Breast cancer is the most common malignant tumor in women around the world. It’s estimated that the risk of this cancer throughout life is approximately one in eight women. But, is there a way to modify some factors to reduce the risk?
Here we show you how certain behaviors and life habits can help you reduce the risk of breast cancer.
How To Prevent Breast Cancer
1. Can Food Affect Breast Cancer?
Studies show that a Mediterranean diet can help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer by up to 30 percent. This diet consists of a high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruits, fish, and olive oil, and a low consumption of juices and caloric beverages.
On the contrary, the western diet, which is based on a high intake of fatty products, processed meat, sweets, and caloric beverages, and a low consumption of cereals, is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
A healthy and balanced diet also prevents overweight and obesity that, by themselves, increase the risk of breast cancer after menopause.
2. Does Physical Activity Have Something To Do With It?
Research shows that physical activity decreases the risk of acquiring several types of cancer. In the case of breast cancer, if you’re maintaining a physically active lifestyle, you can reduce the risk from 20 to 40 percent. This means that you should exercise at least 5 days a week, for half an hour a day. Above this amount of exercise, you’ll get even greater benefits.
3. Is Tobacco Also Associated With Breast Cancer?
Statistics show that tobacco use is one of the biggest causes of death today. More than 7 million people die each year due to this bad habit.
Tobacco is related to more than 11 different types of cancer, among which is breast cancer. Smoking increases the risk of this type of malignant tumor. Thus, healthy organizations strongly discourage its consumption.
If you’re already a tobacco user, we strongly recommend you to quit. It’ll change your life for better!
4. Does Alcohol Have An Influence?
Excessive intake of alcohol is directly related to an increased risk of breast cancer. This means that the higher the consumption, the greater the risk. It’s been observed that even small amounts of alcohol can increase the risk of cancer. Thus, moderation is the key! Try to limit your intake to one beer or one glass of wine per day.
5. Does Breastfeeding Have An Effect?
Yes. Evidence suggests that breastfeeding decreases the risk of breast cancer. The longer you breastfeed, the more positive effects you’ll have.
6. Can Nutritional Supplements Help You To Prevent Cancer?
Nutritional supplements are not recommended for cancer prevention. You should try to obtain the necessary nutrients through a balanced and varied diet. There is no solid evidence that nutritional supplements can help you to prevent this tumor. Thus, you should only take them in special cases, under the recommendation of a healthcare professional.
7. Is Early Detection Important?
The mortality of breast cancer has decreased significantly, due to campaigns and early diagnosis programs. The possibility of cure when the cancer is detected in early stages is very high. Because of this, it is essential that you go to the doctor for early detection tests when appropriate.
8. Being Alert Can Save Your Life
As we already mentioned, statistics show that one in eight women will have breast cancer. However, if detected early, this type of cancer can be localized and cured. When we start with treatment in its initial stage, the chances of a cure are almost 100 percent.
What Can You Do?
The first method of detection is to perform self-examination. You may not be an expert, but you can always notice the lumps, swellings and distortions in your breasts. If you suspect anything, immediately go to your doctor.
Also, you can do yearly ultrasound tests, to be sure that there are no abnormalities. Try to limit the mammography, unless completely necessary, as we want to avoid exposure to radiation.
The ultimate advice would be to carry a healthy lifestyle habit, to eat healthy, and to go for periodic checkups.