Breast Cancer Awareness
The more we study breast cancer, the more we’re finding out what we can do to prevent it. Not all of these prevention strategies are popular or easy to follow, but they’re definitely worth giving a try:
1. Decrease your body fat. Estrogen is produced by fat cells and the more estrogen you have floating around your system the higher your risk for developing breast cancer.
2. Stop smoking. Everyone knows that smoking causes lung cancer and other respiratory diseases but women don’t always make the connection between smoking and breast cancer.
3. Cut back on drinking. Several studies looking at women who have survived breast cancer showed that those who had more than one drink a day, or 7 drinks per week (a drink was defined as four ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1½ ounces of hard liquor) increased their risk of a recurrence by 30%. Research shows that women who’ve never had breast cancer also need to consider their alcohol intake. That’s because alcohol gets converted into estrogen by a chemical reaction in the body.
4. Decrease stress. Chronic stress ignites a whole chemical reaction in your body that produces inflammation, which, cancer researchers believe, increases the risk for certain cancer like breast and colon.
5. Learn your family history. Ask your relatives if they or others in your family have had breast cancer. If you can’t get this information, ask your doctor to refer you to a board-certified genetic counselor.