As National Breast Cancer Awareness Month approaches, many women are reminded of helpful ways they can work towards prevention. Every woman wants to know how to reduce their risk of breast cancer and while there are a number of factors that can contribute to your level of risk, there are preventive methods that you can implement to your lifestyle.
Maintaining an active lifestyle is an important step to breast cancer prevention. Research has suggested that women who increase their physical activity reduce the risk of cancer between 10 -30 percent. Adding a brisk 30 minute walk to your daily routine is all you need to get started.
Research shows women who participate in regular to long-term smoking may have an increased risk of breast cancer. Inhaling particulates from combustible ingestants is not good for the body. Tar and smoke can coat and damage the lungs and throat. This has been proven to raise the risk of breast cancer in women. If you are currently smoking, consider resources available to help you break the habit.
A healthy diet offers beneficial nutrients found in vegetables and fruits. This will not only boost a number of antioxidants your body, it will help you maintain your weight. It is important to limit the amount of refined carbohydrates that you consume and stick to healthy fats like those in avocados. Lean proteins like fish and chicken are also beneficial to healthy cells in the body that can fight cancer.
Watch Your Weight
Obesity makes our bodies more susceptible to illness and health-related issues. Research has shown that the risk of cancer increases significantly in obese women post menopause. Cancer most often develops for women during this stage of life and keeping your weight in control can greatly improve your odds. Aim to maintain a body-mass index that is below 25.
Minimize Alcohol Intake
Alcohol has been shown to raise the risk of estrogen-receptor positive and hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers. Excessive drinking has also shown to damage DNA and the cells that work to fix the body. Regardless of alcohol type, it’s important to limit intake to no more than one alcoholic beverage per day. A glass of red wine is terrific because it provides antioxidants which also benefit the body’s anti-cancer properties. More than one drink per day has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer by up to 20%.
Take Part in a Study
Many cancer research companies are looking at ways cancer forms and their causes. Identifying risk factors that lead to cancer means they have a lot of studies going on at all times. A few of these studies are for women who have not been diagnosed with cancer yet but may have markers that make them more likely to develop the disease. If you’re interested in participating in a breast cancer study and know that you have elevated risks of developing the disease, then you should reach out to these organizations. Ask what trials they’re currently conducting, you never know what may be the breakthrough needed to end breast cancer once and for all.
Consider Estrogen Blockers
Estrogen-blocking drugs assist postmenopausal women from developing breast cancer. These were created for individuals with high-risk factors and family histories. Certain forms of breast cancer rely on estrogen to enter the body and develop. These drugs block estrogen-receptor positive breasts cancers from forming and spreading. The FDA has approved two estrogen-blocking drugs for the market: Tamoxifen is used to attack precancerous cells from clumping and attacking the body and Raloxifene is primarily used in women who are menopausal and postmenopausal.
Women who are premenopausal and breastfeed have a lower risk of developing breast cancer than those that don’t breastfeed. These studies found that women who breastfeed for a lifetime total of over two years time had significant reductions in breast cancer formation. It not only gives your baby a healthy start to their lives but can be a lifesaver for you down the road.
How can raising breast cancer awareness prevent breast cancer? It can’t, but the money raised at fundraisers, walks and charity drives are fundamental in providing funding for organizations that are doing groundbreaking work in the industry. Participating in a walk, for instance, will keep you physically active and fit while also raising money for breast cancer charities.
Many women worry about breast cancer with good reason. It’s a scary disease that takes too many lives. Fantastic work is being done and the goal of eliminating the disease entirely is within reach. It’s important that you learn about what you can do to prevent the disease and share that information with the world. Stay strong, be proactive, and fight for a cure.