Get Personal About Screening
Women who are at increased risk of breast cancer may need more aggressive screening such as mammograms starting at younger ages or a special breast imaging test called an MRI. Research in Clinical Cancer Research suggests that MRI scans twice a year instead of one annual mammogram may be more effective at detecting early breast cancers in young women who test positive for breast cancer genes, compared to mammograms alone. Discuss your personal risk factors with your doctor and come up with a protocol that works best for you, says Priya Thomas, MD, an assistant professor in the Division of Clinical Cancer Prevention at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center at Houston, TX.
Can Diet And Lifestyle Reduce The Risk Of Recurrence
You may have heard that diet and lifestyle can affect the risk of breast cancer coming back, also known as recurrence.
The World Cancer Research Fund recommends that women who have had breast cancer follow advice to reduce their risk of cancer coming back. This includes eating a healthy diet that is high in fibre and low in saturated fats, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight and limiting alcohol .
Eat Your Fruits & Vegetables And Avoid Too Much Alcohol
A healthy diet can help lower the risk of breast cancer. Try to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and keep alcohol at moderate levels or lower . While moderate drinking can be good for the heart in older adults, even low levels of intake can increase the risk of breast cancer. If you dont drink, dont feel you need to start. If you drink moderately, theres likely no reason to stop. But, if you drink more, you should cut down or quit.
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Most Breast Cancers Are Not Genetic
Only five percent of breast cancers are related to genetics and even then, that doesnt mean that all women with the BRAC genes that make them more vulnerable, will go on to develop breast cancer.
Though you cant alter risk factors like your age or parents, simple lifestyle changes can do a great deal to protect you from developing breast cancer.
One of the least discussed but most important steps is to reduce risks caused by too much estrogen.
In my experience working with women, estrogen dominance is very common, but often women dont know the signs or even realize that ED is a concern or that it kick starts substantial health risks.
You can learn how to rebalance your hormones with food in my book, Cooking for Hormone Balance.
Dont Wait Too Long To Have Children
Of course, reducing the risk of breast cancer is not a reason to have childrenbut if you know you want a family, not putting it off may offer some protection. Research suggests that women who conceive children earlier in life have a lower risk of breast cancer. Women who havent had a full-term pregnancy or have their first child after age 30 have a higher risk of breast cancer compared to women who gave birth before age 30, states breastcancer.org.
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Alcohol And Breast Cancer Risk
Drinking more than one alcoholic beverage a day may increase the risk of breast cancer. This risk grows with the amount of alcohol consumed. One drink is defined as 10 grams of alcohol, which typically means one of the following:
- Twelve-ounce beer
- Four-ounce glass of wine
- Shot of hard liquor or spirits
With each drink you consume in excess of seven per week, your risk may increase. Women who drink more than seven drinks a week can lower their risk by lowering their alcohol intake.
Preventive Surgery For Women With Very High Breast Cancer Risk
For the small fraction of women who have a very high risk for breast cancer, such as from a BRCA gene mutation, surgery to remove the breasts may be an option. Another option might be to remove the ovaries, which are the main source of estrogen in the body. While surgery can lower the risk of breast cancer, it cant eliminate it completely, and it can have its own side effects. For more on this topic, see Preventive Surgery to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk.
Before deciding which, if any, of these options might be right for you, talk with your health care provider to understand your risk of breast cancer and how much any of these approaches might affect your risk.
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Current Scenario And Future Burden Of Breast Cancer
Cancer of the breast is among the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in females globally. According to International Agency for Research on Cancer Globocan data on 2018, breast cancer caused 0.62 million deaths in 2018 and another 2.08 million new cases were identified, which is 11.6% of all cancer types recorded . At the current rate, the number of incident cases is expected to rise to 3.05 million, and the mortality troll is expected to rise to a nerve-racking 6.99 million by 2040 . Approximately 1 in 10 women is diagnosed with breast cancer at some time in their lives .
Epidemiological observation shows that the incidence of breast cancer is continuously raising in both industrialized and developing countries . Breast cancer is a disease largely triggered by environmental and lifestyle factors than genetic, which is believed to be responsible for only 1015% of all breast cancer cases . Various risk factors like age , family history of breast cancer, womans reproductive history such as early menarche, nulliparity or late pregnancy, and late menopause mainly aid to breast cancer onset . In addition, prolonged use of oral contraceptive and hormone replacement therapy are also known risk factors of this disease among postmenopausal women .
