breast cancer

Five more ways to lower your risk of breast cancer

Gynecology and Obstetrics, Women's Health

In our last post we discussed five actions women can take to lower their risk of developing breast cancer. Today we add five more.

It is interesting that just today, in The New York Times, the article “How Walking May Lower Breast Cancer Risk” appeared. One of our initial actions was to avoid obesity, and you might think that keeping your weight normal and walking/exercise are the same.

But a recent study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention shows that walking is beneficial no matter what your weight is.  No matter if you are overweight, thin, or normal weight, you will enjoy a breast cancer risk benefit from daily exercise…and you get a double benefit if you are normal weight as well as do regular exercise, so:

6) Exercise every day—even just walking

An American Cancer Society study of over 73,000 women showed that seven hours of walking per week reduced the risk of developing breast cancer by 14%, and women who did about the same number of hours, but of more vigorous exercise—such as jogging, biking, swimming, or dancing—enjoyed a 25% risk reduction. So walking is good, but exercise that makes you sweat is even better.

7) Don’t smoke

The increased risk is especially high for women who begin smoking when they are younger. Women who began smoking prior to their first menstrual period suffer a 61% greater risk of breast cancer than non-smokers.

It may be that at that the more immature breast tissue is more sensitive to the carcinogens in cigarettes. Be alert to second hand smoke. If you live with a smoker who won’t quit, keep away from the smoke as best you can, and do what you can to air out the house. Don’t allow smoking in your car, especially with children inside.

8) Avoid eating well-done or charred meats

When the fats in meat are cooked at high temperature, the fat forms carcinogenic chemicals called heterocyclic amines. The higher the temperature and the longer the fat is exposed to heat or flames, the more of these carcinogens are formed. Avoid over-cooking meats, and especially avoid charred or blackened meat.

9) Limit hormonal replacement therapy

This is a complex and controversial topic and each woman’s situation is different. If you are considering hormone therapy to help menopausal symptoms, discuss the pros and cons with your doctor. If you take these hormones, consider taking the lowest dose that is effective for you, for the shortest time possible, to limit your risk.

10) Have children before age 35, if you have a choice

More and more women are having their first children later, which has many advantages, but be aware that women who wait until they are older have a somewhat higher risk for breast cancer. Especially if you have a strong breast cancer family history, you might put this factor into your decision as to when to have children, if you so choose. Women who never have children have a somewhat higher risk, probably because pregnancy causes the breast tissue to mature, making the breasts less sensitive to carcinogens.

Throughout the month, we will be posting on our Facebook fanpage dietary hints for breast cancer reduction. “Like” our fanpage so you don’t miss them!

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See also in ProcuraMed:

Is breast cancer being overdiagnosed?



Esta postagem também está disponível em: Portuguese (Brazil)

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