We should always be mindful of the things to do to prevent breast cancer as well as other illnesses. It’s estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer throughout the course of their lives. So with that said, let’s do our part to do what we can to reduce our risk of breast cancer and live the healthiest lives possible! Check out this list of 7 ways you can lower your risk of getting breast cancer.
1. Examine Yourself
One of the most important things to do to prevent breast cancer is to check up on your girls on a monthly basis. If you’re unsure on how to do a self-exam, check out this how-to guide from The National Breast Cancer Foundation at nationalbreastcancer.org . They state that 40% of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so learning how to do a self-exam is very important!
2. Limit Alcohol
Reducing your intake of alcohol is another thing you can do to help prevent breast cancer. While a cocktail now and then is just fine, excessive drinking has been shown to be linked to an increased risk of cancer. We might keep hearing how wine is good for us but don’t take that as a green light to overindulge! Alcohol raises the estrogen levels in our bodies, which is one of the risk factors for cancer, so keep your adult beverage intake to a minimum!
3. Stop Smoking
This particular way to prevent breast cancer might seem obvious but if you’re still lighting up, it’s another good reason to quit! Smoking is terrible for your health. The California EPA recently indicated that secondhand smoke is one of the causes for breast cancer, namely in younger women. Studies also show that smoking can increase the incidence of breast cancer in those who have a family history of the disease.
4. Exercise Regularly
Reduce your risk of breast cancer by getting your sweat on! Exercising regularly is not only great for your emotional well-being and maintaining a healthy weight, but it’s also an excellent way to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Being overweight and inactive has been shown to have twice the risk of women who were lean and active. The Women’s Health Initiative found that 1.25 to 2.5 hours per week can reduce a person’s risk of breast cancer by 18% and walking 10 hours a week reduced the risk a little more!
5. Be Aware
A beneficial thing you can do to help prevent breast cancer is to be aware of your risk. While there are certain factors that are out of our control, like aging and having a child after the age of 35, it’s still important to be informed. Take a look at Cancer.org for a list of risk factors for breast cancer so you can be aware of certain lifestyle changes you can make to stay healthy!
6. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Just like exercising is an important way to prevent breast cancer, so is maintaining a healthy weight! Fat cells can produce small amounts of estrogen, which can fuel certain types of cancer. Being mindful of what you eat by filling up on fresh fruits and vegetables containing carotenoids, monounsaturated fats like canola oil, and supplementing your diet with omega-3 fatty acids will all help you reduce your risk!
7. Stop Stressing
While it’s important to be aware of the things to do to prevent breast cancer, don’t obsess about it. There are people who have certain risk factors who never get the disease and others without any apparent risk who are diagnosed with it. Worrying excessively won’t help, so live a healthy lifestyle and make positive changes to your life to help decrease your risk!
There are many ways to be proactive about our health and many things to do to prevent breast cancer. Making helpful changes in your life like exercising and eating healthy on a regular basis will not only reduce your risk for the disease, but it will also help you to lead a healthier life overall! What steps do you take to prevent breast cancer and maintain your health?
Top Image Source: weheartit.com