Worldwide, it’s estimated that over 1.68 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. More shockingly, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Of course, once diagnosed, there are some steps that you can take to reduce your risk of mortality.
Depending on the stage of breast cancer when diagnosed. For example, women with stage 0 or stage 1 breast cancer, generally have a 5-year survival rate of 100 percent. Although the 5-year survival rate of stage 3 breast cancer is closer to 72 percent, these cancers can often be treated.
There’s No Better Treatment Than Prevention
Far too often, we only pay attention to our health when it’s at risk. Think of how many individuals are overweight, live stressful lives, and follow an unbalanced diet. Although they may not have taken any action prior, a heart attack generally kicks people into high gear, seeing where they can improve.
Don’t allow yourself to get sick before you begin to care for your body and mind. Just like you can actively practice preventative measures to protect yourself against heart and liver disease, the same is true for breast cancer. At this time, there’s no magic solution that will prevent cancer in any form, however, you can target key risk factors.
There are certain habits and risk factors that increase your chances of developing some form of cancer, including breast. As you better understand these risk factors, you can increase your level of control. As stated in a review, published in the Journal of Family and Community Medicine, “the best therapy for cancer is prevention.”
Know These Key Risk Factors
As you promote your health, you reduce your risk of invasive cancers. There are specific habits and lifestyle choices that automatically increase your risk, regardless of genetic factors. Start with this small list, working towards a more balanced, active lifestyle that is free from the following factors.
No secret here and for those of you who smoke, this isn’t anything new. It’s well understood amongst the general population, that smoking significantly increases your risk of not just cancer, but heart disease, and COPD. In fact, research has shown that even heavy second-hand smoke exposure can increase risk, especially among postmenopausal women.
Within one study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 73,3888 women were examined. During more than 13 years of follow-up, it was found that the rate of new breast cancer cases was 24 percent higher in smokers than nonsmokers, and 13 percent higher in former smokers than nonsmokers.
Nutrition plays a major role in terms of disease prevention. With so many low-nutrient options on the market, the Western world is overfed, yet nutrient deficient. Once again, eating a healthy diet won’t necessarily prevent you from getting breast cancer — especially if you’re not consuming a varied, nutrient-rich spectrum.
When you give your body what it needs to function, your immunity will be stronger, helping you ward of disease. Food has the ability to kickstart your body’s protective abilities, as you maintain a healthy weight — since being overweight or obese naturally increases your risk of breast cancer.
You need to get into healthier routines, eating more fresh, whole foods. Eliminate processed foods that are high in trans fat, and significantly reduce your intake of sugar. Focus on plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which offer key antioxidants and flavonoids; omega-3 fatty acids; and drink plenty of water.
Just as you exercise and eat right to maintain your health, you need to also take the right precautionary measures. Regularly check yourself for lumps or signs of any abnormal growth. If you have a family history of breast cancer, it’s never too early to be aware. By the age of 45 to 54, you should be getting a mammogram every year.
Just as there’s no one single food or remedy, the best possible prevention is your approach to life. With so many contributing factors, all you need to do is look after yourself. Your weight is a major red flag and if you’re overweight, it’s imperative that you make changes today.
Exercise weekly, eat well, sleep enough, manage stress, and avoid known carcinogens. By doing so, not only will you protect yourself against breast cancer, but also a wide range of other potentially fatal illnesses. So remember, be proactive with your health — not reactive.