5 May 2007: Breast Cancer Survivor Diet Update I

According to the statistics of the Hong Kong Cancer Center, there were in 1995 slightly over 1000 breast cancer cases registered. This had increased to over 2000 cases by 2004. It is estimated that the number of cases may continue to rise to 3000 by 2010 and this is causing considerable concern. Registered dietitian Mr. Wong Chi Wing (Head of Diet and Nutrition Department of Hong Kong Adventist Hospital) pointed out:’ In order to avert breast cancer, the first step is to maintain a good and healthy diet all the year round. As a habit, the three meals in the day must be taken at regular intervals and suitably quantified. The diet must be well balanced with each meal containing different types of food complemented in the right proportion.’

In order to select food that is beneficial to our body, some knowledge on the nutritional values is helpful.


Self Photos / Files - 01s     Self Photos / Files - 02s


Wheat, brown and unpolished rice help preventing breast cancer

Wheat may reduce the content of estrogen in blood vessels, thus help lower the rate of breast cancer. Besides, its hydro-soluble fiber effectively lowers cholesterol levels. Mr. Wong explained: “Wheat, brown and unpolished rice contain a higher quantity of fiber, vitamin B and minerals than white rice but most people find brown and unpolished rice repulsive. One must not forget that diet is after all an eating and drinking habit. If you find the first taste unbearable, increase the quantity slightly in the next try and eventually it will become a daily habit in no time.”

Eat more fruits and vegetables of different colors

Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins in colossal amounts. For instance, red and yellow fruits and vegetables contain a huge amount of vitamin A. One would find in abundance vitamin C in oranges, kiwi fruits, strawberries and broccoli. The meat and beans family contain zinc. The fact is that the phytochemicals in these foods are a type of anti-oxidant that could strengthen the immunity function and eliminate cancerous elements. It is therefore recommended to eat more fruits and vegetables of different colors in order to assimilate a variety of vitamins and phytochemicals.

Omega 3 suppress breast cancer

Other than fruits and vegetables, Mr. Wong recommended eating a suitable portion of white meat such as fish and chicken. Furthermore, mackerel, sardines and salmon also contain fatty acid of omega 3, which is vital to physical strength and resistance for diseases. In his view, breast cancer convalescents should stay away from red meat like beef and pork. According to relevant studies, red meat has a bearing on breast cancer, so just to be on the safe side breast cancer convalescents should eat more white meat instead. Other than this, it is discovered that omega 3 which may suppress the growth of cancerous cells in breast, prostate and lung cancer is found on linseed oil. Linseed oil also contains properties that can lower than level of cholesterol, blood pressure and triglyceride. The lignans (a type of fiber) in linseed oil upon entering into the intestines are transformed by beneficial bacteria to become effective anti-cancer chemicals.

Consume more tomatoes and green tea

According to a relevant study, the phytochemicals contained in tomotoes (lycopene) are most effective for the prevention of breast and prostate cancer. According to Mr. Wong, lycopene is largely retained in the process of cooking whilst raw tomatoes are very rich in vitamin C.

Green tea contains an anti-oxidant called tea polyphenols, which has catechin as one of its main constituents. “Polyphenol is dissoluble in water and will not be lost even after an hour of boiling. So drink four glasses of green tea a day will keep cancer away.” Mr. Wong so exclaimed.

A drill a day keeps recurrent rate at bay

Apart from abiding to a healthy diet, breast cancer convalescents are strongly advised to keep their body weight down with the aid of regular physical drills. Mr. Wong expressed that according to a relevant research, the breast cancer recurrent rate appears to be higher on the part of convalescents who are over-weight. Obesity impacts negatively on the function of the heart and the accumulation of bad cholesterol. Henceforth, Mr. Wong recommended that drilling for seven hours a week or an hour a day would certainly be helpful for breast cancer patients. This would not only reinforce the immunity system but also reduce the relapse rate of breast cancer by as much as 20%.

Simple Menu and Nutritional Snack

To nourish a healthy eating habit with a well balanced diet is the first step in the right direction towards attaining a wholesome life. Mr. Wong has thus recommended a simple and richly nutritional menu for your enjoyment as detailed below.

Menu 1
Breakfast: 1 glass of skimmed milk + 1 glass of all bran cereal.
Lunch: 2 slices of whole wheat bread + 1 boiled egg + half a tomato + 2 bowls of boiled vegetables.
Afternoon Tea: 6 pitted prunes cubes.
Dinner: 3/4 bowl of coarse rice + sautéed salmon steak (3 in long) + 1 bowl of boiled broccoli + 1 small apple.
Menu 2
Breakfast: 1 glass of skimmed milk + 4 spoonfuls of porridge.
Lunch: 1/2 a bowl of coarse rice + 2 bowls of celery + 2 chicken fillets.
Afternoon Tea: 6 dried prune cubes.
Dinner: 3/4 bowl coarse rice + fried mixed mushroom with lean pork (recipe: 1 bowl of mixed mushroom + 4 or 5 slices of fish plates + 1 small orange)
Remark: Use lean pork to reduce assimilation of fat.
Menu 3
Breakfast: 1 glass of skimmed milk + 4 spoonful of porridge.
Lunch: 1/3 can of tomato beans + 2 slices of whole wheat bread + 2 bowls of boiled vegetables.
Afternoon Tea: 6 cubes of dried prunes.
Dinner: 3/4 bowl of coarse rice + fried mixed vegetables with chicken fillet (Recipe: 2 bowls of celery + 1 bowl of western chilly threads + 1/3 bowl of chicken fillet + 1 plum.

Nutritional Snack

Taking complementary snack in between normal meals may replenish calories, water or even consumed nutrients if pursued properly.

6 glasses of papaya bean milk
Recipe: papaya (500 gram), Pure bean milk (1 liter), Chilled water (200 milliliter)


1. Peeled papaya cubes readily available
2. Churned well a mixture of pure bean milk +papaya cubes +chilled water for about 3 minutes before serving.


Speaker’s Profile:
Mr. Wong Chi-wing is a dietician of Hong Kong Adventist Hospital. He studied food and nutrition in the United States and received professional training in cardiology and diabetes in a number of hospitals in California. Mr. Wong was registered as a qualified dietitian in the United States of America.

In 2003, Mr. Wong received cancer training in the Medical Center of the SF California University, which is one of the ten biggest hospitals in the United States. At present, Mr. Wong is a Member of Nutrition Society of the United States. He is also a Member of the Hong Kong Nutrition Association Limited and was the vice chairmanship of the Association from 2002-2003.