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10 Habits that can Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer

... Pooja Reddy/Unbound:

Breast cancer is increasingly one of the most detected cancers in women in our society. According to breastcancer.org, one in eight women will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime and nearly 40,000 women lose their lives to the disease each year. With such odds, you should be really careful and take measures that will help decrease your risk of developing breast cancer. Only less than 10 percent of all breast cancer cases are related to genetic risk factors. The rest 90 percent are triggered due to your life style and environmental conditions.

The risk of developing breast cancer increases as we age. However, to be on the safer side, there are certain preventative measures every woman should do, whether she's in her 20s or in her mammogram years, to help reduce her risk of getting the disease. It’s always better to prevent than to cure. So, try taking measures and always keep a check on your body from time to time.

We have come up with few things that you need to keep a check on and those include:

1. Maintaining a healthy diet. One should focus on maintaining a healthy diet that is low in animal fat and high in whole grains and fruits and vegetables.

2. Getting regular exercise. Exercising itself has been found to reduce the risk of developing cancer. The American Cancer Society notes that as little as 1.5 to 2.5 hours of walking a week has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer. One should make it one’s mission to walk or exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, five times a week.

3. Having kids before 35. because the earlier one plans to get pregnant the lower is the risk for    developing breast cancer.

4. Breastfeeding the longer the mother breast-feeds her baby the better is the mother’s health.

5. Knowing your family cancer history. One  must Know one’s family cancer history, especially breast cancer. If there has been a family history, it puts one under a higher risk of developing breast cancer. In such a case one should keep a track of one’s health record from time to time even at an early age.

6. Drink in moderation. While wine is good for our health, excessive alcohol drinking has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. One should stick to a one-a-day mantra if one wants to reduce one’s risk. We should also make sure we take folic acid when we drink.

7. Know the facts about birth control. Taking oral contraceptives is one risk factor for developing breast cancer. However this risk starts to reduce after we give it up.  (women who took birth control pills more than 10 years ago, for example, have the same risks as women who never took the pill). Weigh the pros and cons of taking birth control and talk to your doctor if you want to know more.

8. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese has been shown to be a risk factor in developing certain types of breast cancer. Weight gain is also linked to an increased breast cancer risk mainly for postmenopausal women. Try losing weight immediately if you are overweight.

9. Taking required multivitamins after 30 as additional supplement meets the overall vitamin requirement of the body and reduces risk.

10. Doing Self breast Exams. One should be familiar with how one’s breasts feel and look so it’s easier to notice any changes.

You should also be aware of the following things:

1.Evaluating any breast symptoms or changes that develop and consult a doctor.

2.Taking mammograms when required.

3.Under supervision, consider taking raloxifene especially if you are postmenopausal and need to take a drug to prevent bone loss.