While it’s true that there is no surefire way to prevent breast cancer, there are steps that you can take to lower your risk. There are some factors like family history or getting older that are beyond our control. However, you can proactively make some lifestyle changes to take better care of your health and lower your risk.
Prevention starts with adopting healthy habits. Here are some tips from Breast Cancer Associates, your Fort Worth breast reconstruction specialists:
1. Keep a healthy weight
Being obese or overweight increases the risk of breast cancer. This holds true for women who gain weight as they reach middle age and after menopause. Once a woman reaches menopause, most of her estrogen is derived from fat tissue. Having more fat tissue means higher estrogen levels, which raises your chance of getting breast cancer.
In addition, obesity is typically associated with higher insulin levels, which is linked to some cancers, including cancer of the breast.
2. Be physically active
Studies suggest that prolonged sitting time is linked to an increase risk of developing cancer. Maintain a healthy weight by becoming physically active. The American Cancer Society recommends that you aim for at least 75 vigorous physical activity and 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise each week.
3. Limit alcohol intake
Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you drink more alcohol. Based on current research on the link between breast cancer and alcohol, the general recommendation is to limit your alcohol intake to one drink a day. One drink is equivalent to 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, and 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.
4. Hormone replacement therapy
HRT, or hormone replacement therapy is often used to manage menopause symptoms. However, studies suggest that women post menopause who undergo hormonal treatment of progestin and estrogen may be more likely to develop breast cancer. It is best to avoid or limit hormone replacement therapy if possible. Discuss your options with your doctors first, and should you decide to try hormone replacement therapy, it is recommended that you use it for the shortest time possible and at the lowest dose.
If you have an increased risk for breast cancer, frequent tests and visits to the doctor is recommended. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle will lower your risks, so don’t wait for a breast cancer diagnosis before you decide to get on the path of wellness.
Questions? Feel free to reach out to us at Breast Cancer Associates, your Fort Worth breast reconstruction experts.