivors.”
Breast cancer charities welcomed the findings but said further studies should be done to back up the research because it was a relatively small study.
Samia al Qadhi, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Care, said: “For many women with breast cancer, fear of the disease returning is one of the biggest issues they face after treatment.
“So anything that helps us understand how to lower risk of recurrence is a welcome addition to our toolbox.
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The Mediterranean diet has previously shown it can protect against heart disease, with some studies suggesting it can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by one third.
There are also theories that it could protect against dementia, with research suggesting that it prevents the brain from shrinking.
Cancer experts said further research to understand the “impact” that diet can have on cancer patients.