Breast cancer has become one of the scariest medical condition known to the female gender. It is also the most common cancer among women. Once diagnosed, breast cancer is rather treatable and patients usually become cancer-free, living a long and healthy life. However, there are some controversies around the role an early diagnosis or screening play in the survival of breast cancer patients. But this is not the subject of this blog, the focus is to prevent the occurrence of the disease. While it is true that some people are more susceptible to this disease, due to genetic transference, certain lifestyle changes can contribute to breast cancer prevention.
Lifestyle Changes for Breast Cancer Prevention
Prevention, they say is better than cure. In order to prevent breast cancer, it is important to know what causes the condition and avoid them. Here are some factors as well as preventive methods for breast cancer.
It has been shown that the greater the alcohol intake, the greater the risk to develop the breast cancer. General recommendation is to limit the alcohol intake to less than one drink/glass per day. I would say one should just stay away from it because even small amounts of alcohol may increase the risk.
The link between the smoking and the breast cancer risk has been proved in several studies, especially in the cases of pre-menopausal women. According to WHO, tobacco use is the cause of about 22% of cancer deaths. To lower the risk of breast cancer and improve your general well-being, avoid both primary and secondary smoking.
Diet and Weight control
Unfortunately, obesity increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if such weight gain occurs after menopause, due to changes in body metabolism. This increase in weight is usually caused by over-nutrition (eating too much), so it is important to keep the size and frequency of eating minimal. A healthy diet also contributes to lower the risk of breast cancer. Some foods have been linked to increasing the risk (e.g. red and processed meat) while some have been recommended to reduce the risk. Generally, it is better to better to cut down on the calories, processed foods and foods cooked at very high temperature, replacing them with fresher and healthier alternatives, including fruits and vegetables.
Stay fit and physically active
Physical activity helps in maintaining the weight and metabolism, which in turn prevents the breast cancer risk. It is recommended to engage in physical activities at least 150 minutes per week. This includes moderate and vigorous aerobic activity. As an alternative, 30 minutes of walk per day can be quite beneficial when it comes to lowering the breast cancer risk.
Limit the hormone therapy
Hormone therapy which lasts for more than three to five years can vastly increase the risk of the breast cancer. You should talk to your doctor about the other alternatives if you are taking any form of hormone therapy.
Be aware of environmental pollution and radiation
Environmental conditions may increase the risk for the breast cancer, so you should be aware whether you’re living in such environment or not.
In all, healthy diet is essential for lowering the chances of breast cancer. Such diet can benefit your health in general, lowering the risk for other diseases such as diabetes, stroke and heart disease. One of the most beneficial diets is surely a Mediterranean diet which includes mixed nuts and olive oil, both of which reduce the breast cancer risk. This type of diet focuses on whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes. If you are a meat lover, you should limit your intake of red meat, but increase the intake of the fish which has healthy fats.
Regular check-ups go a long way to ensure early detection which also increases the chances of a successful treatment. At least once a year, women should go and check their breasts with modern screening techniques. As the age of a woman increases, the check-up should be more regular. Self-examination also helps.