Reducing the Risk of Breast Cancer

 

Cancer is a terrifying disease, and breast cancer takes that terror to a higher level. Is there really anything that a woman can do to lower her risk of contracting this ailment? Unfortunately, while there is nothing that anyone can do to totally prevent breast cancer, there are some things that any woman can do to lower or mitigate their risk.

  • Weight. Lose, or at the very least reduce, the excess weight that you may have. Evidence shows that just a small amount of excess weight leads to an increased risk of breast cancer. It only stands to reason that if an increase in weight leads to an increase in risk, then reducing the weight reduces the risk.
  • Diet. Go on a diet. This does not just mean that you should try to lose weight as suggested above, though a diet may be necessary to do just that, but also to watch your consumption of alcohol. If you must drink, limit yourself to no more than 12 oz. of beer, 5 oz. of wine or 1 ˝ oz. of hard liquor. This is going to help you reduce your weight (no one really likes a beer gut after all) and at the same time decrease the chances you have of contracting breast cancer.
  • Exercise. By exercising, and generally living a more active lifestyle, you make your efforts to reduce your weight, and going on a diet more successful. Studies have shown that by being at least moderately active, such as going for walks when you can, reduce your risk for breast cancer by as much as 40%.
  • Smoking. Do we really have to go into the health benefits of quitting, or at the very least reducing, any smoking that you may be doing? This is something that doctors and health experts have been preaching for years, and since tobacco has been linked to 30% of all cancer related deaths, it would make perfect sense to stop this habit.
  • Breastfeeding. If you have recently had a child, try breastfeeding. This activity is natural, healthier for the baby, and seems to provide some protection from contracting breast cancer.
  • Early detection. This is possibly the single greatest way for any woman to survive a diagnosis of breast cancer. While it does not reduce the risk of contracting cancer, it does help in fighting it off if diagnosed. Regular self examinations and mammograms all help in detecting early signs of the disease.

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