While much work still remains done to understand the causes of breast cancer and also to develop new tests to detect and diagnose the disease, medical scientific study has made significant advances within the fight against breast cancer.
Start the Countdown
The recommendations to prevent all cancers apply to breast cancer. The recommendation includes: Quit smoking, reduce dietary fat, and eat fortifying food such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts. These cruciferous vegetables provide indoles, sulfur compounds that could also help spur cancer-fighting enzymes that could block or reduce cell damage.
Know your family history
Using a first-degree relative with breast cancer raises your risk of someday setting it up too. Being aware of your history could change your doctor's recommendations for screening, so speak with your family now. However, most breast cancer happens in women without a family history, so that's not a totally free pass.
Food is always first
Eat antioxidant-rich foods like organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats and oils like avocado and additional virgin olive oil. Eat your rainbow of 8-10 areas of vegetables and fruits every day to get optimal phytonutrient benefit. Especially include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage, and bok choy, which offer indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a phytonutrient which helps metabolize estrogen.
Maintain Normal Weight
Piling around the pounds-especially around the waistline is associated with increased breast cancer risk. One study demonstrated that women in their 50's who have gained greater than 20 pounds had twice the risk of breast cancer. Body fat may convert adrenal hormones to estrogen after menopause. Losing weight before menopause, however, lowers risk.
Be physically active
Physical activity will help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends a minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly, plus strength training at least two times a week.
Smokers have a 24% higher risk and former smokers possess a 13% higher risk of invasive breast cancer than non-smokers.
Alcohol changes the way in which estrogen is metabolized in our body, be responsible for estrogen dominance. Women who drink alcohol have higher body estrogen levels compared to those who don’t.
Limit dose and amount of hormone therapy
Combination hormone therapy for greater than three to five years increases the risk of breast cancer. If you are taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other options. You might be able to manage your symptoms with nonhormonal therapies, such as physical activity. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you.