Reduce Your Risk
Maintain a healthy weight
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, breast cancer is more likely if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
A diet encompassing vegetables, fruit, whole grains, poultry, fish, and low-fat dairy products has been linked with a lower risk of breast cancer in some studies. These foods are rich with nutrients, and they can help you maintain an ideal body weight.
Let’s hear it for physical activity! Years of medical studies have shown that women who walk about one hour per day had 14% less risk of developing breast cancer than those who walked less than 3 hours per week. A greater commitment to vigorous exercise can lessen the risk by 25%.
Drink alcohol in moderation
Studies show that alcohol consumption can lead to an increased risk of breast cancer. If you choose to drink alcohol, limit your intake to no more than one drink per day, whether it’s wine, beer or liquor.
Ongoing research suggests that long-term smoking is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in some women, particularly in premenopausal individuals. Bottom line: not smoking is one of life’s healthiest habits.
Breastfeed your baby
Breastfeeding interrupts ovulation and this lowers estrogen output. Women who breastfeed their babies for at least one year have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer later. Avoid or limit hormone replacement therapy. Findings from the Mayo Clinic indicate that combination hormone therapy for more than 3-5 years increases the risk of breast cancer. Women taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms should consider inquiring about options, or maintain the lowest effective dose.
Reduce stress and anxiety
While there’s no direct proof that stress and anxiety can increase the risk of breast cancer, research suggest that the regular practice of yoga, meditation or biofeedback to release stress can help strengthen the immune system and reduce the pressures of modern life.
Get more sleep
Treat your body to the restorative rest it requires. The hustle-bustle of our busy lives takes its toll. Most people function best with at least 7 hours of sleep a night. And there’s nothing more blissful than an occasional nap.