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How Can You Prevent Breast Cancer?

Dr. Sanjaya Mishra 92% (231 ratings)
MD - Oncology
Oncologist, Hubli-Dharwad  •  10 years experience
How Can You Prevent Breast Cancer?

If you are concerned about breast cancer, you should know about the steps you can take to prevent the condition. Breast cancer is a type of cancer developing from the breast tissue. Symptoms such as a lump in the breast, fluid flowing from the nipple, changes in the shape of the breast and occurrence of red scaly patches on the breast denote breast cancer.

You need to make certain lifestyle changes in order to prevent breast cancer. The ways you should adopt include the following:

  1. Limit your alcohol intake: The more you consume alcohol, the more you put yourself at the risk of getting breast cancer. It is recommended for you not to drink more than one drink per day. Small amounts of alcohol increase the risk of breast cancer as well.

  2. Abstain from smoking: There is a direct link between tobacco smoking and breast cancer, and the risk is even more in premenopausal women. You should quit smoking to reduce the risk of breast cancer along with many other conditions, which can develop because of the ill-effects of smoking.

  3. Control your weight: Obese women are more prone to breast cancer when compared with women with a healthy weight. This is especially true when obesity occurs at a later stage in life, after menopause.

  4. Keep physically active: Regular physical activity is essential for you to maintain a healthy weight, which is important for preventing breast cancer. 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercises or 75 minutes of vigorous exercises are recommended along with strength training.

  5. Breastfeed: Breastfeeding plays an important role in preventing breast cancer. The more you breastfeed your baby, the more protected you are from breast cancer.

  6. Limit the dosage and duration of hormone therapy: If you undertake combination hormone therapy for more than three to five years, you are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer. In case you are taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, you should talk to your doctor about alternative options such as non-hormonal therapy and medications. If you still require hormonal therapy, you must use the lowest dose that will be effective.

  7. Avoid exposure to radiation and pollution: Certain medical imaging procedures like computerized tomography involves radiation of high doses. There is a link between breast cancer and radiation exposure. Thus, you should abstain from getting exposed to radiation and avoid taking such tests if it is not very urgent.

Maintaining a healthy diet also helps in reducing your risk of developing breast cancer. You should include food items which are plant based in your regular diet, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and legumes. Also, consume healthy fats such as olive oil instead of red meat and butter. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult an oncologist.

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