Breast cancer comprises up to one third of all cancer cases in women and it is believed to kill almost half a million people every year. Some lifestyle changes can go a long way to helping reduce the risk of a woman developing this common malignancy.
There is a direct correlation between the diet and the risk of development of breast cancer. Some foods contain carcinogenic chemicals and are best to avoided. Other foods contain protective chemicals. For example, the antioxidants found in raspberries and blackberries among many other foods are protective. Vegetables, fresh fruits and fiber are also recommended. They contain a variety of vitamins and minerals which the body needs.
Vitamins especially those that have antioxidant properties may decrease the chances of breast cancer development. Vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli contain these antioxidant proteins and other protective factors against malignancy. Fruits such as berries, bananas, oranges as well as apples and pears (including their peels) are also known to be protective. Eating whole meal grains such as oatmeal is also advocated for, while peas and lentils help.
Vitamin D has been specifically documented to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Basking in the sun or taking a vitamin D3 supplement may reduce your risk of breast cancer. In terms of carbohydrates, studies have been equivocal on their association with breast cancer but it’s recommended that the carbohydrates with a low glycemic index are better in terms of prevention.
Increased fat intake has been associated with a greater increase in breast cancer risk. Changing the fats a woman uses for cooking may also help reduce your risk. The recommended fats are polyunsaturated fats and omega 3 oils in the diet. For a diet to be rich in omega 3 fatty acids it should have such foods as salmon, sardines, walnuts, as well as oils from flaxseed and canola Avoid saturated fats and Trans fats and incorporate raw nuts and organic butter. Omega-6 fats are known to increase the risk and consumption of large amounts of these is advised against. Omega 6 fatty acids are found in oils form corn, peanut, soybean and sunflowers among others.
Reducing your consumption of sugar has been associated with a reduction in breast cancer risk. Sugar is a vital part of nutrition but its intake without moderations can increase the risk of breast cancer. The sugar you end up taking should mostly be brown sugar and not white refined sugar. Refined sugar is bleached with chlorine which is a carcinogenic compound. Its recommended sugar consumption is limited to about 6 tablespoonfuls a day.
Alcohol and smoking:
Alcohol and smoking cessation has been shown to have a significant reduction factor in breast cancer risk. Alcohol has been shown to be a significant factor in increasing the risk of breast cancer. Limiting the alcohol intake to one drink per day is recommended. It’s also thought that wine, especially red wine, may help in reducing risk of breast cancer and a glass a day may truly keep the doctor away. Smoking increases the oxidative stress in the body but its relation to breast cancer risk has been controversial
Staying clear of stress is usually a tough ask to follow, but it does help in bringing down the risk. Reducing exposure to known environmental toxins for example from paint fumes, household cleaners, insecticides, burning plastics and leather to cosmetics and toiletries should be considered. Try to cover you face while cleaning your house or dusting it. Use proper masks when painting your furniture or home. Paint fumes are not good for health. Try to keep away from insecticides and if you need them, apply proper measures to keep yourself safe from the fumes.
Exercise and physical activity improves bodily function and helps fight diseases and cancer. Losing weight is recommended. Plan and manage your diet to reduce the weight and find out time to do proper work out. Include exercise and jogging into your lifestyle. Obesity is a known risk factor for breast cancer due to the metabolic effects it has on the body. It is recommended that one should keep their weight within an acceptable range. Stop consuming junk food and replace unhealthy food and drinks with healthy foods.
Breast feeding has a myriad of benefits to both the mother and the baby. In reducing breast cancer breast feeding has been shown to retard cancer development and the longer a woman breastfeeds the lower her risk becomes.
Breast Self Examination:
Breast Self examination is simple easy and an effective way of preventing breast cancer. Regular breast examinations will help notice any lump which can be removed before it becomes malignant as some of these lumps are premalignant.