Each year, more than a quarter of a million Americans are diagnosed with breast cancer. This is the second most common form of cancer for women in the United States. Unfortunately, it is not possible to completely prevent breast cancer. But, there are established risk factors, like weight and physical activity, that can be managed. This suggests that by making changes to one's lifestyle, the risk of breast cancer can be decreased.
Exercise regularly. Studies have demonstrated that physical activity can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Additionally, it is beneficial for keeping a healthy weight, as well as improving muscle and heart strength for an improved overall health.
Aim to get 30 minutes of physical activity each day. It is recommended that grownups plan to do either 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity on a weekly basis. If you're not used to being active, don't feel intimidated to begin with longer physical activities. Smaller exercises, such as taking a walk in the evenings, can be a great way to start forming good fitness habits.
Keeping a healthy weight is essential to avoiding the risk of breast cancer. Research has indicated that obesity not only increases risk, but can also worsen prognoses for those who have already been diagnosed. Physical activity and healthy eating are great strategies to help you reach your weight loss goals.
Maintaining a nutritious diet is more than just for weight control. Studies suggest that certain foods can help you reduce your risk of breast cancer. These are: whole grains, plant-based proteins such as nuts and seeds, high fiber foods, leafy greens, fruits, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.
Studies have demonstrated a strong association between smoking and an increased likelihood of cancer, including breast cancer. Quitting smoking, if you are a smoker, can help decrease your risk.
It is a known fact that alcohol consumption leads to an increased risk of breast cancer, with those having 2 to 3 drinks per day having a higher chance than those who don’t. To reduce the risk of breast cancer, medical professionals propose that people should have no more than 1 drink daily.
Breastfeeding has a protective influence; research has shown that it could potentially reduce the likelihood of developing breast cancer, potentially because of a decrease in menstrual cycles. Although not everyone is able to breastfeed, it could still be beneficial in terms of lowering the risk of breast cancer.
It is essential to be familiar with your family's medical history when assessing breast cancer risk. Look into whether any of your loved ones have had breast cancer or any other type of cancer, including your parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. It can be useful to get tested for any inherited changes to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. Consulting your doctor about this is the first step in formulating a prevention plan. Your doctor can suggest screenings, lifestyle changes, and more, to assist in decreasing your risk.
It is important to regularly follow the screening guidelines to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Mammograms are a great tool to detect any abnormalities in breast tissue, and can spot cancer before any symptoms show up. The American Cancer Society advises women at high risk to talk to their doctor about the frequency of screenings, as well as recommending annual mammograms for women aged 40 and older, and every two years for those aged 55 and over, as long as they remain healthy.