Cancer Care. An In Great Health eNewsletter.
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Thank you for subscribing to Cancer Care, an Avera eNewsletter that provides you with useful information about cancer care and prevention. In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, we celebrate breast cancer survivors. This issue focuses on how breast cancer survivors can continue to live fully and healthfully. To learn more about our services and community events, or to find a physician, visit

To your health,

The Avera Staff


Some recent studies evaluating nutrition and breast cancer show that adjustments to your diet can help prevent the development of cancer and its recurrence. For breast cancer survivors, the American Cancer Society recommends diets that include lots of fruits and vegetables, low amounts of saturated fat, moderation in soy foods and moderate or no alcohol consumption.

Fats: Research is still mixed on the role that fats, and which specific types of fats, play in breast cancer risk and prevention. According to results from the Women's Health Initiative study of dietary fat and breast cancer, there is no definite evidence that a low-fat diet will help prevent breast cancer. However, the study suggested that women who normally eat a very high-fat diet may benefit by reducing their fat intake.

Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are important sources of antioxidants, which may help protect against the tissue damage linked to increased cancer risk. Antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lycopene. Richly colored fruits and vegetables are the best sources for these nutrients.

Calcium and Vitamin D: Eating lots of foods rich in calcium and vitamin D (such as yogurt and milk) may modestly reduce the risk of breast cancer for premenopausal women. Low-fat or non-fat dairy products are a healthier choice than high-fat ones.

Soy: The American Cancer Society recommends that women with breast cancer eat only moderate amounts of soy foods. There have been concerns that high intake of soy may increase the risk of estrogen-responsive cancers such as breast cancer.

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Thanks to new, improved treatments, people with breast cancer are living longer than ever before. Avera hospitals and other facilities help breast cancer survivors live longer, healthier lives in a variety of ways.

Diagnostic Services: Tools and equipment to detect and monitor breast cancer are conveniently located throughout the region. Many Avera facilities have replaced analog mammography equipment with digital mammography equipment, which provides clearer pictures of the breast.

The Latest Technology: Avera facilities continually work to bring the latest technology to a community near you. For example, several Avera cancer centers now offer breast cancer patients brachytherapy, a revolutionary treatment that is shorter and has fewer side effects than traditional radiation or chemotherapy. Additionally, more treatment options may be available, including participation in clinical studies designed to evaluate the latest and most innovative treatments for breast cancer.

Mobile Units: Several Avera facilities provide mobile mammography units, which bring diagnostic equipment to rural locations that do not have mammography.

Team of Specialists: Avera physicians use proven treatments to provide the best care for you. For patients in rural areas without a cancer center, some Avera facilities can use Avera eCARE™ technology to connect to cancer specialists in other locations.

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In Great Health online archive.

Cancer Care is one in a series of Avera eNewsletters that gives readers valuable information about health and wellness at Avera facilities. It is not intended to replace personal medical advice, which should be obtained directly from a physician.