October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and to encourage awareness and knowledge, we thought we’d offer a short guide on lifestyle changes to help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
It’s the second most common type of cancer amongst American women, and there are three particular lifestyle variations you can employ to deter the risks.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) says that roughly 1/3 of breast cancer cases could be curbed with watching your weight, regular exercise, and reducing alcohol consumption.
“While there are no guarantees when it comes to developing cancer, what we do know is that women can take steps every day to reduce the odds of developing breast cancer, along with many other cancers and chronic disease,” said Alice Bender, head of nutritional programs at the AICR.
Your first goal should be achieving, and maintaining, a healthy weight. Twenty percent of breast cancer afflictions are the cause of extra body fat. Watching your weight will not only limit your risk of breast cancer, but safeguard you against 10 other cancers, said Bender in news release.
The next step is to start exercising often. Getting in a minimum of 30 minutes of activity a day will not only help with your weight management, but provide a boost to your immune system as well.
Finally, the last precautionary move you can employ is reducing your alcohol consumption, or better yet, axing it from your diet all together. Even the smallest amounts of alcohol consumed on a regular basis will increase your chance of breast cancer. If you must keep alcohol in your life, try to limit yourself to a glass a day.
And while it’s not a universal method to reducing breast cancer risk, researchers have found breast-feeding to be a viable means of lowering health risks for the mother.
“When it comes to breast cancer, you can take control to lower risk through lifestyle changes that offer powerful protection,” Bender said.