Limit Or Avoid Alcohol
Studies show that there is a link between moderate and heavy alcohol use and breast cancer. Alcohol is known to raise estrogen levels in your blood. This makes it more likely for you to get cancer again. If youâre a cancer survivor, itâs best to avoid alcohol altogether.
If you do choose to drink, make sure to limit it to only one drink a day to lower your chances of your cancer coming back.
Genetic Counseling And Testing
If there are reasons to think you might have inherited a gene change that increases your risk of breast cancer , you might want to talk to your doctor about genetic counseling to see if you should be tested. To learn more, see Genetic Counseling and Testing for Breast Cancer Risk.
If you decide to be tested and a gene change is found, this might affect your decision about using the options below to help lower your risk for breast cancer
Breast Cancer Risk Factors You Cant Change
While a persons risk of breast cancer can be increased due to certain lifestyle factors, there are factors that people have no control over . Although these may increase your risk of developing breast cancer, having one or more of these risk factors does not mean that you will develop cancer. Having no known risk factors also does not guarantee that you will never develop cancer.
While non-modifiable risk factors cannot be changed, you can still reduce your risk of breast cancer by making healthy lifestyle choices and managing modifiable risk factors. If you are worried about your risk of developing cancer, see your doctor to discuss any concerns. Non-modifiable risk factors include:
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Aspirin And Anti Inflammatory Drugs
Research has shown that women who regularly take aspirin or other non steroidal anti inflammatory medicines have a slightly lower risk of developing breast cancer. There are trials in progress that will give us more information in the future.
Remember that aspirin can irritate the lining of your stomach and cause bleeding. So you should talk to your own GP before starting to take it regularly.
You shouldn’t take these medicines if you have any history of stomach ulcers.
Get Smart: Know Your Risk
Prevention has to start with knowledge. Women at an increased risk of breast cancer may need to start screening earlier or be screened more frequently than women of average risk. You might be at an increased risk if you:
- Are overweight or obese or are not physically active
- Have mutations of BRCA-1, BRCA-2 or PALB-2 genes
- Have a family or personal history of breast, colorectal or ovarian cancer
- Began menstrual period before 12 or began menopause after 55
- Have never had children or had your first child after age 30
- Are currently using or have recently used birth control pills
- Have used hormone replacement therapy for more than 10 years
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Expert Review And References
- American Institute for Cancer Research / World Cancer Research Fund. Continuous Update Project Report: Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Breast Cancer. 2017: .
- Lester J. Early stage breast cancer. Yarbro CH, Wujcki D, Holmes Gobel B, . Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning 2018: 47: 1279 – 1334.
- Morrow M, Burstein HJ, and Harris JR. Malignant tumors of the breast. DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, & Rosenberg SA. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 10th ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2015: 79: 1117-1156.
- National Cancer Institute. Genetics of Breast and Gynecologic Cancers Health Professional Version. 2016: .
- National Cancer Institute. Breast Cancer Screening Health Professional Version. 2017: .
- National Cancer Institute. Breast Cancer Prevention Health Professional Version. 2017: .
- World Health Organization. Breast Cancer: Prevention and Control. Geneva: World Health Organization 2017.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake And Dont Smoke
No one is saying you dont have to live a little but everything in moderation is a sound policy for everyone. The fact is that smoking increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and at least fifteen cancers including breast cancer so dont smoke. Simply put, the more alcohol you drink the more the chances of your developing breast cancer increase. Clinical studies show that zero alcohol intake is best but if you must drink, one glass of wine or spirits a day is recommended, as long as you realize that even small amounts of alcohol increase the risk of developing breast cancer. The best advice is to avoid alcohol consumption completely.
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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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Limit Your Time Sitting
It doesn’t matter how much exercise you getit can’t counteract the harmful effects of sitting for long periods. The American Cancer Society found that women who sit six-hours or more a day sitting have a 10 percent more likely chance to develop breast cancer and other cancers. And remember: cutting down on sitting and switching to a standing desk is also one of 7 Ways to Conquer Lower Back Pain Once and For All.
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Take A Walk Around The Block
One of the best ways you can prevent breast cancer by is maintaining a healthy weight. Regular exercise, especially after menopause, has shown to significantly reduce breast cancer risk. Start your walking routine with a short, 20-minute walk each day, and increase your time as you feel ready. Work your way up to at least a 30-minute walk, five days a week.
