Hormone receptor positive breast cancer has both estrogen receptor positive (ER+) and progesterone receptor positive (PR+) tumor receptor status. Up to two-thirds of invasive breast cancers are classified as hormone receptor positive, or ER+/PR+. These cancers are also HER2/neu overexpressing (HER2+) or not (HER2-). Compounds that regulate ER or PR expression, oppose the production of estrogen in the body (i.e., aromatase inhibitors) or inhibit estrogen binding to estrogen receptors (e.g., tamoxifen) are among those used to treat this type of breast cancer. Please see also our article on ER+/PR+ breast cancer prognosis.

Consumption of at least five vegetables/fruits per day plus regular exercise has been found to be associated with lower risk of metastasis of ER+/PR+ breast cancer. Certain foods and spices have been shown to be especially effective in inhibiting ER+/PR+ cell growth and proliferation and promoting apoptotic cell death. On the other hand, some foods and supplements appear to be especially risky for ER+/PR+ breast cancer patients.

Foods and spices that reduce the risk of ER+/PR+ breast cancer

The foods and spices listed below have been found to reduce the risk of ER+/PR+ breast cancer. It is important to obtain these nutrients by consuming food rather than supplements.

Apples
Arctic char
Artichokes
Arugula
Basil
Beans, dry
Bell peppers
Black cumin
Black pepper
Blackberries
Blueberries & bilberries
Buckwheat
Bok choy
Boysenberries
Broccoli & broccoli sprouts
Brussels sprouts
Butternut squash
Cabbage
Canola oil
Cantaloupe
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery & celery hearts

Cherries, sweet or tart
Chicken, organic
Collard greens
Cranberries & ligonberries
Cucumbers
Currants, black
Flaxseed & flaxseed oil
Garlic, fresh
Ginger
Grapes, red & grape juice
Green tea
Greens
Herring
Honey, minimally processed*
Horseradish & wasabi
Hot peppers
Kale
Kefir
Lake trout
Leeks
Lettuce, romaine
Mackerel
Mushrooms, especially white button & related

Mustard
Mustard greens
Olive oil, extra-virgin, & olives
Onions, all types
Parsley & cilantro
Pomegranates & pomegranate juice
Pumpkins
Raspberries
Rice, brown, black, or purple
Saffron
Salmon, wild
Sardines
Seaweed
Strawberries
Tomatoes
Turkey, organic
Turmeric
Turnips
Walnuts & walnut oil
Watercress & garden cress
Watermelon
Zucchini

'*In moderation.

Olive oil and black pepper have both been found to increase the bioavailabilty of beta-carotene from other foods.

Foods and supplements that increase the risk of ER+/PR+ breast cancer

The following foods and supplements can increase the risk of ER+/PR+ breast cancer:

Alcohol
Astragalus root supplements
Avlimil
Copper supplements
Folic acid supplements
Genistein supplements
Hesperitin & hesperidin supplements

I3C/DIM supplements
Licorice root supplements
Propolis supplements
Soy protein isolate
Soybean paste
Vegetable oils, high omega-6
Well done or fried meat or fish

Additional comments

It is important for hormone receptor positive breast cancer patients and survivors to eat a wide variety of the foods from our recommended list and limit or avoid those on our avoid list, in addition to paying particular attention to the foods, spices and supplements on the lists above.