Here are 5 tips to reduce breast cancer risk while living your normal life. Approximately one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lifetime, and it is estimated that close to a quarter of a million cases are diagnosed each year. While there may be no definite way to prevent breast cancer and there are some risk factors that are beyond your control, there are plenty of things that you can do to decrease your risk.
5 Tips to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Several studies have shown a link between exercise and a decreased risk for breast cancer. Humans evolved to live active lives and it is only in our very recent history where the sedentary lifestyle has become more common. Physical activity and exercise are important for overall health and regular exercise can help the body to regulate certain hormone levels. As little as an hour and a half spent each week walking can make a significant difference, but the CDC recommends about 150 minutes of moderate exercise.
Your diet is another factor that can help to reduce the risk of breast cancer. When it comes to a diet that will help you to reduce the risk of breast cancer, it is much more about what not to eat than it is about what you should eat. When it comes to the foods that you should eat, it is generally about having a diet that is all around healthy. You want to make sure that you get enough fruits and vegetables and a diet that is nutrient rich. You also want to avoid eating things like red meat, processed foods and high-fat dairy.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight can increase a person’s health risk in any number of ways. For the risk of breast cancer, being overweight has been identified as a risk factor and this is especially true for women that are getting into middle and advanced ages. If you are already at a healthy weight, then you want to work to maintain this weight and if you are overweight, you should try to do what you can to get closer to a healthy weight. Even if you cannot get to your ideal weight, the loss of even a few pounds can make a difference when it comes to reducing risk.
For breast cancer prevention and general health, you want to try to live as healthy of a lifestyle as you possibly can. If you drink alcohol, limit yourself to at most one drink per day. Regular alcohol consumption has been shown to increase the risk for breast cancer and it does not even take an excessive amount of drinking for it to have an impact. Smoking is another behavior that obviously should be avoided. Smoking increases the risk for several types of cancer and breast cancer is among them. Finally, you want to avoid spending too much time just sitting or laying around. As mentioned above, exercise is important, but you also want to avoid spending too much time where you are doing absolutely nothing. Of course, it is fine to spend time relaxing after a hard day, but studies have shown that women who spend several hours of their free time sitting are at an increased risk for breast cancer.
Environmental and other factors
In life, there are a lot of situations where a person can be exposed to conditions that may increase their risk for breast cancer. You should avoid exposure to any carcinogenic chemicals and radiation. When it comes to substances that have are known to contribute to the risk of cancer, there are several. To find out more about common carcinogens and their risk, the CDC has some of the best resources including a list of known carcinogens and some facts about them. For radiation, you want to limit the frequency with which you are exposed to different types of medical imaging. Sometimes these different forms of imaging are necessary, but you only want to expose yourself to them if the need is really there.
Genetics is one of the major factors that will determine how likely a person is to get breast cancer, and this is a risk factor that is beyond your control. However, you can make the best of things and do everything that you can to decrease the possibility that you will get cancer. By putting some effort into living healthy, avoid things that can increase risk and focus on these 5 tips to reduce breast cancer risk then you can make a significant difference. All of this being said, you still want to get regular breast cancer screenings and be aware of the different warning signs.