Avoid Products With The Words Fragrance Or Flavors On The Ingredients Label
Product labels that list fragrance, parfum, or flavors may contain a cocktail of dozens of potentially harmful chemicals. Choose personal care products, cleaning products, air fresheners, and candles that list all fragrance and flavor ingredients. Shop with companies that do list all fragrance and flavor ingredients check the company website for their ingredient disclosure policy.
Learning How To Prevent Breast Cancer Involves Controlling Your Weight
Being overweight or obese throughout adulthood is a risk factor for postmenopausal breast cancer . Putting on pounds after menopause also makes you more likely to get breast cancer. Every 10 kilograms of postmenopausal weight gain is associated with an 18 per cent relative increased risk, notes Kim. Maintaining a healthy weight protects against other types of cancer as well, not to mention diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
As with exercise, theres no single reason why weight influences breast cancer risk. What makes it even more complex is that carrying extra weight as a young woman appears to be protectiveperhaps because heavier women frequently have disrupted hormonal cycles and reduced estrogen levels.
After menopause, however, fat tissue is a main source of estrogen. Researchers have also identified links between obesity and chronic inflammation of fat tissue, which may be responsible for an elevated cancer risk in the breast. The same applies to higher levels of insulin. Whatever the reason, controlling weight, particularly after menopause, will protect you against breast cancer.
These weight-loss strategies dont require any exercise.
Breast Cancer Is A Disease In Which Malignant Cells Form In The Tissues Of The Breast
The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes, which have many smaller sections called lobules. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can make milk. The lobes, lobules, and bulbs are linked by thin tubes called ducts.
Each breast also has blood vessels and lymph vessels. The lymph vessels carry an almost colorless, watery fluid called lymph. Lymph vessels carry lymph between lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small, bean-shaped structures that filter lymph and store white blood cells that help fightinfection and disease. Groups of lymph nodes are found near the breast in theaxilla , above thecollarbone, and in the chest.
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Risk Factors And Risk Reduction
Cancer tends to be caused by a combination of factors. Some things we may be able to control . Others are out of our control and some are still unknown.
Since many factors affect cancer risk and we can control only some of them, we cant avoid some amount of risk. For example, the most common risk factors for breast cancer, being born female and getting older, are not things you can control.
Most risk factors for breast cancer that we have some control over have only a small effect on risk.
This means theres no one behavior that will prevent breast cancer. It also means theres no one factor that will cause it. Even a person with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 inherited gene mutation doesnt have a 100 percent chance of getting breast cancer.
Most people diagnosed with breast cancer are at average risk and we dont know which factors came together to cause the cancer.
Because the disease process is so complex, its hard to know how a certain set of risk factors will affect any one person. When we look at groups of people it becomes clearer.
For example, if we find theres a 20 percent decrease in risk of breast cancer in a certain group of people, we can predict there will be a 20 percent decrease in a similar group. What we dont know is which people in the group will get the risk reduction benefit.
Get Mammograms Every 1
Breast cancers develop unexpectedly and sometimes rapidly. A mammogram is a proven screening technique that is inexpensive, globally available, and used for tracking the early discovery of breast tumors. Scheduling your mammogram every year can give you peace of mind and help your doctor quickly spot suspicious changes.
Although mammograms are not one of the ways to prevent breast cancer, they can help you to overcome the disease due to early detection. The process is easy, the results are reliable, and every woman, especially in her forties or older, can benefit from it as a measure of precaution.
Mammograms function on the principles of X-ray radiation, which is why it is important to consult a medical expert in determining how often you should get yours. If skeptical or in doubt, you can find out more about the benefits and risks of mammograms here.
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Know How Dense Your Breasts Are
Ladies with dense breasts are more likely to develop cancer cells. That means they have more dense tissue than fatty tissue, which also makes it harder to examine and scan them. Understanding the physiology of your breasts will help you to be more conscious and aware of the possibility of cancer development so you can spot potential changes.
While natural density of breasts isnt something that we can influence, we can control how we care for our body. While ladies with more breast tissue are at bigger risk than those with more fat, both groups can benefit from prevention techniques, as unfortunately neither is excluded from the possibility of tumor development.
Be Aware Of Your Health
Having a family history of cancer increases your risk of breast cancer. But, even if your family doesnt have a history of cancer or you dont know their history, its important to be aware of your health. Know your body and watch for signs of cancer. Report any changes to your doctor. Discuss the risks of birth control pills and hormones with your doctor. Breast infections can also affect your cancer risk.