For Women At Increased Risk Of Breast Cancer
If you are at increased risk for breast cancer , there are some things you can consider that might help lower your chances of developing breast cancer :
- Genetic counseling and testing for breast cancer risk
- Medicines to lower breast cancer risk
- Preventive surgery
- Close observation to look for early signs of breast cancer
Your health care provider can help you determine your risk of breast cancer, as well as which, if any, of these options might be right for you.
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Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy Should Be Limited
Make sure to talk with your healthcare provider about the benefits and risks of hormone therapy because some combination hormone treatments can increase the risk of breast cancer. The professionals at BedfordBreastCenter.com can suggest alternative ways in which you may be able to manage your symptoms with medications and homeopathic, nonhormonal therapies instead, to minimize your risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer. If after consulting with experts you decide that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the risks, it would behoove you to make sure your doctor uses the lowest dose that works for you. Doing so will significantly reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
Early Detection In Men
Early detection efforts are also important in men who are at risk of breast cancer. Because men have much less breast tissue, its typically easier to find an abnormality early. Of course, it doesnt take nearly as long for the tumor to spread with less breast tissue. Even for men, regular screenings are an important part of an early detection program.
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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.
Resources On Preventing & Treating Breast Cancer
Breast Wellness to prevent and heal from breast cancer. This is from a functional medicine doctor who had breast cancer herself. She provides her guide book for free education. Take it and learn! She is the absolute best in this arena!
Breast Cancer Conqueror Dr. V has one of the most amazing stories, check out her website and protocol from overcoming breast cancer naturally. Its amazing and very insightful. She also has implemented new ways for women to do their self-check at home. She teaches how doctors do it, so you can do it for yourself each month!
10 strategies to prevent and treat breast cancer this is a quick education video from a functional medicine Doctor . Its a great place to start if you want to learn more about the approach of functional medicine from the beset. Dr. Mark Hyman. He is best-selling author and leader of the functional medicine clinic at the Cleveland Health Hospital.
In summary. Research Vitamin D, Research inflammation, and please read these free resources from the experts. Learn to prevent breast cancer from happening, you can take this into your own hands and not fear the unknown. Take control of your health! I hope you found this eye opening and hopeful. Its nice to know there is more out there than just chemo or being scared of the big C. As always, make sure you check with your primary care Doctor before beginning anything new.
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The Following Are Protective Factors For Breast Cancer:
Reproductive history resulting in less exposure to estrogen
A womans reproductive history can affect the length of time her breast tissue is exposed to estrogen. Early onset of menstruation, late onset of menopause, later age at first pregnancy, and never having given birth have been linked to an increase in estrogen exposure and breast cancer risk. The following reproductive factors decrease the length of time a woman’s breast tissue is exposed to estrogen and may help prevent breast cancer:
- Early pregnancy: Estrogen levels are lower during pregnancy. Women who have a full-term pregnancy before age 20 have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who have not had children or who give birth to their first child after age 35.
- Breast-feeding: Estrogen levels may remain lower while a woman is breast-feeding. Women who breastfed have a lower risk of breast cancer than women who have had children but did not breastfeed.
Taking estrogen-only hormone therapy after hysterectomy, selective estrogen receptor modulators, or aromatase inhibitors and inactivators
Estrogen-only hormone therapy after hysterectomy
Hormone therapy with estrogen only may be given to women who have had a hysterectomy. In these women, estrogen-only therapy after menopause may decrease the risk of breast cancer. There is an increased risk of stroke and heart and blood vessel disease in postmenopausal women who take estrogen after a hysterectomy.
Selective estrogen receptor modulators
Medicines For Women At Higher Risk Of Breast Cancer
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends that medicines be offered to some high risk women to reduce the risk of breast cancer. These are:
- tamoxifen for 5 years if you are pre menopausal
- anastrozole for 5 years if you are post menopausal
- raloxifene or tamoxifen for 5 years if you are post menopausal and you cannot take anastrozole
Your specialist doctor might also talk to you about these medicines if you have a moderate risk of breast cancer. All these drugs have side effects and are not suitable for everyone. Speak to your doctor who can tell you whether these are suitable for you.
