Breast cancer is a common cancer type that affects women worldwide, with an estimated one in eight women developing breast cancer in their lifetime. October is breast cancer awareness month, a perfect time to talk more about how to reduce the risk of breast cancer. While there are multiple factors that can cause breast cancer, lifestyle choices can significantly impact your risk. Maintaining a healthy diet is one of the simplest ways to lower the odds of developing breast cancer. In this blog post, we discuss the importance of how a healthy diet and lifestyle changes can help lower the odds in developing breast cancer.
Tips to Prevent Breast Cancer
According to BreastCancer.org, breast cancer is one of the leading causes of death among women in the United States. And yet, so many people wrongly assume that there is nothing they can do to lower their likelihood of developing it. Conscious steps can be taken to corral your risk factors and take charge of your health. At BrightStar Care, we provide helpful support services that can help you make healthy lifestyle changes. Here are a few tips on how to reduce risk of breast cancer and ensure an overall healthier lifestyle.
Research has found that alcohol consumption can increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. Drinking alcohol can raise estrogen levels, which can lead to the development of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. As little as one drink per day can increase the likelihood of breast cancer. Limiting alcohol consumption is an effortless way to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
Be Physically Active and Maintain a Healthy Weight
Leading a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to weight gain, which is a considerable risk factor for breast cancer. Obesity is a contributor to the development of breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women. Being physically active for at least 30 minutes per day can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Create a habit of performing physical activities such as brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or jogging. Remember to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercises.
Regular Check-Ups and Self Examinations
Breast cancer is a disease that can be managed better if detected early. Regular check-ups and mammograms are essential to detect and diagnose breast cancer in its early stages. Women over the age of 40 are advised to get regular mammograms every two years. Regular breast exams should be done by a physician so women can identify any lumps or changes in their breast that may be an early symptom of breast cancer. Monthly self-breast examinations between visits are also another way to determine if there are any changes that need to be discussed with your physician. Be aware of the warning signs of breast cancer to help with early detection.
De-stress and Relax
Stress is a silent killer, and it can cause multiple health conditions, including cancer. It weakens the body's immune system, affecting its ability to fight against cancer cells. To prevent stress or deal with it effectively, practice meditation, yoga, or other relaxing techniques that can help you remain stress-free and relaxed.
Foods to Eat for Breast Cancer Prevention
A healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as well as low in saturated fats, convenience foods, sugar, and processed meat can help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Consume more foods that contain nutrients that help to combat cancer such as fiber, folate, vitamin D, and vitamin C.
Here are some of the best foods that are recommended by Healthline and why they’re so beneficial:
Green Vegetables: Green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, kale, and cabbage are rich in antioxidants and essential nutrients like folate and vitamins C and K. These nutrients can help protect against cell damage that can lead to cancer development. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli also contain sulforaphane, which research suggests can help kill cancer cells and prevent their growth.
Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are high in vitamin C, which can help protect cells from DNA mutations that can lead to cancer. Additionally, citrus fruits are also rich in compounds called flavonoids, which have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
Fatty Fish: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Omega-3s can help decrease inflammation in the body and have been linked to a lower risk of cancer development.
Berries: Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are rich in antioxidants that can help protect cells from oxidative damage. Additionally, berries also contain compounds called ellagic acid and anthocyanins that have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
Fermented Foods: Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut are high in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can help protect against cancer. Probiotics can help improve gut health, which can strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation in the body.
Allium Vegetables: Allium vegetables like garlic and onions are rich in sulfur compounds that can help protect against cancer. These compounds can also help boost the immune system and have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
Fruits: Fruits like peaches, apples, and pears are high in flavonoids, which have been shown to help reduce the risk of cancer. Additionally, these fruits also contain fiber, which can help keep the digestive system healthy.
Beans: Beans like lentils, chickpeas, and black beans are high in fiber and protein and can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Some studies have even suggested that a high-fiber diet may help protect against breast cancer development.
Herbs and Spices: Herbs and spices like turmeric, ginger, and rosemary are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help protect against cancer development. Turmeric, in particular, contains a compound called curcumin, which has been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
BrightStar Care Can Help!
It is not only crucial for women who may develop breast cancer to reduce their risk, but it can also have a significant impact on their loved ones, making it a matter of great importance for everyone involved. A healthy lifestyle and balanced diet are key factors in lowering the number of breast cancer cases. These tips are crucial for reducing the risk of breast cancer development in our communities and taking control of our lives. If you are interested in obtaining more information regarding breast cancer, we suggest that you read up on the available breast cancer resources and educate yourself on the warning signs associated with this disease. Let's make a conscious effort to prioritize our health and live a healthy life, which can help reduce our chances of developing breast cancer.