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If You Smoke Stop If You Drink Limit Your Intake
This ones pretty straightforward. For years weve known the health costs that come with smoking. Smoking can weaken the immune system, one of our bodies best defenses against cancer, and can damage or change a cells DNA, which can lead to the growth of a tumor. Quitting isnt always easy. For tips to help you or someone you love quit smoking, visit our website.
Drinking alcohol is linked to breast and several other cancers. Once ingested, your body breaks it down into a chemical that can damage or change a cells DNA, potentially leading to the growth of a tumor. The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that if you drink, you limit your consumption to one drink a day for women and two a day for men.
Lifestyle Changes After Breast Cancer
Lifestyle Changes after Breast Cancer Treatment: Conversations on Survival. A group of breast cancer survivors openly discuss what lifestyle changes were continued or changed after treatment. The importance of living in the moment, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and knowing what is really important in life are all discussed.
1) Take care of yourself emotionally
- Put your needs first sometimes
- Attend a support group or find a breast cancer survivor you can talk with
- Stay informed about new breast cancer research
- Consider psychotherapy and/or antidepressants if warranted if youre taking tamoxifen, check with your oncologist to ensure the prescribed antidepressant does not interfere with your endocrine treatment
- Communicate with your doctor about fears or concerns
- Volunteer or become a breast cancer advocate
2) Take care of yourself physically
- Exercise regularly
- Report any physical changes to either your oncologist or primary care provider
- Seek treatment for lymphedema if you experience signs
3) Eat healthy
Research has shown that a diet high in fat and calories increases circulating estrogen in the blood. Consuming a low fat and low calorie diet after breast cancer can improve your overall health and wellness. Here are some dietary suggestions:
4) Reduce stress
5) Limit alcohol
6) Exercise regularly
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Preventive Surgery For Women With Very High Breast Cancer Risk
For the small fraction of women who have a very high risk of breast cancer, such as from a BRCA gene mutation, surgery to remove the breasts may be an option. Another option might be to remove the ovaries, which are the main source of estrogen in the body. While surgery can lower the risk of breast cancer, it cant eliminate it completely, and it can have its own side effects. For more on this topic, see Preventive Surgery to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk.
Before deciding if any of these options might be right for you, talk with your health care provider to understand your risk of breast cancer and how much these approaches might affect your risk.
Breast Cancer: Risk Factors And Prevention
Have questions about breast cancer? Ask here.
ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about the factors that increase the chance of developing breast cancer. Use the menu to see other pages.
A risk factor is anything that increases a persons chance of developing cancer. Although risk factors often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do. Knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.
Most breast cancers are sporadic, meaning they develop from damage to a persons genes that occurs by chance after they are born. There is no risk of the person passing this gene on to their children, as the underlying cause of sporadic breast cancer is a combination of internal, or hormonal, exposures lifestyle factors environmental factors and normal physiology, such as DNA replication.
Inherited breast cancers are less common, making up 5% to 10% of cancers. Inherited breast cancer occurs when gene changes, called mutations or alterations, are passed down within a family from parent to child. Many of those mutations are in tumor suppressor genes, such as BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2. These genes normally keep cells from growing out of control and turning into cancer. But when these cells have a mutation, it can cause them to grow out of control.
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Avoiding Risk Factors And Increasing Protective Factors May Help Prevent Cancer
Avoiding cancerrisk factors may help prevent certain cancers. Risk factors include smoking, being overweight, and not getting enough exercise. Increasing protective factors such as quitting smoking and exercising may also help prevent some cancers. Talk to your doctor or other health care professional about how you might lower your risk of cancer.
NCI’sBreast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool uses a woman’s risk factors to estimate her risk for breast cancer during the next five years and up to age 90. This online tool is meant to be used by a health care provider. For more information on breast cancer risk, call 1-800-4-CANCER.
Don’t Consume Too Much Sugar
Try your best to avoid any added sugar in your diet. According to a study done at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, high amounts of sugar in today’s Western diets may increase the risk of breast cancer as it can increase tumor growth. And if you need help in this area, know that This Is the Safest Way to Cut Sugar Out of Your Diet.
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Don’t Have Hormone Replacement Therapy
Studies have shown a connection between longtime hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer. This link suggests HRT with a combination of estrogen and progesterone raises the risk. Five years after discontinuing HRT, the risk drops. If you need to take hormone replacement therapy, talk to your healthcare provider about weighing the risks and benefits.
Expert Review And References
- American Institute for Cancer Research / World Cancer Research Fund. Continuous Update Project Report: Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Breast Cancer. 2017: .
