Scientists are still learning about the relationship between diet and lifestyle factors and the development of many types of cancers. For some cancers, such as colon cancer, there appear to be clear links to diet and activity.
At this time, less is known about the effects of diet and lifestyle factors on ovarian cancer. In breast cancer, it appears that consumption of just a few alcoholic beverages per week may increase the risk of developing the disease. There is some evidence that diets high in fruits and vegetables decrease the risk for breast cancer, but the link is weaker than it is for other types of cancers.
Why Diet May Matter
Certain fruits and vegetables contain substances that appear to protect the body against the development of cancers. Some of these substances are called antioxidants, because they fight the oxygen-induced damage to body tissues that occurs as a result of normal body processes. Antioxidants include vitamins C and E, selenium, carotenoids and some other plant substances called phytochemicals.
Although researchers have shown that antioxidants in foods can help lower your risk of some cancers, artificial supplements do not seem to have this benefit.
- Next section of Taking Charge: Glossary of Terms
Return to the Taking Charge Index
- What Is Breast Cancer?
- Who Gets Breast Cancer?
- If You Are at High Risk for Breast Cancer
- Screening for Breast Cancer
- How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?
- How Is Breast Cancer Treated?
- What Is Ovarian Cancer?
- Who Gets Ovarian Cancer?
- If You Are at High Risk for Ovarian Cancer
- Screening for Ovarian Cancer
- How Is Ovarian Cancer Diagnosed?
- How is Ovarian Cancer Treated?
- Living With Cancer
- Diet, Lifestyle and Cancer
- Glossary of Terms
UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.
Basic Facts About Breast Health
Learn basic facts about breast structure and function and how to differentiate between the different types and stages of breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Glossary
Check out our comprehensive Glossary of Breast Cancer terminology, which includes definitions of everything from AC chemotherapy to peripheral neuropathy.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors
Click now to find a summary of the factors that increase risk for developing breast cancer, including both factors that we cannot change and those we can.
Self-Care and Recovery
Self-Care and recovery resources including an Introduction to Lifestyle Change, Nutrition and Breast Cancer, Hydration: Water and Health, Meditation and more.
Breast reconstruction, surgery to rebuild a breast's shape, is often an option after mastectomy and is covered by some health insurance plans. Learn more now.
Follow-Up Care for Breast Cancer Patients
After patients have completed treatment for early stage breast cancer, one of the common questions is, "How should I best be monitored?" Learn more here.
Mastectomy: Instructions Before Surgery
The following information will help you prepare for your upcoming Mastectomy surgery. If you have any questions, please contact the Breast Care Center staff.
Mastectomy: Instructions After Surgery
Post Mastectomy surgery instructions including, pain management, incision and dressing care, activity, diet, follow-up care and more.
Menopause and Breast Cancer
Breast cancer treatment often causes women to enter menopause prematurely. Although each woman reacts to therapy individually, certain side effects are common.
Metastatic Breast Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment
Metastatic breast cancer is cancer that originated in the breast and has spread to other organ systems in the body. Learn more here.
Navigating Your Path to Breast Care
Different services and information are needed at different points in breast health care and breast cancer treatment. Learn more here.
Osteoporosis and Breast Cancer
Women who have had breast cancer or are considered at high risk for developing breast cancer are at risk for developing osteoporosis. Learn more.
Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer
The UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center and the Department of Radiation Oncology have compiled information about radiation therapy for your convenience.
Breast Care Center in Marin
1100 S. Eliseo Dr., Suite 1
Greenbrae, CA 94904
Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center
1825 Fourth St., Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158
Gynecologic Surgical Oncology Clinic
1825 Fourth St., Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94158