• by: Fondazione Valter Longo Onlus
  • October 19th, 2021

Breast cancer mortality seems to have decreased in recent years, mainly due to the lower incidence of more aggressive forms, for example cancers that are not hormone receptor-positive and therefore are not receptive to hormonal treatment (Hormone Receptor, HR-negative). Nevertheless, on the other hand, cases of hormone-dependent (HR-positive) breast cancer are increasingly common. This is mainly due to the general increase in overweight and the decrease in fertility rate (fewer children are conceived and they are conceived later in life). In addition to these risk factors, aging population also plays a significant role, emphasizing once more the importance of prevention with regards to aging. Slowing down senescence by activating anti-aging strategies can delay, and potentially avoid, the development of various cancers.

It is however a fact that, every year in Italy, about 55,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, making it constitute about one third (30.3%) of all female cancers. This same percentage is reflected in the number of such cases followed at the Longevity and Healthspan Clinics at Fondazione Valter Longo in Italy and at the Create Cures Foundation in the US. The experience with these patients has also contributed to Professor Longo’s new book Fasting Cancer. Nutritionists and oncologists at the Foundations collaborate with the patients’ oncologists to integrate standard anti-cancer therapy with innovative interventions focused on nutrition and the molecular biology of the cancer, as well as encouraging the immune system’s surveillance of cancer.


What to do after a diagnosis of breast cancer, from a dietary and lifestyle point of view?If there has been a diagnosis of breast cancer, it is essential to achieve and maintain a normal body weight, through a healthy diet and an active lifestyle, in order to avoid the accumulation of fat mass and preserve lean mass. In general, a healthy and balanced diet includes 1) large consumption of vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, 2) moderate consumption of fish and fruit, while 3) alcohol, sugars, and saturated fats should be limited.In addition to these changes from a dietary point of view, physical activity, carried out according to one’s fitness level, is also highly recommended. International guidelines encourage a weekly average of 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of strenuous activity. For patients undergoing chemotherapy or hormonal therapy, exercise sessions aimed at increasing muscle strength seem to also give excellent results.In general, a sedentary lifestyle should be avoided whenever possible, especially for overweight or obese patients who could benefit from healthy weight loss.The Foundations are actively committed to constantly supporting the fight against breast cancer through nutritional assistance programs based on the Longevity Diet, a powerful tool for preventing or slowing down the onset of tumors, especially breast cancer. An integrated approach through targeted multidisciplinary interventions can lead to a substantial reduction in cancer incidence, allowing for improvement in the management of symptoms and supporting drug therapy, by reducing its side effects.



  1. Associazione Italiana Registri Tumori
  2. Fondazione AIOM “I numeri del cancro in Italia 2020”
  3. Limon-Miro, Ana Teresa & Lopez-Teros, Veronica & García, Humberto “Dietary Guidelines for Breast Cancer Patients: A Critical Review” (2017) Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal; 8. 613-623. 10.3945/an.116.014423.
  4. Lyman GH, Bohlke K, Cohen L. “Integrative Therapies During and After Breast Cancer Treatment: ASCO Endorsement of the SIO Clinical Practice Guideline Summary” (2018) J Oncol Pract.;14(8):495-499. doi:10.1200/JOP.18.00283


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