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Though the biggest risk for breast cancer is being a woman, it doesn’t mean
nothing can be done to slash the chance of developing the disease. While there is a
misconception that taking regular mammograms can prevent breast cancer, it is a
myth. But the fact is regular mammograms help detect the disease early and
therefore can be treated before it gets worse.
Though there is no sure way to prevent breast cancer, there are several ways which
can reduce the risk of developing it. Here are the top ways to lower the chances of
getting breast cancer.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT:
It’s important to keep weight in check in order to stay healthy. Women who are
overweight have a higher risk of developing many cancers, including breast cancer,
especially after menopause.
STAY PHYSICALLY ACTIVE:
Fitness is key to good health. Exercising every day at least for 30 minutes reduces a
woman’s risk of breast cancer. Regular exercise also keeps weight in check. Therefore, make your own choice of
exercise and stay physically fit.
Breastfeeding reduces a mother’s risk of breast cancer. Women who breastfeed their
babies have a lower risk of developing breast cancer, especially those who continue
it for up to two years. Breastfeeding reduces the total number of menstrual cycles a
woman can have, exposing her to lower levels of hormones that are responsible for
developing the risk of breast cancer.
FIND OUT YOUR FAMILY HISTORY:
Women with a positive family history of cancer have a higher risk of developing
breast cancer. They need to take special steps to stay protected. Women whose
family members have previously developed breast cancer should consult a doctor or
genetic counselor who can help them understand their risks due to family history of
the disease and suggest preventive measures.
CHECK YOUR VITAMIN D LEVELS:
Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to increased risk of breast cancer. So, it is
important for women to monitor vitamin D levels regularly in order to reduce their
risk of developing breast cancer. Women with low vitamin D levels should increase
sun exposure and include foods that are rich in vitamin D in their diet.
AVOID POST-MENOPAUSAL HORMONE THERAPY:
Most of the women take post-menopausal hormonal therapies to prevent chronic
diseases like osteoporosis and heart disease. But, they shouldn’t be taken for a long
term as they have a mixed effect on health. They can increase the risk of some
diseases while lowering the risk of others. And breast cancer is one of those diseases
that might develop from longer sessions of post-menopausal hormone therapy. So,
even if women prefer to take this therapy, it should be for the shortest time
LIMIT USE OF BIRTH CONTROL PILLS:
Birth control pills have benefits and risks as well. Women who take birth control pills
have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than others. So, consider substituting
oral contraceptives with other choices of birth control.
Besides lowering the quality of life, smoking increases the risk of heart disease,
stroke and at least 15 types of cancer including breast cancer. So motivate yourself
to quit. Getting exposed to second-hand smoke also increases a woman’s risk of
developing breast cancer, particularly if she is frequently exposed during
WATCH YOUR DIET
A healthy diet lowers the risk of developing breast cancer. Try to include a lot of
fruits and vegetables in the diet and limit alcohol consumption to moderate levels.
Women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of developing breast
cancer, especially after menopause as the estrogen levels reduce. So, women who
are overweight should make dietary changes to shed pounds and achieve a healthy
body weight to lower the risk of breast cancer.
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