- Lester J. Early stage breast cancer. Yarbro CH, Wujcki D, Holmes Gobel B, . Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning 2018: 47: 1279 – 1334.
- Morrow M, Burstein HJ, and Harris JR. Malignant tumors of the breast. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, & Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2015: 79: 1117-1156.
- National Cancer Institute. Genetics of Breast and Gynecologic Cancers Health Professional Version. 2016: .
- National Cancer Institute. Breast Cancer Screening Health Professional Version. 2017: .
- National Cancer Institute. Breast Cancer Prevention Health Professional Version. 2017: .
- World Health Organization. Breast Cancer: Prevention and Control. Geneva: World Health Organization 2017.
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Take A Walk Around The Block
One of the best ways you can prevent breast cancer by is maintaining a healthy weight. Regular exercise, especially after menopause, has shown to significantly reduce breast cancer risk. Start your walking routine with a short, 20-minute walk each day, and increase your time as you feel ready. Work your way up to at least a 30-minute walk, five days a week.
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The Following Are Protective Factors For Breast Cancer:
Reproductive history resulting in less exposure to estrogen
A womans reproductive history can affect the length of time her breast tissue is exposed to estrogen. Early onset of menstruation, late onset of menopause, later age at first pregnancy, and never having given birth have been linked to an increase in estrogen exposure and breast cancer risk. The following reproductive factors decrease the length of time a woman’s breast tissue is exposed to estrogen and may help prevent breast cancer:
- Early pregnancy: Estrogen levels are lower during pregnancy. Women who have a full-term pregnancy before age 20 have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who have not had children or who give birth to their first child after age 35.
- Breast-feeding: Estrogen levels may remain lower while a woman is breast-feeding. Women who breastfed have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who have had children but did not breastfeed.
Taking estrogen-only hormone therapy after hysterectomy, selective estrogen receptor modulators, or aromatase inhibitors and inactivators
Estrogen-only hormone therapy after hysterectomy
Hormone therapy with estrogen only may be given to women who have had a hysterectomy. In these women, estrogen-only therapy after menopause may decrease the risk of breast cancer. There is an increased risk of stroke and heart and blood vessel disease in postmenopausal women who take estrogen after a hysterectomy.
Selective estrogen receptor modulators
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Alcohol And Breast Cancer Risk
Drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day may increase the risk of breast cancer. This risk grows with the amount of alcohol consumed. One drink is defined as 10 grams of alcohol, which typically means one of the following:
- Twelve-ounce beer
- Four-ounce glass of wine
- Shot of hard liquor or spirits
With each drink you consume in excess of seven per week, your risk may increase. Women who drink more than seven drinks a week can lower their risk by lowering their alcohol intake.
Maintain An Optimal Weight
Being overweight increases your risk of breast cancer “substantially,” Dr. Kakkis says. She recommends maintaining a healthy weight that is appropriate for your age and body type. This doesn’t have to involve extreme measures, she notes.
“We’re not talking about marathon running,” Dr. Kakkis says. “We’re talking about being in a reasonable range.”
Weight gain from increased body fat specifically is associated with early reoccurrence and lower rates of survival among people with breast cancer, according to the July 2017 âEuropean Journal on Breast Healthâ report. The journal did note the specific challenges that individuals enduring breast cancer treatment have in avoiding weight gain and recommended a combination of resistance and aerobic exercise if possible as a weight-management strategy.
Want to Determine a Healthy Weight for You?
Plug your info into LIVESTRONG.com’s BMI calculator to determine if your weight is in the healthy range.
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Lifestyle Changes For Breast Cancer Prevention
We are all unique, and staying healthy and preventing illness is different for each person. Eating healthy, exercising and learning stress reducing strategies help most people to feel healthier.
Integrating healthier habits into your life is important, but can be difficult. Some people are more successful if they make small changes over a long time period. Others find that a major overhaul in how they live is more effective. In general, the most sustaining motivation is to feel better.
There are no clear causes of breast cancer and, therefore, no proven way to prevent the disease. This can provoke uncertainty, fear and anger. It is this fear of the unknown and people’s passion to find causes that fuel breast cancer advocacy and research.
Even though there is no proof that healthier living can prevent breast cancer, it is believed that decreasing your exposure to things that are harmful and increasing healthier practices may lower the risks. These practices have been shown to help people improve their energy levels, decrease the incidences of other illnesses and enhance their overall sense of well being. There is ongoing research to study the impact of lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, support and stress management.
Lifestyle change begins with a personal commitment to feel and be healthier. It is often difficult for us to care for ourselves because we usually care for others. The following series of questions may prompt an exploration.