Breast cancer can be a sobering reality a lot of women face. It is said, women who have relatives who have been diagnosed, have a risk 5 times higher than average. Sometimes breast cancer is a pre-disposed sickness, but there are several things that you can do to help reduce the risks of breast cancer and keep yourself healthy over all.
Exercise and Healthy Eating Habits
First and most importantly, stay healthy and active! It is recommended to engage at least 150 minutes of cardio a week and strength training at least 2 days a week. Not only is this a good habit to get in to but it also helps you lose weight or maintain your weight, which in turn is also beneficial for reducing your risk in breast cancer. Eating healthy also goes hand in hand with exercise. It reduces your risks of breast cancer as well as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It is said that a plant-based diet helps you maintain a healthy weight as well as reducing the risk of breast cancer.
Cut Down Your Alcohol Intake
Research has shown that drinking alcoholic beverages regularly also increase the risk of breast cancer. Alcohol increases estrogen levels and other hormones associated with hormone receptor – positive breast cancer. A study showed that women who have three drinks a week regularly have a 15% higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who do not drink at all. Experts also estimate that the risk goes up another 10% for each additional drink women regularly have each day.
Avoid Using HRT
Using HRT or hormone replacement therapy can also increase your risks of breast cancer. Combination HRT increases breast cancer risks by about 75%. So, what is combination HRT and what is it used for? Combination HRT contains the hormones estrogen and progesterone. It is typically used by women who are post-menopausal to help ease menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and fatigue. The good news is this risk usually goes back down to average 2 years after you stop taking combination HRT.
Of course, smoking gives you a higher risk to not only breast cancer but a number of other diseases. Studies show that there is a huge link between smoking and breast cancer. Not only is smoking horrible for you but if you are diagnosed with breast cancer it can increase complications for treatment such as damage to your lungs from radiation therapy, difficulty healing, and a higher risk of blood clots. If you currently smoke, you should consider quitting to reduce your risk of breast cancer and improve your overall health.
If you worry about a breast cancer diagnosis, then you will feel better knowing that a healthy, active lifestyle can go a long way in reducing your risks. Cut down on your alcoholic intake and quit smoking and you’re on your way to a healthy life style with a reduced risk of breast cancer.