Breast cancer is a scary thing. Luckily, treatments have improved and there are ways to lower your risk of getting breast cancer. This might not help everyone but there are factors that you can take into consideration.
Here are a few ways in which you can lower your risks:
Exercise – Exercise is a way to help keep your body healthy. By exercising you can lose weight and lower the risk of many diseases. Exercising has many positive effects towards your body, it improves your heart and lung efficiency. Studies have shown that women who exercise daily have a 30 to 40 percent lower risk of breast cancer. This is because exercise seems to have an effect on women’s estrogen metabolism, leveraging the anti-cancer benefits of working out.
Family History – If you know your family history, you are already one step ahead. If your family has a history of cancer there are higher chances that you might also get it. Talk to your doctor and tell them about your family history, he or she can help you take special precautions to help prevent it, or at least catch it early while it’s still easily treatable.
Breastfeed – Breastfeeding does more than just give your baby healthy benefits. Studies have shown that women who breastfeed have a 10% reduced risk of death from breast cancer. While breastfeeding, women don’t menstruate, which lowers the amount of estrogen in their body. Higher estrogen levels are one of the factors that promote breast cancer cell growth.
Eating Healthy – The things you eat can lower your risk of breast cancer. Those who eat diets rich in carotenoids, which are found in fruits and vegetables, have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. The antioxidants and the compound phytochemicals in plants have a special power against cell damages that can cause cancer.
Mammograms – It’s important for women to get their screening done when needed. Mammograms don’t prevent cancer but if you were to have it, this machine can help you find it early. Mammograms can show lumps in the breast for up to two years before a woman can actually feel them.
Limit alcohol – The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer, along with other forms of cancer and systemic ailments. Limit yourself to no more than one drink a day, as even small amounts increase risk. Recent research suggests there is no amount of alcohol intake considered ‘safe’.
Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy – Combination hormone therapy may increase the risk of breast cancer. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of hormone therapy. You might be able to manage your symptoms with nonhormonal therapies and medications. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you and continue to have your doctor monitor the length of time you’re taking hormones (1)
Be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Also, ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screenings based on your personal history.