October is Breast Cancer awareness month. As a fitness center in North Attlboro, MA we thought we would share this article on breast cancer prevention. Lifestyle changes and healthy choices have been shown to decrease breast cancer even in high-risk women. The following are steps you can take to lower your risk:
- Limit alcohol. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. If you drink alcohol limit yourself to no more than one drink a day.
- Don't smoke. Accumulating evidence suggests a link between smoking and breast cancer risk, particularly in premenopausal women. In addition, not smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health.
- Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of breast cancer. This is especially true if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
- Be physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least twice a week is recommended.
- Breast-feed. Breast-feeding may play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
- Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you're taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options. You may be able to manage your symptoms with nonhormonal therapies, such as physical activity. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you.
- Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution. Medical-imaging methods, such as computerized tomography, use high doses of radiation, which have been linked with breast cancer risk. Reduce your exposure by having such tests only when absolutely necessary. While more studies are needed, some research suggests a link between breast cancer and exposure to the chemicals found in some workplaces, gasoline fumes and vehicle exhaust.
Eating a healthy diet may lower your risk of breast cancer and may decrease your risk of other types of cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. A healthy diet can also help you maintain a healthy weight — a key factor in breast cancer prevention.
For help creating healthy lifestyle habits, contact Answer is Fitness.