TRY THIS | 8 Ways To Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Between it being breast cancer awareness month and my iPod constantly shuffling to one of my favorite singers—Minnie Ripperton (who died from breast cancer at the age of 31) I have found myself reading up on breast cancer prevention. Although I haven’t had a firsthand experience with dealing with this disease, nor does it appear to run in my family, studies have shown that this does not exempt me or any of the women in my family from breast cancer. I also learned that there’s no way to prevent the disease. But you can be proactive with your health and reduce the risk of getting breast cancer. Here are a few ways to help us all reduce our risk of breast cancer:

1. Touch your breasts. It is important to be familiar with your body so that you can notice changes when they occur. I’ve read that women themselves catch more than 90% of breast tumors. So get familiar with your boobies—feel and touch them, they’re yours!

2. Eat a healthy diet. Eating a diet that is low in animal fat, high in whole grains—containing fruits and vegetable is not only good for your overall body, but can help reduce your risk of breast cancer. Skip cooking with corn and sunflower oil, as they tend to be high in polyunsaturated fat, no good. Opt for olive and canola oils options for a high monounsaturated fat content, which is much better for you.

3. Exercise and maintain a healthy weight. Exercising regularly is an important element to staying healthy. Duh! Working out is said to lower the amount of estrogen produced in the body, which can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Exercising can also aid in maintaining a healthy weight. An excess of extra pounds gained can heighten estrogen levels, causing cancer growth.

4. Breast-feed your baby. It’s a ‘two-for-oner’. Breast-feeding is said to not only benefit the baby in many nutritional ways, but can also lessens the body’s estrogen production.

5. Get your nutrients. Many of us do not consume the proper food servings we should be having daily, which makes taking a multivitamin important—especially one containing folic acid.

6. Stop smoking. It’s not called a cancer stick for nothing. Although there is not a concrete connection to breast cancer, there is a possible link. We do know smoking causes other forms of cancer, so it might be better to just not smoke at all. No cancer is good cancer.

7. Reduce your alcohol intake. Eeek. Apparently women who consume large sums of alcohol develop cancer at a higher rate. Although we’ve heard and I’ve blogged about the ‘not so bad’ factors of drinking, over indulging can be very harmful in more ways than one.

8. Have children before 35. AHHHHHH! Now this is scary. Apparently having children later in life can increase your risk of breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, “Women who have not had children, or who had their first child after age 30, have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer. Being pregnant many times and at an early age reduces breast cancer risk. Being pregnant lowers a woman's total number of lifetime menstrual cycles, which may be the reason for this effect.”

While I have a few of these covered, I am definitely going to be looking at my lifestyle choices a little differently —making a few changes as I’m getting older. And that having children before 35; well I guess I need to get on the ball with that huh? Eeeek.

3 comments:

Candace 19.10.11  

Great post Misha! I like to see bloggers bringing awareness to important issues.

Educated Consumer 21.10.11  
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Nicole 21.10.11  

Touching my boobs is what led to me finding a lump at 25 and then again recently at 28. Thank God it was nothing serious! Early detection along with these simple steps are the way to go. Good post!