Foods That May Lower Breast Cancer Risk
Keep in mind that many factors are associated with breast cancer development. While improving your diet can improve your overall health and reduce your cancer risk in general, its only one piece of the puzzle.
Even with a healthy diet, you still need regular breast cancer screenings like mammograms and manual checks. After all, early detection and diagnosis significantly increase survival rates. Talk to your healthcare provider for advice about breast cancer screenings.
All the same, research suggests that these foods may lower your risk of this disease.
Reconsider Your Frequent Flier Miles
Flight attendants may face a greater-than-average risk for breast cancer, according to a study in Environmental Health. When compared with women in the general U.S. population, female flight attendants had a 51 percent higher rate of breast cancer. While experts are unsure why the risk jumps, some theorize that exposure to cosmic ionizing radiation from outer space may be the culprit. At flight altitudes, people are exposed to higher levels of it and aircrew have the highest average levels of all U.S. workers. The fact that flight crews have irregular sleep schedules may also play a role.
Herbal Products Used For Treatment Of Breast Cancer
A recent population-based survey showed that almost 80% of the women suffering from breast cancer use some form of complementary or alternative medicine for the treatment of cancer . Herbal remedies are the most common and popular form of alternative medicine among them, which is frequently used by women suffering from breast cancer. Here is some evidence that can help to treat breast cancer and its associated toxicity:
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Reducing Risk Of Recurrence
There are a number of myths regarding what may reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence, as well as evidence-based information that is easily overlooked. We will look at measures that may reduce your risk based on credible studies, as well as practices that are unclear that you may wish to discuss with your oncologist.
In some cases, though the benefit on recurrence risk is still not clear, your quality of life may be improved. And living well with cancer is as important as extending your life with cancer.
Before talking about measures that may help lower recurrence risk, it’s important to not add to the stigma of the disease. Some people do absolutely everything right and their breast cancer recurs anyway. Similarly, some people eat poorly, smoke, and drink heavily and their cancer never recurs. While you may be able to decrease your risk of recurrence to a degree, dealing with breast cancer is dealing with a mutated clone of cells that doesn’t think or follow the rules.
For those who have a recurrence, it doesn’t mean they have done anything wrong. It simply means cancer is being cancer.
How To Reduce Risk Of Breast Cancer
The highest risk for being diagnosed with breast cancer is being a woman. The second highest risk is age. The older you become, the higher your risk goes up. There are lifestyle changes that can reduce your risk of getting the disease and help find the disease early.
Each woman has her own set of risk factors. Each woman can create her own plan with her clinician to lower her risk of getting the disease. For men who are at risk, this is also true.
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How Does The Bebalanced Approach Differ From Treatment With The Synthetic Drug Tamoxifen
Tamoxifen is the oldest and most-prescribed selective estrogen receptor modulator . Since its approval in 1998, tamoxifen has been used to treat millions of women and men diagnosed with hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. But is Tamoxifen your best choice when it comes to cancer treatment? Maybe not.
Listed on breastcancer.org are the long list of side effects Tamoxifen can cause. It states, Tamoxifens selective estrogen activation effects can cause some serious side effects, including blood clots, stroke, and endometrial cancer.
The most common side effects of tamoxifen are:
- increased tumor or bone pain
- hot flashes
- dry skin
- loss of libido
This is because, unlike natural hormone balancing which increases progesterone levels to balance out estrogen, it only lowers estrogen levels. Estrogen is an important hormone that is helpful for numerous functions in the female body. It is only when it becomes out of balance that PMS and menopausal symptoms occur. This is precisely why the side effects of Tamoxifen mimic that of a hormone imbalance. 8,9
Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight appears to lower the risk of breast cancer recurrence. If you’ve been frustrated in attempts to lose weight in the past, it may be encouraging to know that some other practices on this list are associated with weight loss, not just exercise, but intermittent fasting, and even upping the fiber in your diet to improve the diversity of the bacteria in your gut.
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Diet And Breast Cancer Risk
Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day may lower your breast cancer risk. The natural vitamin antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of cancer slightly. You should also eat foods that are low in saturated fat.
Taking vitamin supplements does not seem to lower the risk of cancer. This includes vitamin D and calcium supplements.
If You Are Age 55 Or Over:
Mammograms are recommended every other year. You can choose to continue to have them every year.
Clinical breast exams and self-exams are not recommended. But you should be familiar with your breasts and tell a health care provider right away if you notice any changes in how your breasts look or feel.
