The risk factors for breast cancer include late-birth of first child, high levels of estrogen, inadequate diet and medical x-ray among others.
Breast cancer is not a disease of the elderly. Females in all age groups can have the disease. The cancer has been reported in female's aged 4 although such cases are rare.
In the U.S., about 200,000 new cases of breast cancer are diagnosed each year and about 50,000 to 70,000 are expected to die from the disease.
Many plant foods help prevent a variety of cancers including breast cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, foods that possess protective effects against breast cancer include beans, berries, cruciferous vegetables, dark green leafy vegetables, flaxseed, garlic, grapes and grape juice, green tea, soy, tomatoes and whole grains.
Beans also known as legumes that can be used to prevent breast cancer include lentils and peas and many other varieties. Studies found that the active compounds include saponins, protease inhibitors and phytic acid. These substances can slow growth of tumor, or division of cancer cells or progression of tumors. Fiber in beans may also play a role in the protection against breast cancer.
Berries particularly strawberries and raspberries are rich in a compound known as ellagic acid, which possess the ability to prevent breast cancer as lab studies showed. The compound seems to serve as an antioxidant; helps deactivate certain carcinogens and slow the reproduction of cancer cells.
Flavonoids in strawberries and phenolic compounds in blueberries are also protective against cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale contain many active substances such as glucosinolates, crambene, indole-3-carbinol and isothiocyanates, which have showed protective effects against breast cancer and many other types of cancer.
The AICR cautions that single food or food substances are not as effective as a right combination of foods "a predominantly plant-based diet" because many bioactive components interact to provide extra cancer protection.