3 Lifestyle Choices You Can Make to Reduce the Risk of Developing Breast Cancer



There is no guaranteed prevention against breast cancer for men or women. However, you can reduce your risk by monitoring your alcohol intake, moving your body through space and keeping an eye on your diet. Luckily, these corrections can protect other systems in your body as well.

Limit Alcohol Intake

While there are several different factors that can increase your risk of developing breast cancer, it should be noted that alcohol consumption of any kind increases that risk. Whether you're drinking beer, wine or hard liquor, alcohol can impact your estrogen levels and encourage the growth of some types of breast cancer. In fact, wine and beer, seen as casual drinks or at least not hard liquor, may go down easier and increase your risk even further. Current studies indicate that even three drinks a week can boost your risk. Work to incorporate alcohol-free days into your week and try to keep your consumption under two glasses on days you choose to drink.

Be Physically Active

One of the simplest ways to reduce your risk of breast cancer, particularly if you're post-menopausal, is to incorporate 30 minutes of brisk physical activity into your day at least 5 days a week. In fact, experts with the World Cancer Research Fund indicate that you can cut your risk by 10 percent if you start a vigorous workout activity, such as running or cycling. Walking and a moderate weight lifting program can lower your risk of developing metastatic breast cancer. Even if you can't work out vigorously, obesity, particularly after menopause, greatly increases your risk of developing breast cancer. In the US alone, about 41,000 women will die this year from breast cancer. Finally, it is much harder to lose weight after menopause, so getting to and maintaining a healthy weight in your youth is crucial to good health throughout your lifetime.

Monitor Your Diet

In addition to exercising and being judicious about your alcohol intake, your diet is crucial to both overall health and reducing the risk of breast cancer in your lifetime. Of the foods to incorporate or increase, cruciferous vegetables, especially cabbage are a great tool in your cancer-fighting arsenal. Aim for five servings a week at 1/2 cup per serving. Bump up your fiber intake with whole grains, high fiber cereals, fruits, and vegetables to clear out your colon and reduce your exposure to carcinogens. Tomatoes and berries are especially helpful! Calcium is critical to your bone health and can also reduce your risk of cancer. Finally, watch your intake of meats, particularly processed meats and red meat. A diet high in saturated fats puts you at greater risk for developing breast cancer after menopause. With a plan of breast cancer prevention and early detection procedures in place, you can limit the likelihood that this disease will develop. If your family history and genetics make you predisposed to developing breast cancer, be especially careful about your lifestyle choices, and never skip your screening appointments.

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