Tips to prevent breast cancer: How to safeguard your health
Breast Cancer Prevention: Breast cancer symptoms can manifest in various forms, and not everyone with breast cancer experiences all these symptoms.
Breast cancer is one of the prominent forms of cancer that affects women and rarely some men worldwide. There is no single cause for this form of cancer to occur. While there is no exact way to prevent breast cancer, making the right and healthy lifestyle choices and considering the risk factors can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer. A combination of causes like genetic, environmental, hormonal and lifestyle factors causes breast cancer. Risk factors include gender, age, family history, Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), reproductive factors, and genetic mutations. Exposure to radiation and toxins can increase the chances of developing breast cancer.
Breast cancer symptoms can manifest in various forms and not everyone with breast cancer experiences all these symptoms. The symptoms include painless lumps or thickening in the breast or underarm, change in breast shape or size, change in nipple discharge, breast pain, and redness of the breast skin. Some people experience swelling in the breast area.
These are some tips to lower the risk of breast cancer:
- Consume a balanced diet: Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Consider foods which are rich in antioxidants and have protective properties like cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) and flaxseeds. Limit the intake of processed foods, sugary beverages, and excessive red, processed meat.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity is linked with the increased chances of breast cancer in an individual. To prevent this, maintain a healthy weight according to your BMI by consuming a healthy diet and regular workouts.
- Regular Workouts: 30-minutes of moderate intensity exercise regularly, one can prevent the risk of breast cancer. Exercise helps regulate hormones and improves the overall health of an individual.
- Limit alcohol consumption and quit smoking: Avoid or limit the intake of alcohol as even moderate amounts of alcohol are associated with increased chances of breast cancer. Quit smoking or avoid smoking, especially women in their premenopausal phase as it increases the chances of breast cancer. Quitting smoking has several health benefits, including lower chances of cancer.
- Reduce Environmental Toxins: Limit the exposure to environmental toxins like phthalates, BPA, and pesticides which are linked to breast cancer. By opting for BPA-free products and organic foods one can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.
- Check for Family History: Being aware of family history is of utmost importance as it increases the chances of developing breast cancer. Genetic makeup and family history contribute to higher levels of developing breast cancer.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Women need to be extra cautious while considering HRT specifically during menopausal time. Long term use of certain hormones can increase the chances of breast cancer.
-By - Dr. Santosh Chikkareddi, Sr. Consultant-Surgical Oncologist HCG NMR Hubballi.