You do not need to take this medication if you have had surgery to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
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What Can I Do To Keep My Breasts Healthy
Some breast cancer risks cant be controlled, like your age or having a family history of breast cancer. But there are some things you can do to reduce your risk:
Stay at a healthy weight.
Make exercising a part of your life.
Dont smoke cigarettes.
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
Avoid chemicals that are linked to cancer. Some chemicals and harmful things around you in your daily life can affect your breasts. This includes some foods, makeup, plastics, and household products. Ask your doctor or nurse for more information.
If possible, breastfeed your baby.
Its also important to talk to your doctor or nurse about breast cancer screenings. Though breast screenings cant prevent cancer, they can help to find cancer earlier, when they are easier to treat.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
A glass of wine after a long day is totally OK. But according to the American Cancer Center, the less alcohol you drink, the better you’ll be when it comes to reducing the risk of breast cancer. And if you’re goal is to have a really healthy brain, know that This Is Exactly How Much Alcohol You Should Drink.
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Your Race And Ethnicity
White and Black women have the highest risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latina womens breast cancer rates fall in between two major groupings while American Indian and Alaska Native women are on the lowest end of risk.
While white women are more likely to develop breast cancer than Black women overall, they tend to be diagnosed at an older age . Black women have the highest breast cancer rates among women under age 40. Black women make up a higher percentage of triple-negative breast cancer cases.
What to do: If your race or ethnicity places you at higher risk, make sure you follow all screening recommendations to improve your chances of catching cancer early.
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Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor
EGFR, also known as c-erbB-1 or Her1 in humans, is located on the short arm of chromosome 7 . The EGFR protein is a cell surface glycoprotein of tyrosine kinase family and is activated by binding to EGF, TGF-, amphiregulin, betacellulin and so on. The downstream signaling pathways of EGFR including PI3K, Ras-Raf-MAPK and JNK are triggered to promote cell proliferation, cell invasion, angiogenesis and to protect cells against apoptosis . Overexpression of EGFR is found in more than 30% of cases of the inflammatory breast cancer , a very aggressive subtype of breast cancer. Patients with EGFR-positive IBC have a poorer prognosis than those with EGFR-negative tumors . More than half of triple-negative breast cancer cases, characterized by the absence of estrogen receptor , progesterone receptor expression and HER2 amplification, also have EGFR overexpression . Therefore, targeting the EGFR pathway might be a promising therapy for these malignant tumors.
Two hypothetical theories of breast cancer initiation and progression. All subtypes of tumor are derived from the same stem cells or progenitor cells. Different tumor phenotypes are then determined by subtype-specific transforming events. Each tumor subtype is initiated from a single cell type . Random mutations can gradually accumulate in any breast cells, leading to their transformation into tumor cells when an adequate number of mutations have accumulated.
Make Sure You Get Fiber
You can find this nutrient in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans. Women who eat plenty of these foods had a lower risk of breast cancer, according to several studies. Scientists arenât exactly sure how it works to prevent tumors, but theyâre doing more research to understand why. A fiber-rich diet can also help your health in other ways, like lowering your odds of diabetes and heart disease.
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The 10 Commandments Of Cancer Prevention
About one of every three Americans will develop some form of malignancy during his or her lifetime. Despite these grim statistics, doctors have made great progress in understanding the biology of cancer cells, and they have already been able to improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
But instead of just waiting for new breakthroughs, you can do a lot to protect yourself right now. Screening tests can help detect malignancies in their earliest stages, but you should always be alert for symptoms of the disease. The American Cancer Society developed this simple reminder years ago:
- C: Change in bowel or bladder habits
- A: A sore that does not heal
- U: Unusual bleeding or discharge
- T: Thickening or lump in the breast or elsewhere
- I: Indigestion or difficulty in swallowing
- O: Obvious change in a wart or mole
- N: Nagging cough or hoarseness
It’s a rough guide at best. The vast majority of such symptoms are caused by nonmalignant disorders, and cancers can produce symptoms that don’t show up on the list, such as unexplained weight loss or fatigue. But it is a useful reminder to listen to your body and report sounds of distress to your doctor.
2. Eat properly. Reduce your consumption of saturated fat and red meat, which may increase the risk of colon cancer and a more aggressive form of prostate cancer. Increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
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