Some risk factors, such as genetics, can not be changed, but there are lifestyle changes that can reduce risk of breast cancer. Although breast cancer mortality rates are declining, it remains the second leading cause of cancer death for women.
Prevention of breast cancer begins with a healthy lifestyle, such as limiting tobacco and staying physically active. Early detection is also a key element in prevention.
Understanding what you can do to reduce your risk of breast cancer will help prevent it.
The Things That Can Help You Prevent Breast Cancer
1. Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight may increase the risk of many cancers, including breast cancer, especially after menopause. At menopause, being overweight increases the risk of breast cancer by 30-60%.
2. Know your family history
Having close relatives who developed breast cancer increases the risk.
If your mother or sister had or had breast or ovarian cancer (especially at an early age), or if any family member (including men) developed breast, ovarian, or prostate cancer, Take preventive measures.
3. Breast self examination
It is very important that you become familiar with your breasts and perform self exams periodically, especially if you are over 30 years old and / or have a family history of breast cancer.
Any change in the shape, size, or texture of the skin may be an indication, along with the appearance of lumps or skin rashes.
You can find out how to do a breast self-exploration here.
4. Get regular mammograms after age 40
Although there is some controversy, studies show that screening for breast cancer with mammography saves lives. It does not help prevent cancer, but it can help detect cancer early, when it is most treatable.
For most women, regular mammograms can begin at age 40, but specific recommendations vary by age and risk.
5. Avoid alcohol and tobacco
The more alcohol you drink, the greater the risk of developing breast cancer. While the glass of red wine may even be beneficial, excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. There is a clear link between smoking and breast cancer risk, especially in premenopausal women.
6. Exercise regularly
Women who are physically active, and exercise at least 30 minutes a day, have a lower risk of breast cancer. Regular exercise is also one of the best ways to help keep weight under control.
7. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains
Eating a well-balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and nutrient-rich foods is essential to health.
Be sure to incorporate foods rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants into your diet, and reduce the amount of processed sugars and simple carbohydrates.
8. Breastfeed your babies as long as possible
Breastfeeding is not only good for your baby, it is also good for you.
Breastfeeding is estimated to reduce breast cancer risk by 4.1% for every 12 months of breastfeeding. So the longer you are with breastfeeding, the better for your health.
This seems to be related to the fact that during breastfeeding, estrogen levels are lower, which reduces the risk. The estrogen hormone is the “fuel” of 80% of all breast cancers.
9. Avoid harmful chemicals
There are many dangerous and toxic substances in some of the products of hygiene and beauty that we use every day.
Although much research is still needed on this subject, it seems that some of these products are being linked to an increased risk of health problems and cancers.
One of these products are parabens. Parabens are one of the most common preservatives we see in products like deodorants, shampoos and body lotions.