Recent data leave little doubt that nutritional factors modulate the growth of breast cancer cells. Nonetheless, the question of what type of diet is best for patients with a history of early-stage breast cancer or for patients with metastatic breast cancer continues to loom despite a growing number of studies on nutrition and cancer. Recommendations for the general population from the American Cancer Society and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans outline 25% of calories from fat, multiple servings of fruits and vegetables, and an emphasis on eating a variety of different foods. Although these recommendations likely constitute prudent advice for patients with breast cancer who have completed treatment for early-stage disease, they remain unproved. Specific, beneficial recommendations for patients currently receiving adjuvant chemotherapy or for patients with metastatic disease may well differ from those for the general population. Future clinical trials will play an important role in clarifying such issues.
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