There are quite a few risk factors of breast cancer like gene mutations, family history, gender, age, and dense breast tissue that cannot be controlled. As a result, preventing the disease is not possible, but minimizing the risk of developing it with certain lifestyle changes is definitely possible. Listed here are 7 ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight: Being overweight or obese increases the chances of developing breast cancer. This is because fat cells produce estrogen, and the presence of excess estrogen in the body increases the risk of this disease, and this risk escalates after menopause. It is important to ensure that the Body Mass Index (BMI) is appropriate for one’s height and age.
- Follow a nutritious diet plan: This helps to achieve a proper body weight. Additionally, it also helps one stay healthy always and keeps the immune system strong, reducing the risk of breast cancer. One should consume a wide variety of low fat and plant-based foods. It is better to avoid processed food and food that contains trans-fat. Instead, one should consume plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, natural vegetable oil, legumes, nuts, and whole grains that are rich in nutrients.
- Exercise regularly: Statistics prove that regular moderate exercise of about 30 minutes every day helps in keeping one’s body weight in check, and it also reduces the risk of breast cancer by at least 20%. With options like brisk walking or jogging, yoga, weight training, swimming, gardening, dancing, or playing a ball sport, one can structure a sensible exercise regime in accordance with their everyday activity levels.
- Breastfeeding: While being healthy for the child because of the antibodies that breast milk provides them with, breastfeeding also reduces the risk of breast cancer for the mother. A woman should aim to breastfeed for at least a year or more after childbirth. An additional bonus that comes with this is the bonding one can develop with their newborn.
- Avoid smoking tobacco: Both active and passive smoking, apart from the many illnesses like heart disease or tuberculosis they cause or worsen, are linked to an increase in the risk of developing breast cancer.
- Limit alcohol consumption: Apart from affecting the liver, drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer as well. Research states that the amount of alcohol consumed is directly proportional to the increase in the risk of developing this disease. Quitting alcohol and replacing it with non-alcoholic beverages or fruit juices is best.
- Limit the exposure to chemicals: One should limit the chemicals they are exposed to in their environment every day. A vast number of chemicals like bisphenol A (BPA), Parabens, Phthalates, and other contaminants increase the risk of breast cancer in women either directly or indirectly. This makes a lifestyle shift to pesticide and chemical free organic food, cosmetics, home cleaners, and detergents important for healthy living.