Women are terrified even to read those words ” breast cancer” and it is obvious. Breast cancer is very common but still many women do not realize adopting healthy lifestyles to keep it far away from them. The American Cancer Society estimates that 252,710 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed, and 40,610 women will die from the disease in 2017.
Regular screening is believed to be the most effective method to reduce breast cancer deaths. However, experts argue who should be screened, how often and at what ages. There are still something women can do on their own to lower the risk of getting breast cancer. Here are few steps to get along with to reduce the risk of getting the disease.
Give up smoking
One of the most important steps is to quit smoking. A decades long study conducted among 102,098 women in Norway and Sweden revealed that smokers who smoked 10 or more cigarettes a day for 20 or more years had a third higher risk of getting invasive breast cancer than non smokers. Similarly, girls who started to smoke before age 15 were nearly 50 percent more likely to develop breast cancer.
Quitting smoking do not only decreases the chance of breast cancer but also reduces the probability of acquiring different other health ailments such as, heart diseases, stroke, lung cancer.
The higher the body mass index, or B.M.I, the more risk of developing breast cancer, especially if a woman carries much weight around her waist. Abdominal fat is particularly metabolically active, producing growth factors and hormones, including estrogen, that can stimulate the growth of breast cancer cells.
Experts believe that the single most important thing women can do to lessen the risk of breast cancer is to avoid weight gain in adult life.
Alcoholism is the third factor related to risk of breast cancer. Women who consume 2 to 5 drinks daily are 40 percent more likely to get breast cancer than non drinkers. However, just 1 drink a day can raise a woman’s cancer risk by about 7 percent.
Alcohol alters the level of sex hormones which increase cancer risk in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. Alcohol consumption equivalent of 3 or 4 drinks a week by women already undergoing breast cancer treatment increases the risk of a recurrence, especially for postmenopausal and overweight or obese women. However, occasional drinking is not likely to cause a problem.
A healthy diet can help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Consuming fiber rich vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and minimizing red meat, rich in saturated fats, and sugar sweetened foods and drinks lessen the chances of breast cancer.
A recent analysis of 15 prospective studies revealed the lowest risk of breast cancer among women who consumed large amount of fruits and vegetables. The diet and breast cancer association was found for women who ate lots of fruits and vegetables early in life and continued to do so as adults but not in women who changed their diet after acquiring the disease.
Along with protection against many other chronic ailments, physical exercise also cut the risk of developing breast cancer and its prompt recovery if already occurred. Physical activity also help women to achieve and maintain healthy body weight.
Physically active women are found to have lower risk of getting breast cancer and lower mortality if they get it. Activities such as, brisk walking are effective, if done for an hour a day or at least 30 minute a day is better than none. Regular exercise is also one of the methods to maintain healthy body weight.