What should my diet be to reduce breast cancer recurrence?

What should my diet be to reduce breast cancer recurrence? (Lee Avison, GAP photos via Getty Images)

White and green teas are recommended because they contain antioxidants that may stave off breast cancer recurrence.

Whole soy, which mimics estrogen, can be eaten in moderation, Bontempo said, but processed soy is high in estrogen and should be avoided. For those being treated with tamoxifen, any soy can interfere with therapy, so consult with your doctor.

Vitamin D can directly or indirectly control carcinogenic genes in the body, studies show. Sun-dried tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms, egg yolk, fortified cow's milk, fortified soy milk and other foods contain high levels of vitamin D.

"Supplements and sunlight are also sources of vitamin D," said Bontempo, "but every breast cancer survivor should consult a physician before taking any supplement, because supplements are not FDA regulated and could contain harmful chemicals." Vitamin D, required for optimal calcium absorption, can also be found in spinach and white beans.

Water should be a survivor's go-to drink. It flushes toxins out of vital organs and carries nutrients to cells.

The good news

Most women today who are diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer can expect long-term survival, making the prevention and control of other diseases caused by unhealthy foods imperative. "Eating should not be a chore," Bontempo said, "and survivors need to learn to enjoy their food and choose indulgences wisely."

Find a dietitian

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers an online tool to find a dietitian near you who specializes in cancer. Visit eatright.org/programs/rdfinder/.

(It may take a minute to load because it's map-based.) Once there, enter your ZIP code, click on "Expertise Area" and select "Cancer/Oncology Nutrition."

The American Cancer Society offers free over-the-phone counseling on nutrition by registered dietitians specializing in oncology. Follow-up materials and support is also offered. Call 800-227-2345 for more information.