Can I Lower My Risk Of Developing Breast Cancer?
While there is no sure way of preventing breast cancer, there are things you can do to possibly mitigate your risk through lifestyle choices. With breast cancer claiming more than 40,000 women in the United States each year, taking steps towards prevention is key – especially if you believe you are at increased risk.
With this in mind, the American Cancer Society recommends the following steps:
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Increased body weight and weight gain have been linked with a higher risk of breast cancer after menopause. Therefore, maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet paired with exercise may help remove one of the factors that can heighten your risk of breast cancer.
Stay Active Each Week
Physical activity is important for a plethora of health reasons, including breast cancer prevention. Numerous studies show that moderate to vigorous physical activity may lower breast cancer risk. This means at least 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous activity or 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each week, the American Cancer Society recommends.
Curb Your Cocktails
Even low levels of alcohol have been linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer. While it is recommended not to drink daily, a simple rule of thumb is to keep to one alcoholic drink per day. This can be a 12-ounce beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.
Keep Your Diet High In Greens
While the link between daily diet and breast cancer is actively being researched, past studies suggest a diet that is full of vegetables, fruit, and calcium-rich dairy products with a low intake of red and processed meats – is optimal for possibly lowering one’s risk of breast cancer. It remains unclear which exact vegetables and fruits are best.
Find Out Your Possible Risk
The simple act of knowing if you are at heightened risk of developing breast cancer due to strong family history or a possible gene mutation is vital. For women who find they are at higher risk, the American Cancer Society recommends a few additional measures to possibly help lower your risk or detect it early. This can include genetic counseling, medicines to lower breast cancer, or preventative surgery.
If you are unsure about where to begin, your health care provider can help you determine your risk as well as available options. For more tips on how one may lower their risk of breast cancer, click here.