Although there is nothing that you can do to ensure that you absolutely do not get breast cancer, studies have reported there are some lifestyle choices that may help reduce breast cancer risk. These include:
Maintain a healthy weight – Body fat boost estrogen storage (fat is converted to estrogen), so the larger you are, the more circulating estrogen you’ll store, and the more you are at risk of breast cancer. Research shows that even losing a little as 5 percent of your weight or more (in overweight women) can lower breast cancer risk by 25 percent. The easiest way to do this is to eat healthy diets and stay physically active – vigorous cardio-exercises like jogging or speed-walking work best.
Eat high fibre diet – Foods that are high in fibre (fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grain) have a special role to play in reducing breast cancer risk. Though many theories have been propounded, one of them is that fibres help lower the blood sugar and keeping your blood sugar low can help lower the risk of breast cancer (and type 2 diabetes). After adjusting for other factors, diabetes is associated with a nearly 40 percent increased for breast cancer. High fibre diets also help prevent colon cancer by reducing the transit time of food in the intestine.
Do not smoke – Women who smoke increase their exposure to a toxic metal (Cadminium) which scientists have now found is directly linked o a higher risk of breast cancer. Women who smoke have a 16 to 40 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer. Exposure to Cadminium has also been linked to the risk of a woman’s unborn child developing breast cancer.
Turn off the light and sleep – Exposure to light at nighttime decreases the total amount of the hormone Melatonin in the body. This, in turn, appears to increase the risk of breast cancer by as mush as 3 to 6 percent. If you do work at nights, dim the lights, and get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
Limit alcohol consumption – Studies have found that women who consumed less than 1 drink a day had a 7 percent higher risk of developing breast cancer. Those who had 1 to 2 drinks a day had a 32 percent increased risk, while those who had 3 or more daily drinks had a 51 percent increased risk. The increased is the same no matter what type of alcohol (wine, beer, etc) a woman drank.
Stay outdoor – Vitamin D3 is an essential nutrient that can help prevent breast cancer. It has been found out that blood levels of between 40 to 50 nanograms per milliliter help protect against breast cancer. The human skin needs sunlight to manufacture vitamin D, so you should consider staying outdoor more. However, you should not overdo it as excessive exposure to sunlight is also dangerous – it increases the risk of skin cancer.
Examine your breast – A monthly Self Breast Examination makes you familiar with your own breasts and increases your likelihood of detecting an abnormality early. Breast cancer is 100 percent treatable if caught early; so if you find something in your breast that wasn’t there before, and it doesn’t go away in a few days, have it checked by your doctor. You should also consider going for yearly mammograms if you are 35 years and above.
Have kids – Starting a family sooner can drastically lower your risk of breast cancer. Women who had their first child before the age of 20 have half the risk of breast cancer compared to women who had their first child in their 30s. Additional pregnancies decrease the incidence of breast cancer eve further.
Protect yourself from radiation – There are radiations all around us – from cell phones, laptops, television, and other everyday high tech gadgets. Try to avoid them as much as possible to lower your risk of getting cancer and other types of cancer. Medical imaging methods, such as computerized tomography and x-ray, uses high doses of radiation, which has been linked with breast cancer risk. Reduce your exposure by have such tests when it is absolutely necessary.
Reduce dietary fat – Women following a low fat diet have been found to have 24 percent less risk of getting breast cancer. Trans fats may result in inflammation and in turn increase your risk of getting breast cancer. So, reduce the amount of unhealthy fat in your diet.
Breastfeed – Breastfeeding may play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast feed, the greater the protective effect.
Avoid exposure to environmental pollutions – Some research suggest a link between breast cancer and exposure to chemical found in some work places, gasoline fumes and vehicle exhaust. If you must work in high risk areas or with high risk chemicals, always use appropriate safety devices and protect yourself adequately.
Use hormonal therapy only when it is absolutely necessary – Combination hormone therapy for more than 3 to 5 years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you are taking hormonal therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other alternatives. You may be able manage your symptoms with non-hormonal therapies, such as physical activity. It is however of note that current evidences does not support an increase in breast cancer risk with birth controls pills.
Prevention is better than cure, so start cultivating these habits TODAY and live to enjoy your life in perfect health.