In October, we hear all about Breast Cancer "Awareness," mammograms, treatments, etc. I would like to turn your attention to PREVENTION! There are things we can do in our daily lives that significantly reduce our risk of developing cancer in the first place.
Every day, our body is fighting oxidative stress, mutated cells and cancer formation. If you are treating yourself right everyday, you can prevent these from turning into a diagnosable cancer. Start with these top 5 ways. Then check out my next blog post where I will outline specific foods known to fight breast cancer.
1. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight or body fat percent.
Women at normal weight are less likely to develop breast cancer. This is especially true for post-menopausal women. Post menopause, when the ovaries no longer make estrogen, the only source of estrogen is fat tissue. It contains the enzyme aromatase that converts adrenal hormones into estrogen. Estrogen promotes breast cancer cell growth, and the more fat tissue there is, the more potential for estrogen production there is.
2. Drink alcohol in moderation or not at all.
Consuming just 3 alcoholic drinks per week increases your risk by 15%, and each additional drink increases your risk 10% more. Research has shown time and again that drinking alcohol increases a woman’s risk for breast cancer, particularly hormone receptor positive breast cancer.
3. Be active throughout each day.
Dozens of research studies have shown that exercising daily reduces breast cancer risk by 30-40%. A daily walk, or more vigorous exercise, can play a key role in lowering estrogen levels., thereby reducing risk.
4. Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables every day.
Fruits and vegetables, such as broccoli, garlic and berries, contain potent phytochemicals that serve to prevent the initiation of cancer, DNA damage, cancer cell growth, and creation of a blood supply for a tumor.
New disease fighting and antioxidant phytochemicals are discovered each year. These potent compounds found in plant based foods provide your body with the arsenal of tools necessary for healing the damage that can occur each day. Your body cannot make these on its own, and they are only found in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
5. Breastfeed your babies.
For individuals in the child-bearing stage of life, choosing to breast feed your babies significantly lowers your risk of developing breast cancer. The longer you breastfeed, the better as it also lowers your lifetime estrogen exposure.
I hope this information helps you feel empowered to take control of your health. Start doing something now! Pick a tip from above and decide what you can improve upon in the coming week. Move into action and take control of your health destiny! You are totally worth it.