Selenium is both an essential natural mineral and also a useful cancer-fighting antioxidant. Foods high in selenium need to be part of a diet for breast cancer treatment. Selenium helps to strengthen the immune system, to facilitate the functioning of the thyroid and to activate certain enzymes. One can obtain a desirable intake of selenium by eating tuna, eggs, wheat germ, chicken, liver, garlic and Brazil nuts.
How does the action of selenium allow it to qualify for inclusion in the diet for breast cancer treatment? Scientists continue to study just how the actions of selenium are able to slow or prevent the occurrence of cancer. So far researchers have found a linkage between the ability of selenium to turn-on the action of certain enzymes and the mineral's capacity to ward-off cancer risks. A daily intake of at least 70 micrograms of selenium should be the goal of all women who care about their diet for breast cancer treatment.
Can one add too much selenium to a diet in breast cancer treatment? The answer is yes, for some women. If one eats a quantity far above 100 micrograms per day, then this excess amount of selenium can cause nausea, bad breath, rash, dizziness, weakness and cold symptoms. Eating more than 60 micrograms of selenium per day is bad for pregnant women. A high intake of selenium appears linked to birth complications.
Another nutrient that should be part of any diet in breast cancer treatment is indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that is also called 13C. This phytochemical, a key part of the chemical make-up of broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables has been shown to be a natural way of preventing certain cancers. The versatile 13C uses not one, not two, but three different methods for delivering its healthful effects.
First of all, 13C interrupts the cancer cell cycle; an interrupted cycle prevents cell division. Second, 13C prevents the formation of blood vessels in the tumor; without blood vessels, the tumor cells can not receive needed nutrients. Third, 13C act in a manner that is able to set the stage for the death of the cancer cells.
The greatest value of 13C stems from the expected product produced once an individual has eaten a diet rich in 13C. Normally, the human body converts 13C into DIM. Dr. Fazul Sarkar, a researcher at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, has found that DIM can remain biologically active in the human body for a longer period of time than can 13C, the compound from which the DIM originates.
Yet a woman does not need to understand the biochemistry of cancer cells in order to know that eating the right foods with help in the fight against breast cancer. Selection of cancer-fighting foods should form the basis of the diet for breast cancer treatment.