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What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk Of Breast Cancer
Getting regular exercise and keeping a healthy weight can help lower your breast cancer risk.
Many factors over the course of a lifetime can influence your breast cancer risk. You cant change some factors, such as getting older or your family history, but you can help lower your risk of breast cancer by taking care of your health in the following ways
- Exercise regularly.
- Dont drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks.
- If you are taking, or have been told to take, hormone replacement therapyexternal icon or oral contraceptivesexternal icon , ask your doctor about the risks and find out if it is right for you.
- Breastfeed your children, if possible.
- If you have a family history of breast cancer or inherited changes in your BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, talk to your doctor about other ways to lower your risk.
Staying healthy throughout your life will lower your risk of developing cancer, and improve your chances of surviving cancer if it occurs.
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Ten Lifestyle Changes That May Help
All breast cancer survivors live with the concern about a recurrence or a new cancer. This fear is usually the biggest worry of all. Many women feel that their body has betrayed them and therefore it takes time to trust it again.
Learning how to cope with fears of recurrence is important. Though your body has gone through many changes as a result of a cancer diagnosis and treatment, most women become healthy, strong and optimistic once again.
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How Breast Cancer Forms And Multiplies
Cancer cells are triggered when a mutation in normal cells occur. This can happen due to well-known problematic lifestyle factors like living on junk food, chronic sunburn and cigarette smoking, but hormones can also play a big role. Once cancer cells are born they grow and divide to make more cancer cells, which form a tumor that may contain millions of cancer cells.
Cancers need a blood supply to provide them the oxygen, nutrients and hormones like estrogen, which help them grow and multiply. But as they get bigger they are often further away from the blood vessels so they need to set up their own supply. They do this by sending out signals that tell your body to grow new blood vessels like capillaries. This process is called angiogenesis. And it is ongoing, so once it occurs the cancer keeps getting bigger and then may start to spread to organs like your liver . Thats why scientists are working on cancer vaccines and drugs to try to halt the process of angiogenesis.
Breast cancer is often caused by cancer cells growing in the lobules, where milk is produced or the ducts, where the milk travels to the nipple. Breast cancer cells may then spread to surrounding breast tissue, then move to the lymph nodes under the arms and migrate to other parts of the body.
How To Naturally Reduce Our Risk Of Breast Cancer By Everviolet
Women in the US have a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer, putting the disease front-of-mind for all of us. Data shows that only 5 to 10% of cases are due to hereditary factors, meaning we all carry risk. While we may not be able to control whether we develop cancer, and even for those of us who have already faced the disease, there are several proactive measures we can adopt to try and keep our body as healthy as possible. Here are a few practices that not only can lower our risk of cancer, but also enable us to take better control of our general health and wellness.
1. Control our weight.
Managing a healthy weight is tough for most of us. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , more than 70% of American adults are overweight. As women, being overweight or obese after menopause can increase the risk of breast cancer, because after our ovaries stop producing estrogen, the majority of the estrogen in our body comes from fat tissue. In other words, having more fat can up our estrogen levels and in turn, increase our chance of developing cancer. When were overweight, we also tend to have higher levels of insulin another hormone that carries risk factors. To offset these factors, its important to control our weight by exercising and eating healthy.1
2. Limit our alcohol intake.
3. Quit smoking.
4. Avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution.
5. Breastfeed our children.
6. Consume a healthier, cleaner diet.
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Dietary Supplements For Cancer Prevention
What are free radicals? Do they cause cancers?Free radicals are chemicals that have unpaired electrons. They are present in the environment and are also generated in the body through normal metabolism. Free radicals are highly active and are thought to interact with DNA causing cell damage and cancer.
What are antioxidants?Antioxidants are substances that can inhibit the process of oxidation associated with free radicals. Many foods and dietary supplements, such as vitamin C and pycnogenol, have antioxidant effects.
Can antioxidants be used to prevent cancers?Some believe a diet rich in antioxidants helps prevent cancer. However, there is no conclusive evidence that antioxidant supplements can reduce cancer incidence. Moreover, high intake of certain antioxidants is associated with increased cancer risk.
Foods And Beverages To Avoid
While certain foods may protect against breast cancer, other foods may increase your risk.
As such, its best to reduce your intake of the following foods and beverages or avoid them altogether:
To lower your risk of breast cancer, steer clear of refined carbs, added sugar, alcohol, fried foods, processed meats, and fast food.
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