Read about how eating healthily and keeping active can be helpful for people diagnosed with breast cancer.

Should I be eating particular foods?

People sometimes ask us what more they can do to fight their breast cancer, and whether particular diets help.

There’s a lot of information online about breast cancer and diet. Unfortunately, some of this advice is not supported by good evidence.

However, there is some evidence that diets low in fat, high in fibre or high in fruit and vegetables might be helpful for people diagnosed with breast cancer. More research is needed before we can know for sure.

At Breast Cancer Now, we recommend a varied, balanced diet for general health and wellbeing. A varied, balanced diet is:

  • Rich in fruit, vegetables, pulses and whole grains
  • Low in red meat, processed meat, animal fat, sugary or fatty processed food, salt and alcohol

If you’re thinking of taking dietary supplements or following a particular diet, it’s important that you check with your treatment team first that this won’t interfere with your treatment.

How can physical activity help me?

Being physically active may improve many aspects of your of health and wellbeing. It can help improve some of the symptoms of cancer and the side effects to treatment, including:

There hasn’t been enough research to say that a particular activity is better than another, although moderate activity may be sufficient to help with the side effects of anticancer drugs.

The activities you choose to do may depend on:

  • Which ones you most enjoy
  • Which ones you can more easily fit into your daily life
  • Whether your symptoms limit particular activities
  • Whether a specialist recommends particular exercises for you
  • What exercise programmes and group activities are available in your area

You may be reassured to know that research has found that physical activity is safe and possible for people with breast cancer. Your treatment team and rehabilitation specialists can let you know which activities might be most beneficial for you.

They’ll also let you know if you should avoid certain activities for a while (when you’re recovering from surgery for example).

 

Information Standard

Information last reviewed: October 2015

Next review due: October 2018

Breast Cancer Now's health information is covered by NHS England's Information Standard quality mark. Find out how this resource was developed.