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Simple supplement could help breast cancer patients

Vitamin D may increase breast cancer survival.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — We've heard for years that diet can help reduce your chances of getting cancer. Now it may help you survive cancer.

A new study found that having higher levels of Vitamin D may help the odds of surviving breast cancer. 

Emily Mathew, a nurse practitioner with Metro Health, works with cancer patients on their post-cancer diet and nutrition. She says the results of the study are encouraging. 

"There's been a lot of research done as far as Vitamin D supplementation supporting immune health, bone health, cardiovascular health so it's great to see something come out for the breast cancer population," said Mathew.

Mathew encourages women to have their Vitamin D levels checked every year to make sure they are in the healthy range. The National Institutes of Health says a range from 30 to 50 ng/ml is considered healthy.

Here are Mathews' three takeaways: 

  1. Get your yearly physical with your primary care doctor with or without a breast cancer diagnosis.
  2. Talk to your oncologist about increasing your Vitamin D levels.
  3. Make sure you get your annual mammogram. 

If you would like to continue the conversation about Vitamin D and breast cancer or other breast cancer topics, like our 13 Friends For Life Facebook page.

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