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Simple Lifestyle Changes You Can Make Right Now To Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk

Simple Lifestyle Changes You Can Make Right Now To Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk

Breast cancer is the most feared cancer among women. Sometimes, it’s not just the word “cancer” that’s at the root of the fear, but dread of issues associated with treating cancer, such as surgical complications and medication side effects.

It’s easy to feel powerless about the common cancer among women, but there are simple lifestyle changes you can make right now to put you in a better position to avoid the disease.

Three steps could prevent one-third of breast cancer cases globally, the American Institute for Cancer Research estimates.

“It’s really important to understand that we can take action. There are things we can do to lower our risk,” Alice Bender, head of nutrition programs for the organization, told TODAY.

There are no guarantees, but these three strategies may help:

1. Get to — and stay at — a healthy weight

This is one of the most important lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk for post-menopausal breast cancer and 10 other cancers, Bender noted.

That’s because excess body fat can produce chemicals that promote chronic inflammation, increased blood levels of insulin and hormones that can spur the growth of cells. Bender said:

“We know it’s not just a tissue sitting there doing nothing. It creates an environment that allows cancer to thrive.”

Your BMI and waist size can be good indicators of whether you’re at a healthy weight. Excess fat around your middle may be particularly worrisome.

It’s not easy to slim down if you’re already overweight, but a powerful way to start is to just focus on not gaining any more pounds for now, Bender advised.

Eat a mostly plant-based diet; keep your calorie intake low; eat lots of vegetables, whole grains and beans; and limit higher-calorie foods.

READ ALSO: The Role Of Onion And Garlic Consumption In The Prevention Of Breast Cancer- Research

2. Fit activity into your day

Physical activity reduces the risk of both types of breast cancer: pre-menopausal and post-menopausal, Bender said. The simple act of moving your body can help you manage your weight, boost your immune system and help keep your gastrointestinal tract in good shape.

“Exercise releases a lot of really healthy substances in our body that keep us not just fit, but also healthy in other ways,”

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she noted.

Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day — more is even better. A brisk walk that raises your heart rate and helps you work up some sweat is a good example of moderate exercise.

3. Avoid alcohol, or if you do drink, drink moderately

Skip the booze as often as you can or enjoy it at a very moderate level.

“Alcohol is a recognized carcinogen,” Bender said. “It can damage DNA; it can increase hormones in your body, like estrogen, that can fuel cancer.”

READ ALSO: Oncologist, Oludare Adeyemi Shares Great News About Breast Cancer Treatment That Makes Cutting Off The Breast Needless

For cancer prevention, it’s best to not drink at all, she noted. Women who still choose to drink should limit their intake to not more than one standard drink a day — equivalent to 5 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer.

Source: Yahoo Lifestyle

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