There is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer. There are some risk factors such as family history and aging that are unavoidable. But! Good news! There are some risk factors that you can control and they will improve your overall health in the process. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Am I at a healthy weight? Obesity or being overweight can increase your breast cancer risk and losing just 7 % of your body weight can dramatically change your health for the better. If your weight is healthy, keep up the good work!
2. Do I exercise regularly? Studies show that brisk walking just 2 hours per week can reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer up to 18%. Start a new habit, step out with your friends to explore your neighborhood parks and walking paths.
3. Can I minimize or avoid my alcohol consumption? Women who have 2 to 5 alcoholic drinks daily have a higher risk of breast cancer. This is especially important for women who have breast cancer in their families.
4. Do I smoke? -even on occasion? The risk of many cancers and other health problems increases if you smoke. Research shows that long-term smoking is specifically associated with increased risk of breast cancer.
5. Do I eat enough veggies? Eating a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables is your best defense for fighting and preventing cancer. Examples are cauliflower, bok choy, garden cress, brussel sprouts cabbage, broccoli, and other green leafy vegetables.
There are resources in your community to help with lifestyle changes and learning healthy habits. Learn more here