Breast cancer; one of the most common forms of cancer in women. More than 1 million cases of breast cancer are reported in India per year. As scary as that sounds, we must not forget that there are ways to prevent oneself from getting this disease, or at least reduce the risk of getting it. Breast cancer may also be a part of your family history, which cannot be changed by these steps. But the least we can do is reduce the chances of getting diagnosed, by implementing a few lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes have been proved to be effective in reducing the risk parameter of getting breast cancer.
Given below are 5 tips to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women. Go through this article and implement these lifestyle changes, since prevention is always better than cure.
1. Weight control- weight plays a major role in all diseases. It also increases the risk of getting breast cancer. Hence, one must always try to control their weight according to their Body Mass Index (BMI), and prevent being obese or overweight. Obesity after menopause is something every woman should try avoiding, since it increases the chances of getting diagnosed with breast cancer.
2. Quit smoking- Smoking causes many diseases, and one such disease is breast cancer. Researchers have found a connection between smoking and breast cancer, and have stated that there is a link between the two. This risk increases especially in premenopausal women. By quitting smoking, you will do your body a huge favor. It not only prevents breast cancer, but also other lung disorders. Thus, quit smoking, TODAY.
3. Say yes to breast-feed- Breast feeding is completely the choice of a woman, whether or not she wants to go with it. But apart from benefits to the newborn, breast-feeding also offers benefits to the mother. It plays a role in reducing the chances of getting diagnosed with breast cancer. The longer that a mother breastfeeds her child for, the better protection she offers to herself. The duration of the breast-feeding period is directly proportional to the protective effect that it offers to mothers.
4. Radiation and environmental pollution- exposure to radiation throughout a person’s lifetime plays a role in breast cancer. With new medical-imaging methods being invented by medical science, the rate of exposure to radiation increases manifold. High doses of radiation are used in medical imaging methods like computerized tomography. It is advised to get these kinds of tests done only and only when absolutely necessary. Avoiding these tests as much as possible will decrease the risk of getting breast cancer, since it reduces the exposure to radiation.
5. Hormone therapy- these kinds of therapies are often used by women for menopausal symptoms. The risk of getting breast cancer is said to increase if one uses these medications for a period of 3-5 years. Limiting the dose of these medications is important in order to remain safe. Ask your doctor for some other alternative for menopausal symptoms, and try to go for non-hormonal therapies. Even if using hormonal therapies is absolutely necessary, always go for the lowest doses, even if it is for a short term period. The duration of taking these hormones must also be checked and monitored by your doctor.
These were 5 of the most common tips to prevent or reduce the risk of breast cancer. Apart from these, you must also notice any changes that you see in your breasts. If you see any kind of skin changes or feel a formation of a lump, then immediately consult with your doctor. Remember, the treatment of breast cancer depends on the stage of the cancer. This means, if diagnosed at an early age, it can be treated effectively. Stay safe!