Up to two-thirds of invasive breast cancers are classified as hormone receptor positive, with both estrogen receptor positive and progesterone receptor positive tumor receptor status (ER+/PR+). These tumors 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.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:
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.