It is a fact that you are not capable of avoiding all the risks of breast cancer, for example family history of breast cancer or simply aging. However, there are some risk factors that you can take advantage of and control. Although having a family history may increase your risk, it is shown the 8 out of 10 women who are diagnosed have no prior family history for it. There are no sure ways to prevent breast cancer as a whole, but there are ways you can reduce your risk of whether you have family history or not. Here are five different ways to help protect your breast health.
1. Watch your weight.
Being overweight can affect a lot of things and will most certainly increase your risk for breast cancer. Also, if you are overweight after menopause, your risk slightly increases because most of the estrogen in a woman’s body comes from fat tissue. With your estrogen levels raised this causes your breast cancer risk to increase. Also more weight means higher insulin levels which has been linked to many different cancers including breast cancer. If you are already a healthy weight please stay there, and if your carrying a little extra weight lose it as there is evidence that losing weight reduces your risk.
2. Exercise regularly.
This can also be linked to watching your weight as exercise is one of the main things that people do to lose weight. Many studies have found that exercise is a breast-healthy habit. The American Cancer Society recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week. It is very important that you don’t cram it all into a single workout work smart and spread it out throughout the week.
3. Limit time spent sitting.
I know that it mean seem crazy but something as simple as not sitting for an longer extended period of time can reduce your risk of getting cancer by 10 percent. In an American Cancer Society study, women who spent 6 hours or more each a day sitting when not working had a 10% greater risk for invasive breast cancer compared with women who sat less than 3 hours a day, and an increased risk for other cancer types as well.
4. Limit alcohol.
Excessive drinking not only increases your risk of getting breast cancer, but it also increases your risk of developing different types of cancers as well. Women who have one drink a day have very small increase in risk, and research shows that women who have 2 to 3 alcohol drinks a day have about a 20% higher risk compared to women who don’t drink at all. It is best that you don’t drink at all but if you do you should limit that to one drink daily.
5. Avoid or limit hormone replacement therapy.
Researchers now know that postmenopausal women who take a combination of estrogen and progestin may be more likely to develop breast cancer. This replacement therapy was used in the past to control night sweats, hot flashes, and other symptoms.
It is best that you talk with your doctor about all the options to control your menopause symptoms, and the risks and benefits of each. Stay in shape, limit your time that you spend sitting around, limit your alcohol intake, and avoid HRT and your well on your way to reducing your risk for breast cancer.