Empowering breast health

Written by: Professor Kefah Mokbel
Edited by: Kate Forristal

Breast cancer remains a prevalent concern for women worldwide, but proactive measures can significantly reduce the risk. In his latest online article, Professor Kefah Mokbel gives us his insights into incorporating specific lifestyle changes, dietary adjustments, and screening protocols that can empower women in their journey towards breast cancer prevention.

Embrace the mediterranean diet

One of the cornerstones of breast cancer prevention is adopting a Mediterranean diet. This dietary pattern, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and olive oil, has been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer.


Moderate alcohol consumption

Limiting alcohol intake is crucial, with recommendations suggesting no more than one glass of wine per day. Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.


Maintain healthy weight and exercise regularly

Striving for a healthy body weight and engaging in regular physical activity, with at least 20 minutes of exercise daily, can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer. It's important to note that maintaining a healthy weight becomes particularly crucial after menopause.


Opt for a breast-friendly diet

Watch your dietary choices by minimising consumption of red meat, processed meat, refined grains, animal fat, and full-fat dairy products. Instead, focus on incorporating cancer-fighting foods like olive oil, garlic, leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, and berries into your meals.


Consider soy in moderation

Soy foods can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. While there were concerns in the past, current evidence suggests that moderate soy consumption is generally safe.


Sun exposure and vitamin D

Ensure adequate exposure to natural sunlight or consider vitamin D3 supplements if sunlight exposure is limited. Aim for at least 20 minutes of sunlight exposure daily to maintain optimal vitamin D levels.


Hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

Approach hormone replacement therapy cautiously, especially after the age of 55. Discuss the benefits and risks with your healthcare provider, considering alternatives like topical vaginal oestrogen for symptom relief.


Integrate cancer-fighting nutrients

Incorporate polyphenols, flavonoids, quercetin, spices like turmeric and black pepper, and cruciferous vegetables into your diet. These nutrients possess potent anti-cancer properties.


Essential supplements

Consider supplementing with vitamin D3, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B6, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and folate to ensure adequate nutrient intake. OncoMute, a comprehensive supplement, encapsulates these micronutrients in one convenient form.


Breast cancer screening

Regular screening is paramount for early detection and treatment of breast cancer. All women should undergo breast cancer risk assessment by age 30. For average-risk women, annual mammograms starting at age 40 are recommended. Women with dense breasts may benefit from supplemental ultrasound scans. High-risk individuals may require more frequent and earlier screenings, including both mammograms and MRIs.


Empower yourself with knowledge and proactive measures to reduce your risk of breast cancer. By incorporating these guidelines into your lifestyle and prioritising regular screenings, you take significant strides towards maintaining breast health and overall well-being.


Professor Kefah Mokbel is an esteemed oncoplastic breast surgeon. You can schedule an appointment with Professor Mokbel on his Top Doctors profile.

By Professor Kefah Mokbel

Professor Kefah Mokbel is an internationally renowned breast cancer surgeon and researcher who specialises in the multidisciplinary care of patients with breast cancer. He is the lead oncoplastic breast surgeon at the London Breast Institute. His areas of expertise include breast cancer detection, oncoplastic breast surgery, breast screening, breast cysts and lumps and breast implants. In addition, he is an honorary professor of breast cancer surgery at Brunel University London and the founder and president of a UK cancer charity; Breast Cancer Hope.

Following the completion of his undergraduate medical education at the London Hospital Medical College in 1990, Professor Mokbel pursued surgical training at the Royal Marsden, Charing Cross, Chelsea and Westminster, Saint Mary’s and St Bartholomew’s hospitals and completed his higher surgical training as an oncoplastic breast surgeon in 2000. Professer Mokbel has won various prestigious prizes, awards and honours during his educatiom, training and postgraduate career. 

He qualified as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1994 and was then granted the Master of Surgery degree in 2000 by The Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine for his research in the field of molecular biology of breast cancer.

Professor Mokbel's research interest lies in the field of molecular biology and the clinical management of breast cancer and aesthetic breast surgery. This includes breast reconstruction following mastectomy and augmentation mammoplasty using implants and fat transfer. In addition, he has authored or coauthored more than 400 scientific papers, editorials, commentaries and textbook chapters (Google Scholar H-index = 51 and I10-index = 170) and has authored 14 textbooks aimed at medical students and postgraduate doctors. His current academic interest is focused on how to apply the advances from clinical trials to daily surgical practice. He is also currently a member of the editorial board of various global medical journals and has peer-reviewed for renowned journals such as The Lancet. 

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