Up to two-thirds of invasive breast cancers are classified as hormone receptor positive (ER+/PR+), which means they have both estrogen receptor positive and progesterone receptor positive tumor receptor status. Such tumors are also either HER2/neu overexpressing (HER2+) or do not overexpress HER2/neu (HER2-).
Compounds that oppose the production of estrogen in the body (i.e., aromatase inhibitors) or interfere with the binding of estrogen to estrogen receptors (for example, tamoxifen) are among those used to treat this type of breast cancer. It turns out that diet can also influence outcomes for those with ER+/PR+ breast cancer.

Sources of information provided in this webpage

Below we provide a list of foods and spices that have been shown to be effective in inhibiting ER+/PR+ cell growth or proliferation. Also included are foods that incorporate significant levels of micronutrients that inhibit ER+/PR+ breast cancer. In addition, this webpage lists foods, spices and supplements that appear to be risky because they (or significant incorporated compounds) have been shown to promote ER+/PR+ breast cancer development, proliferation, growth or metastasis.
The food lists, which are updated continually as new research becomes available, have been developed based solely on the results of published academic studies. Clicking on any of the foods will take you to its webpage, which contains specific information concerning that food's relationship to beast cancer (including its overall ranking, for example, highly recommended or recommended in moderation), as well as links to supporting studies. Please also see our article on ER+/PR+ breast cancer prognosis.

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

Foods to limit or avoid for ER+/PR+ breast cancer

The following foods or significant components have been linked specifically to increased risk of ER+/PR+ breast cancer or its recurrence:

Supplements for ER+/PR+ patients and survivors

There is no supplement or combination of supplements that has been proven to reduce the risk of ER+/PR+ breast cancer recurrence in women. When a beneficial micronutrient is administered at low doses by consuming food, it is likely to have subtle chemopreventive effects, whereas when the same micronutrient is administered at a high dose in a supplement, it is more likely to have pharmacological effects, with mostly unknown results. It is best to obtain beneficial compounds by consuming food, if possible. The role of supplements is to make up for deficiencies that are difficult to correct through diet.
The following supplements generally have been found to be safe and beneficial for ER+/PR+ patients and survivors:
SupplementDosage
CoQ10 (if needed for heart health)100 to 400 mg/day
Fish oil1000 to 2000 mg/day
Vitamin D1000 to 2000 IU/day
Please consult your oncology team for advice concerning your situation and dosages. It might make sense to be tested for deficiency in vitamin D and, if appropriate, plan for follow-up testing to determine whether your reading has reached a desirable level.

Supplements, vitamins & other to avoid for ER+/PR+ breast cancer

The supplements and other exposures below have been shown to increase the promote ER+/PR+ breast cancer development or its recurrence under some circumstances. That is not to say that most other supplements are safe to take; there are no relevant scientific studies concerning the interactions between most supplements and ER+/PR+ breast cancer.

Additional comments

Hormone receptor positive breast cancer patients and survivors should 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 listed above. Please see our article on how to optimize your breast cancer diet for information on what to eat during all stages of treatment and recovery.