Gathering information on breast cancer prevention is essential in order to reduce your risks for the disease. Because genetics play a crucial role in breast cancer development, if your family has a medical history that includes breast cancer, it’s important for you to know as much breast cancer information as possible.
One of the most important things women and men can do to prevent breast and other types of cancers is maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise. Being obese or overweight significantly increases the risk of developing breast cancer. Eating a well-balanced diet that is low in fat and getting regular exercise will help you maintain your weight while also improving your general well being.
Don’t assume that you need to hit the gym for hours every day just to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Getting at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (which can include taking a brisk walk or cutting the lawn) on most days of the week can lower your risk of getting breast cancer.
Breast cancer prevention starts with healthy habits — such as limiting alcohol and staying physically active. Understand what you can do to reduce your breast cancer risk.
If you're concerned about breast cancer, you might be wondering if there are steps you can take toward breast cancer prevention. Some risk factors, such as family history, can't be changed. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk.
Lifestyle changes have been shown in studies to decrease breast cancer risk even in high-risk women. The following are steps you can take to lower your risk:
Eating a healthy diet might decrease your risk of other types of cancer, as well as diabetes, heart disease and stroke. For example, women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts might have a reduced risk of breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet focuses on mostly on plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts. People who follow the Mediterranean diet choose healthy fats, like olive oil, over butter and fish instead of red meat.
Maintaining a healthy weight also is a key factor in breast cancer prevention.
A number of older studies suggested that birth control pills — which often had higher estrogen doses prior to 1985 — slightly increased the risk of breast cancer, especially among younger women. In these studies, however, 10 years after discontinuing birth control pills women's risk of breast cancer returned to the same level as that of women who never used oral contraceptives. Current evidence does not support an increase in breast cancer with today’s birth control pills.
Be vigilant about breast cancer detection. If you notice any changes in your breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes, consult your doctor. Also, ask your doctor when to begin mammograms and other screenings based on your personal history.