3 Ways To Help Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer
“More and more research shows that regular physical activity may reduce your risk of breast cancer and lower the chance of recurrence.”
What makes breast cancer so scary is that it feels like a disease over which you have so little control, but the truth is there are several powerful steps you can take to help protect your health.
The most important of these is to get a mammogram regularly. Early detection dramatically improves your chance of beating breast cancer. If cancer is caught before it has spread to nearby lymph nodes or beyond the breast, a woman’s 5-year survival rate is 99 percent. The risk of breast cancer increases as you get older, so the Cancer Council Australia recommends that you get a mammogram every 2 years from the age of 50.
Make sure you don’t miss a mammogram. BreastScreen Australia sends invitations to women aged 50-74 to have a free bi-yearly mammogram, though the service is available to all women from 40 years of age. You can visit their website for more information.
In the meantime, take action to prevent breast cancer from springing up in the first place with these top three recommended strategies.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Research shows that women who are overweight, defined as having a body mass index (BMI) higher than 25, are at greater risk for developing breast cancer than women who maintain a healthy weight. Now a new study that analyzed data from more than 67,000 women aged 50 to 79 over several years finds that as weight increases so does breast cancer risk, with women at a BMI above 35 having an 80 percent higher risk than the average woman.
Action plan: Make a priority of maintaining a healthy weight by consuming the right amount of calories for your body and lifestyle from vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains; exercise regularly; and weigh yourself weekly to prevent the kilos from sneaking up on you.
2. Exercise Regularly
More and more research shows that regular physical activity may reduce your risk of breast cancer and lower the chance of recurrence. And you already know that exercise helps you manage a healthy weight and can help prevent heart disease and diabetes and confers many other benefits such as stress relief and a brighter mood. If physical activity isn’t a priority in your weekly routine, make it one.
Action plan: At Curves you get both a total-body strength workout plus cardio in only 30 minutes. Be sure to pen three or four Curves workouts into your calendar every week.
3. Limit Alcoholic Drinks
There is convincing evidence which shows that drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. Researchers don’t know the physiology behind this connection but go on to say that even 3 to 6 glasses of wine has been linked to a slight increase in cancer.
One standard drink equals the following:
· 285ml of full strength beer
· 100ml of wine
· 30ml spirits
Of course, eliminating alcoholic beverages can assist with your weight-management efforts as well.
Action plan: Choose sparkling water with lime, lemon, or fresh berries instead.
Don’t leave your life up for grabs. Take charge and stand strong against breast cancer with regular mammograms and healthy living.