Breast cancer was the number one killer for women after heart disease and lung cancer, but gladly modern research, awareness, early detection and treatment is helping women in living a healthy and fulfilling life without any fear. It is good to know that fewer women now get breast cancer and even fewer die from it, just like all other cancers living a healthy life can help reduce the risk of this cancer to a great extent. Here are a few ways you can slash your risk of getting breast cancer by following up a healthy lifestyle and being more proactive.
- Regular exercise can help you in many ways, obese women have a higher rate of developing breast cancer, so work your way out of it. The extra fat in your body may produce estrogen, estrogen surge can stimulate breast cancer and tumor growth. You can slash your risk by walking 30 minutes everyday 5 days a week.
- It is a common myth that breast cancer is purely out of hereditary reasons, but not always, 5-10% of breast cancer is hereditary, and if a first degree relative has had it, your risk doubles. You may carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 (mutated genes that up your risk for breast and ovarian cancer) from both your maternal and paternal family. Consider genetic counseling if you have first degree relatives with breast cancer.
- Breast feeding your babies lowers the risk, there is significant evidence that shows breast feeding can lower the risk of getting cancer up to 10-15%, it is always worth taking the effort, as breast milk is the best nutrition for your baby.
- The risk increases with age, it is important to get a checkup or mammogram after the menopause generally age 45, mammograms are generally recommended every 2 years between the ages of 40 and 50, and every year after the age 60. Remember, early detection is the key.
- Eat foods rich in antioxidants, such as fruits and nuts, whole grains and leafy greens. Brightly colored veggies like carrots and bell peppers have been proved to be protective against breast cancer and many other types of cancers.
- Cut your risk by restricting alcohol and not smoking, alcohol doubles the risk of getting breast cancer compared to someone who doesn’t drink at all.
- Minimize your exposure to radiation, try limiting x-ray exposure, and do not go for mammograms very early in age.
- Using antiperspirants doesn’t cause breast cancer, parabens have been shown to have very weak estrogen mimicking ability, but if you are concerned anyway, try using natural antiperspirants.