Here Are What to Do To Prevent Breast Cancer

Breast cancer. Only hearing those words can make any women worry. And that’s natural.

If you're concerned about breast cancer, you might be wondering if there are steps you can take toward breast cancer prevention. Some risk factors, such as family history, can't be changed. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk. So, save yourself from breast cancer with these preventive tips:

Breastfeed
Breastfeeding for a total of one year or more (combined for all children) lowers the risk of breast cancer. It also has great health benefits for the child. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.

Don’t Smoke
Smokers and non-smokers alike know how unhealthy smoking is.  Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women. In addition, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.

Control Your Weight
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.

Be Physically Active
Exercise is as close to a silver bullet for good health as there is, and women who are physically active for at least 30 minutes a day have a lower risk of breast cancer. Physical activity is also one of the best ways to help keep weight in check.

Eat Fruits and Vegetables
A healthy diet can help lower the risk of breast cancer.  Try to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and keep alcohol at moderate levels or lower (a drink a day or under). 

Limit Alcohol
Studies have found evidence that links even lower levels of drinking alcohol to an increase in breast cancer risk. As little as 3 to 6 glasses of wine a week has been shown to slightly increase breast cancer risk. If you don’t drink, don’t feel you need to start.

Avoid Birth Control Pills
If you’re very concerned about breast cancer, avoiding birth control pills is one option to lower risk. While women are taking birth control pills, they have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. This risk goes away quickly, though, after stopping the pill.

Limit Sitting Time
Evidence is growing that sitting time, no matter how much exercise you get when you aren’t sitting, increases the likelihood of developing cancer, especially for women. In an American Cancer Society study, women who spent 6 hours or more a day sitting outside of work had a 10% greater risk for invasive breast cancer compared with women who sat less than 3 hours a day, and an increased risk for other cancer types as well.

Women with a strong family history of cancer can take special steps to protect themselves, so it’s important for women to know their family history. You may be at high risk of breast cancer if you have a mother or sister who developed breast or ovarian cancer (especially at an early age) or if you have multiple family members (including males) who developed breast, ovarian or prostate cancer. A doctor or genetic counselor can help you understand your family history of the disease.

photo: www.usnews.com

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