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The Voice of People With Breast Cancer


Our Voices Blog

A Registered Dietician Answers your Questions About Nutrition After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis

A breast cancer diagnosis comes with so many questions and there never seems to be enough time at appointments to have some of these questions answered. To help address this, we developed a "Q&E: Questions and Experts" series. In this series, a variety of experts spend the entire virtual session answering pre-submitted and live questions from participants. Watching the videos on-demand might be a little difficult to get through. So, we’ve created this guide to help you get right to the questions and answers that matter the most to you.

In today’s post, we provide the questions that were sent in and asked during the live session of our Questions and Experts series held on January 17, 2023. In this session, registered dietician Melissa Harley answered questions about nutrition after a breast cancer diagnosis. In the parentheses, you’ll find the timestamp of where to find the question in the on-demand video. 

Cancer and Certain Foods

  1. Does Rooibos tea have similar benefits to green tea? How do the two teas compare? (13:36)
  2. Can someone who is cancer-free after ER positive breast cancer take flaxseed oil safely? (17:38)
  3. As a breast cancer survivor, is it OK to have soy tempeh as an ingredient in a plant-based diet? (22:17)
  4. What would be the top five foods to avoid? (29:59)
  5. What is the relationship between milk and cancer? (27:24)
  6. Is there any connection between sugar and cancer? (44:09)
  7. Are meal replacements drinks good for an ER positive patient? (1:02:25)

Nutrition and Treatments

  1. Are there any supplements or diets that would be beneficial for triple negative breast cancer? (5:17)
  2. How can a person improve secondary lymphedema through nutrition? (11:29)
  3. Is there something that someone on chemotherapy can take to both help their body absorb and flush out the chemotherapy? (40:23)
  4. Should you be taking calcium supplements before, during, or after treatment? (56:16)
  5. Is there any way to address chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy with foods or any type of nutrition? (42:50)
  6. Are meal replacements drinks good for an ER positive patient? (1:02:25)
  7. Is there any kind of food or nutrition you can take to address soreness after taking an aromatase inhibitor? (1:07:31)

Nutrition and Lifestyle

  1. Do you have any nutritional advice on improving your diet in order to increase your calcium levels? (14:41)
  2. What would be the top five foods to avoid? (29:59)
  3. What kind of lifestyle or diet changes should one be making to prevent a recurrence? (34:43)
  4. Regarding taste changes after chemotherapy, what kind of food could you eliminate to balance out your taste buds? (51:26)

General Questions

  1. Is it possible to develop diabetes after chemotherapy? Is there any connection between cancer and diabetes? (37:20)
  2. What do you think about fasting? (1:15:07)

BC Cancer Agency
A Nutrition Guide for Women with Breast Cancer
Dietitians of Canada
CancerCare Ontario