Breast cancer has become common these days in women. The very mention of these words brings a sense of fear amongst women.
Researches have proven that breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer. Breast cancer can also affect men; however, it is more prevalent among women.
The body's cells multiply uncontrollably and it is the excessive cell growth that causes cancer.
Some of the factors that can lead to breast cancer are older age, genetics, history of breast cancer or breast lumps, dense breast tissue, excessive oestrogen exposure, excessive body weight, alcohol consumption, radiation exposure, hormonal treatment and occupational hazards.
Though reasons like genetics and previous history of breast cancer cannot be avoided, you can still reduce the risk of this deadly disease by inculcating some healthy habits and completely prevent this disease with regular screening tests.
We shall now discuss some of the factors that can help you to cut down the risk of breast cancer.
Keep An Eye On Your Weight:
One major factor that can easily be controlled is your weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is a vital goal for every woman. Especially after menopause, if you are obese you are only increasing the risk of many types of cancer, including breast cancer. The reason is that after menopause, most of your oestrogen comes from fat tissue and having more fat tissue can increase your chance of getting breast cancer by raising oestrogen levels.
We all know that cigarette smoking is injurious to health and can cause lung cancer. However, not many of us know that smoking is directly linked to other types of cancer. Other tobacco products such as smokeless tobacco, cigars and pipes are also equally harmful. For pre-menopausal women, the risk of breast cancer due to smoking is very high. So quit smoking, it is never too late!!
Quit That Binge Drinking Habit:
Another risky factor is the consumption of alcohol. Researches have shown that women who consume 2 to 5 alcoholic drinks every day have a higher risk of breast cancer as compared to women who consume just 1 drink per day or do not drink at all. There are evidences to prove that even lower levels of drinking alcohol can increase the risk of breast cancer in women.
Eat A Healthy Diet:
It is good to cut down on your food intake such as red meat, pork or processed meat. Consume a high-fibre diet, including a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. The more fruits and vegetables you eat when you are young, the more they prevent you from promoting the risk of breast cancer. As much as possible, avoid preserved and processed foods.
Cut Down On Stress:
Stress is a major factor these days that is leading to many kinds of diseases and has also been a risk for breast cancer. Stressful events can alter the levels of hormones in the body and affect the immune system.
A surprising fact is that women who are physically active for at least 30 minutes every day have a lower risk of breast cancer. Many studies have proven that exercise is a breast-healthy habit. The difference in risk between the most active women and least active women is as much as 25%. Yoga can also help to combat the risk of breast cancer.
Breastfeeding Plays A Major Role:
Breastfeeding plays an important role in preventing breast cancer. The longer you breastfeed, the greater is the protection from this disease and the healthier your child becomes.
Avoid Birth Control Pills:
Birth control pills are another main reason for breast cancer. The younger the woman is, the lesser the risk. Women consuming birth control pills are found to have a high risk of breast cancer; however, these risks are found to quickly vanish when you stop the pills.
Avoid Post-menopausal Hormones:
If women are forced to take post-menopausal hormones, they should be keen to stop it within the shortest time possible. Though post-menopausal hormones have their own benefits when used, they also have the risk of breast cancer. Hence, the best person to discuss on the benefits and risks of using these hormones would be your doctor.