Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in U.S. women, about one in 8 women have it. You may have known someone closely or remotely related to you who is dealing with the disease. However, don't be intimidated by the statistics, there are some effective steps that you can take to significantly reduce the risk of getting it. It may require some lifestyle changes, but it is surely worth it.
Stay at a healthy weight
Weight has been proven by scientists to be related to many diseases, among these is breast cancer. A study found that women gaining 21 to 30 pounds since age 18 were 40 percent more likely to have breast cancer than those who gained no more than 5 pounds. So be aware of your weight growth. you can put on weight without you even knowing it. It is never too late to take measures to lose weight, either by adjusting your eating habits or doing more exercise, or both.
Be physically active
It is a good way to keep your weight in check. compared to those who don't exercise at all, those who exercise for half an hour a day have an 18% lower risk of having breast cancer. It has become such a cliche to broadcast the benefits of doing sports, but we all know it is true. You should lead a more active life, especially for those who have a sedentary job spending long hours sitting and barely moving even after work. You will be surprised by how good you feel when you get moving. Don't forget to wear suitable sports bras to avoid hurting your breast tissues during the process.
Eat healthy food
Eating plays a huge part in our life. What kind of food to eat will have a big impact on our life. To stay away from breast cancer along with other many diseases, eat what the doctors recommend. More high-fiber vegetables and whole grains, less processed red meat, refined grains, and sugar-sweetened drinks.
For oil and fat, use more fish oils or omega-3 oil, and olive oil instead of animal oil.
Be cautious about your family history of cancer.
Be alarmed if some of your relatives from both your father and mother's sides have such types of cancers as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, or pancreatic cancer in women or men. It is better for you to seek advice from a genetic counselor to check and see if it is related to a certain type of gene mutation that passes along generations. We know that Hollywood star Julie made a tough decision to go through prophylactic double mastectomy after she learned that she carried the same mutated gene that runs in her family. You don't necessarily have to make the same choice, but it is better to know and take some preventive measures before it actually happens.
No alcohol and smoking.
It is better to not drink alcohol at all. It causes different types of cancers among many other diseases. But if you can't wean yourself off it, make sure it is no more than 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor a day.
Smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke in the long term is up to 40% more likely to develop breast cancer. Yet it is reversible, once you quit smoking, the likelihood will go back to that before you smoke.
Stay away from the carcinogens.
Reduce your exposure to insecticides or herbicides. Don't eat or eat less cancer-causing foods. Avoid unnecessary x-rays. Be aware of the harmful effect of the replacement therapy.
Although breast cancer is overall a common disease. I believe we can still cut our personal risk to the lowest level as long as we sustain a healthy lifestyle.