Breast cancer is the second most diagnosed form of cancer in women, after skin cancer, affecting 200,000 women annually.
Despite the high number of diagnoses, the survival rate is much higher, with approximately 3 million women in the United States alone who have successfully overcome this disease.
Ways to Prevent Breast Cancer
Prevention is any action a person can take to lower a potential risk of danger to themselves or others. While there are no guaranteed preventatives against developing the disease, there are steps women can take to lower their risk.
Below is a list of lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of developing breast cancer:
Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption: Studies have shown that caffeine is particularly troublesome for women with highly fibrous breast tissue. Excessive alcohol consumption may also increase a woman’s odd of developing cancer or other complications.
Quit smoking: Smoking is an extremely harmful habit that has been attributed to causing many types of cancer—particularly throat and lung cancer. But recent studies have shown that women who smoke are 16 percent more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer. The risk is especially high for post-menopausal women who smoke.
Exercise regularly: Women who maintain a healthy weight for their height and body type run less of a risk of developing breast cancer. Exercise is also an excellent way to relieve stress, which can also trigger a range of health problems and increase a woman’s odds of developing breast cancer.
Eat a balanced diet: Eating the right combination of healthy foods and supplements keeps the body in good working order and fighting off infection and diseases, lowering the risk of cancer.
Get enough sleep: Like stress, sleep deprivation can cause a range of health problems. While lack of sleep itself may not lead to a cancer diagnosis, insomnia and other sleep-related disorders can lower a patient’s immunity and make them more susceptible to a variety of illnesses.
Get regular mammograms and gynecological exams: Most patients who have successfully overcome breast cancer attribute their recovery to early detection. Women who visit their gynecologist regularly and schedule their yearly mammogram (particularly women over 40) increase their odds of detecting any abnormalities and treating them accordingly. If breast cancer is detected early enough, a woman’s has a 99 percent chance of a 5-year survival rate.