Ways to prevent Breast Cancer
There is no surefire way to completely prevent breast cancer from happening but we can all reduce the risk of its occurrence
Breast cancer prevention starts with healthy habits.
If you're concerned about breast cancer, you may be wondering if there are steps you can take toward breast cancer prevention. Some risk factors, such as family history, can't be changed. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk.
Lifestyle changes have been shown in studies to decrease breast cancer risk 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 choose to drink alcohol — including beer, wine or liquor — 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.
Breast-feed. Breast-feeding may play a role in breast cancer prevention. The longer you breast-feed, the greater the protective effect.
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.
Can a healthy diet prevent breast cancer?
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables hasn't been consistently shown to offer protection from breast cancer. In addition, a low-fat diet appears to offer only a slight reduction in the risk of breast cancer.
However, eating a healthy diet 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.