Is it possible to prevent breast cancer? While there is no foolproof method that can eliminate the risk of breast cancer, there are some natural ways by which you may be able to protect yourself. There is nothing you can do about risk factors like genetics, age, etc. But, research suggests that there may be some remedial measures that you can adopt. These include:
One of the first things that you can do is tweak your diet and focus on eating more vegetables while cutting down on meat. What you need to do is include more colored vegetables and fruits in your diet. The plant pigments called flavonoids are known for their anti-cancerous properties. When you consume more of these flavonoids, you significantly reduce the risks of breast cancer. Some foods which contain flavonoids are oranges, apples, black tea, melons, chamomile tea, and aromatic herbs.
Cut down on meat
Not only must you add more fresh fruits and veggies to your diet, but you must also cut down on the consumption of processed meats like ham, sausage, hot dogs, bacon, bologna, etc., which are known to contain carcinogens. The relation between cancer and meat is the strongest in colorectal cancer, but it is also possible that excess processed meat consumption may cause breast cancer.
While a healthy diet can help, working out every day is recommended to reduce the risks of cancer in general. Physical inactivity is a key reason for nine percent of breast cancer cases. When you stay active physically, you can reduce the risks of cancers, osteoporosis, and heart diseases. It is recommended that you get at least 300 minutes of exercise each week. It could be any activity that you like doing like swimming, cycling, walking, or dancing.
A good way to keep breast cancer at bay is to lose extra body fat, especially post-menopause. After menopause, body fat tends to increase. So, you need to cut down on your daily calorie intake. Or else, you must proactively burn more calories.
Cut down on alcohol
Drinking alcohol may have a connection with breast cancer. According to the British Medical Journal in 2015, light to moderate drinking could increase cancer risks for women by almost 13%. If you are fond of drinking, you can try to indulge in sparkling water instead.
Smokers are likely to get breast cancer. When you are a heavy smoker, you should consult your doctor about pharmaceutical and behavioral treatments which can help you forgo this habit.
If you can breastfeed your baby for at least a year, you can significantly lower the chances of breast cancers, besides benefitting your newborn in other ways.
Use contraception with caution
It is recommended that you stay away from birth control pills after 35 years of age, or if you are a heavy smoker. Statistics show that women who consume contraceptive pills have slightly increased chances of getting this type of cancer.
Post-menopausal hormones must not be taken for a long period, as these can heighten risks of some diseases. Unfortunately, estrogen-only and estrogen-plus-progestin hormones heighten risks of breast cancer.
Finally, if you have a family history of breast cancer or any other type of cancer, it is best to be cautious and get yourself screened regularly for abnormalities.