Prevention Is Better Than Cure: Here’s How You Can Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk

Updated on July 2, 2021

Breast cancer is one of the most dangerous types of cancer that claims millions of lives globally every year. In 2020, 2.3 million women were diagnosed with it, and 685 000 succumbed to it. 

Various factors collectively determine the occurrence of breast cancer. These include age, mutation, personal as well as family history of breast cancer, etc. Even race is a substantial risk factor for breast cancer. African American Breast Cancer accounts for fewer numbers as compared to the number of breast cancer cases in white women. Asian, Native American, and Hispanic women are at lower risk. 

Although these risk factors can’t be changed, some can be altered to reduce the susceptibility to breast cancer. Weight, diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption, etc., are the risk factors that can be controlled to lower your risk. 

Here is how you can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer:

Limit your alcohol consumption 

Alcohol consumption is directly related to breast cancer. The more you drink, the greater is your risk of getting it. Limit your alcohol consumption to one drink a day. Exceeding this limit even in small amounts can put you at a greater risk. 

Do not smoke!

Like alcohol, smoking is a hazardous habit that can lead to several health conditions, such as stroke, heart diseases, and 15 types of cancer, including breast cancer. 

Get rid of this habit to prevent breast cancer and lead a quality life. 

Stay physically active 

Physical activity reduces your risk of developing not just breast cancer but many other diseases. Give 150 minutes every week to moderate aerobic activities or doing vigorous aerobic exercises for 75 minutes a week. It will keep you in your best form and reduce the risk of breast cancer. Plus, add strength training to your workout schedule at least twice a week. 

Maintain your weight 

Maintain a healthy weight to keep the risk of developing breast cancer at bay. If you are obese, get in touch with your doctor or trainer to devise a healthy weight loss plan. Keep a check on your calories and get your body moving. 

Take hormonal therapy in moderation

Taking hormone therapy can elevate your chances of getting breast cancer. If you are on postmenopausal hormone therapy, discuss the benefits and associated risks of your therapy. Look for alternatives, such as non-hormonal therapy that is safe. 

If you continue with hormonal therapy, talk to your doctor about trimming the doses to limit the risk. 

Do not take birth control pills 

Taking birth control pills also makes you susceptible to breast cancer, more so if you are over 35 years of age. 

Opt for Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is directly related to your possibility of not getting breast cancer. Breastfeeding for a long time prevents the chances of developing cancer. 

These are the common risk factors that are well under your control. 

Self-examination of breast cancer 

Regular self-examination of breasts can greatly help in the early detection of breast cancer and its successful treatment eventually. 

Examine your breasts in the mirror on a regular basis. Look for any change in their size, shape, or color. Check for redness or swelling. See whether or not nipples are in their right position. Check whether there is any discharge from the nipples. Raise your arms and check any abnormality. 

Lie down and feel your breast using your hands. Check the entire breast using your finger pads to find out the presence of any lump. Feel your breasts in sitting and standing positions too.

The bottom line 

Breast cancer can affect anyone (even men). However, if you keep these things in mind, you can prevent the risk by manifolds. Furthermore, don’t forget to get screened from time to time. 

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