About 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer at some point during their life. While the treatment of breast cancer is a long and arduous process, taking simple steps to prevent the disease is easy.
According to Cancer.org, there are plenty of ways to reduce your risk and stay healthy! In the spirit of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, try some os these simple lifestyle changes that will work to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
1. Watch your weight
Having an unhealthy weight can lead to several types of cancer, but according to cruk.org, breast cancer is the most strongly linked to weight gain.
Being overweight or obese increases your chances of developing breast cancer, especially after menopause. Make it a goal to shed some extra pounds and get down to healthy weight.
2. Exercise regularly
Many studies have proven that regular exercise can do wonders to prevent cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week.
3. Limit drinking alcohol
Cut down your cocktails. Women who have 2 or more alcoholic drinks a day have about 1½ times the risk of breast cancer compared to women who don’t drink at all. The American Cancer Society’s recommends having no more than 1 drink per day.
4. Limit or avoid menopausal hormone therapy
Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone are used to control symptoms such as night sweats, hot flashes, and other symptoms but it can actually increase your breast cancer risk.
5. Quit smoking
We all know smoking is a health risk but it can also increase your risk for breast cancer, especially if you are premenopausal. Smoking can also make treatment of breast cancer problematic, as it adds unnecessary damage to lungs undergoing radiation therapy. It can also complicate the healing process after a patient undergoes surgery.
Some other quick tips: take vitamins rich with folic acid, avoid unnecessary X-rays, get regular get breast exams and mammograms plus learn how to give yourself breast exams at home.