While some of us are more at risk of developing breast cancer than others due to genetics, we all have the potential to be impacted depending on our lifestyle. Many of us know someone, or more than one person, who has suffered from breast cancer. Some were fortunate enough to beat it. Others lost a valiant fight, and we remember their courage.
There are several healthy lifestyle choices and habits you can make on a regular basis to help lower your risk of developing breast cancer. Many of these can also help prevent other forms of cancer. Even if you are currently at high-risk, these have been shown to lower your chances of a cancer diagnosis.
- Don’t smoke: Particularly for women who have not yet gone through menopause, a distinct link between smoking and breast cancer has been identified. It’s not a healthy habit for a variety of reasons, so if you need help, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW today.
- Limit your alcohol intake: The more you drink, the higher chance you have of developing breast cancer. If you do choose to partake, limit your consumption to no more than one drink/day.
- Exercise: While it might seem like this is listed as an answer to many health issues, it remains true that our bodies were made to be active. Exercise keeps our heart, muscles, and emotions healthier, and can affect your weight.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Overweight or obese women have a higher risk of breast cancer, especially those who have already gone through menopause.
- Avoid radiation and environmental pollution: Some medical imaging practices use high levels of radiation, which have been linked to breast cancer risk. Research also has found that some chemical exposure such as gasoline fumes and vehicle exhaust can increase your risk.
- Breast feed: If you have or might have children, breast feeding has been shown to help prevent breast cancer. The longer you breast feed, the longer the protective effects last.
We all want to reduce the risk of serious diseases so that we can continue to spend time with our family and friends, following our passions. For more information on how to prevent chronic or severe illness, or to speak to someone about possible medical problems, give us a call at 717-840-9885 or click on the button below to make an appointment.
Dr. Julie Drolet
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