New healthy initiative is designed for Latinas with breast cancer

Fruits and vegetables in a woman’s diet are important when it comes to breast cancer for two reasons. First, research supports high consumption of fruits and vegetables for decreasing breast cancer risk overall, and second, for breast cancer survivors, fruits and vegetables are part of an immune system-boosting regime. Many women–Latinas in particular–aren’t aware of the importance dietary changes can have when it comes to a breast cancer diagnosis. SEE ALSO: This important vitamin can help in the fight against breast cancer Due to socioeconomic and cultural barriers, Latinas and other minority women receive breast cancer screening less often than non-Hispanic white women, and when they are diagnosed with breast cancer, it is often at earlier ages and with more advanced forms of the disease. Unfortunately, the same barriers to initial care often keep Latinas from seeking proper follow-up care after their diagnosis. To help Latinas take control of an important part of their breast cancer treatment, researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health partnered with the New York City-based, not-for-profit Cook for Your Life initiative, creating ¡Cocinar Para Su Salud! to see if a hands-on approach toward nutrition would help Latinas make the dietary changes necessary after breast cancer. The study took place in New York City Hispanic communities where Latinas with breast cancer in varying stages participated in the Cook for Your Life program with nutrition roundtables, food shopping field trips, and cooking classes. Overall, the women taking the program increased their number of fruits and vegetables servings to an average 6.8 per day. The American Cancer Society recommends between five and nine servings a day for breast cancer survivors, an amount only 18 percent of all women with breast cancer adhere to post diagnosis. According to materials from John Hopkins Medicine, fruits and vegetables are known to contain phytochemicals with antioxidant, antiestrogen and chemopreventive properties that may prevent cancer. Cruciferous vegetables in particular, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are especially rich in these phytochemicals. Findings ways to incorporate more produce of this kind into Latinas’ diets is a good step toward helping the population reduce some of the breast cancer disparities commonly seen. “Many of the women who took part in the study are first-generation immigrants from Spanish-speaking Latin American countries who live in disadvantaged communities and do not have a lot of extra income to spend on food,” Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology, who led the study at Columbia, said in a press release. SEE ALSO: The latest discovery on triple-negative breast cancer and Hispanic women Ann Ogden Gaffney, president and founder of Cook For Your Life, added, “Our findings are both noteworthy and encouraging, given the lack of previous studies evaluating dietary behavior change among Latina breast cancer survivors and the relatively high cancer mortality among this population. This is a unique population to focus these kinds of trials. Most breast cancer behavioral studies are among well-educated and fairly affluent white women.”The post New healthy initiative is designed for Latinas with breast cancer appeared first on Voxxi.

Fruits and vegetables are important for women with breast cancer (Shutterstock)

Fruits and vegetables in a woman’s diet are important when it comes to breast cancer for two reasons. First, research supports high consumption of fruits and vegetables for decreasing breast cancer risk overall, and second, for breast cancer survivors, fruits and vegetables are part of an immune system-boosting regime.

Many women–Latinas in particular–aren’t aware of the importance dietary changes can have when it comes to a breast cancer diagnosis.

SEE ALSO: This important vitamin can help in the fight against breast cancer

Due to socioeconomic and cultural barriers, Latinas and other minority women receive breast cancer screening less often than non-Hispanic white women, and when they are diagnosed with breast cancer, it is often at earlier ages and with more advanced forms of the disease.

Unfortunately, the same barriers to initial care often keep Latinas from seeking proper follow-up care after their diagnosis.

To help Latinas take control of an important part of their breast cancer treatment, researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health partnered with the New York City-based, not-for-profit Cook for Your Life initiative, creating ¡Cocinar Para Su Salud! to see if a hands-on approach toward nutrition would help Latinas make the dietary changes necessary after breast cancer.

The study took place in New York City Hispanic communities where Latinas with breast cancer in varying stages participated in the Cook for Your Life program with nutrition roundtables, food shopping field trips, and cooking classes. Overall, the women taking the program increased their number of fruits and vegetables servings to an average 6.8 per day.

The American Cancer Society recommends between five and nine servings a day for breast cancer survivors, an amount only 18 percent of all women with breast cancer adhere to post diagnosis.

Many people don't like cabbage.
Cruciferous vegetables are the best when it comes to breast cancer diets. (Shutterstock)

According to materials from John Hopkins Medicine, fruits and vegetables are known to contain phytochemicals with antioxidant, antiestrogen and chemopreventive properties that may prevent cancer. Cruciferous vegetables in particular, such as broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are especially rich in these phytochemicals.

Findings ways to incorporate more produce of this kind into Latinas’ diets is a good step toward helping the population reduce some of the breast cancer disparities commonly seen.

“Many of the women who took part in the study are first-generation immigrants from Spanish-speaking Latin American countries who live in disadvantaged communities and do not have a lot of extra income to spend on food,” Heather Greenlee, ND, PhD, assistant professor of Epidemiology, who led the study at Columbia, said in a press release.

SEE ALSO: The latest discovery on triple-negative breast cancer and Hispanic women

Ann Ogden Gaffney, president and founder of Cook For Your Life, added, “Our findings are both noteworthy and encouraging, given the lack of previous studies evaluating dietary behavior change among Latina breast cancer survivors and the relatively high cancer mortality among this population.

This is a unique population to focus these kinds of trials. Most breast cancer behavioral studies are among well-educated and fairly affluent white women.”

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The post New healthy initiative is designed for Latinas with breast cancer appeared first on Voxxi.