Due to genetics, some people have an increased risk of certain health problems- such as breast cancer. Therefore, unfortunately, even if we do everything we can to prevent certain health issues, we don’t always have complete control. HOWEVER, can skipping that tequila shot or pizza and going to the gym when we don’t feel like to lower our risk of breast cancer?! Hmmmmmm. . .let’s start with the facts then talk about prevention.
- Most people who are diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of the disease. In fact, about 85 percent of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer. A woman born today has about a one in eight chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
- Men can get breast cancer too. About 2,600 men are diagnosed annually. That’s about one in 1,000 men. You may be thinking, Men don’t have breasts, so how can they get breast cancer? Well, boys, girls, men and women all have breast tissue. Various hormones in girls’ and women’s bodies stimulate the breast tissue to grow into full breasts. Boys’ and men’s bodies normally don’t make much of the breast-stimulating hormones. As a result, their breast tissue usually stays flat and small, but it doesn’t mean they can’t develop breast cancer.
- While non-Hispanic white women have higher rates of breast cancer, African-American women have a higher incidence before age 40 and are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age.
You can reduce your risk of breast cancer by. . .
Limiting alcohol. Go easy on the margaritas, ladies. The more alcohol you drink, the greater your risk of developing breast cancer. The general recommendation is to limit alcohol intake to less than one drink a day for women and fewer than two drinks a day for men.
Not smoking. Smoking causes several types of cancer, so no surprise here! Stay away.
Controlling your weight. Yet another reason to exercise! Being obese or overweight increases the risk of breast cancer, especially if obesity occurs later in life, particularly after menopause.
Being physically active. Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, which, in turn, helps prevent breast cancer. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity, plus strength training at least twice a week.
Breastfeeding. For moms, breastfeeding can lower breast cancer risk, especially if a woman breastfeeds for longer than a year. When women breastfeed for less than a year, they won’t reap as many of the benefits. So why is breastfeeding helpful?
- Producing milk 24/7 limits breast cells’ ability to misbehave.
- Most women have fewer menstrual cycles when they’re breastfeeding (added to the nine missed periods during pregnancy), resulting in lower estrogen levels.
- Women tend to eat healthier foods while breastfeeding.
Monitoring hormonal therapy.
- If you’re taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about the risks and benefits. Also, realize that you might be able to manage your symptoms with non-hormonal therapies and medications. If you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, use the lowest dose that works for you, and continue to have your doctor monitor the length of time you are taking hormones.
- ** Birth control pills are different from hormones for menopause. Available data on breast cancer risk with oral contraceptive use are conflicting. However, studies have generally NOT demonstrated an association between current birth control pill use and the risk of breast cancer later in life.
~Whether you are young or old, implement these lifestyle changes today! #DrNita