Breast cancer is a real threat to American women. Approximately 1 in 8 women are at risk of developing the disease, while only 1 in 1,000 men are at risk. However, you don’t have to be passive in the fight against breast cancer. You can take steps to lower your risk quite a bit, which will be discussed here.
Most women will experience a breast lump or two in their lifetime, which may or may not be cancerous. In most cases, the latter will be true, but to help those statistics even more, read on to see what more you can do.
Simple Changes You Can Make
- Increase Soy Food Intake – Studies show that eating more soy foods inhibit the growth of estrogen, which is believed to be one of the major factors in breast cancer. As estrogen levels rise or hormone levels get out of control, breast cancer risk increases. You can get more soy in your diet by eating foods like tofu, soy milk, soybeans, tempeh and miso, all of which contain phytoestrogen hormones (or plant estrogens) that block human estrogen.
- Avoid Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), Especially Estrogen Replacement – Again, estrogen increases breast cancer risk, so it’s not something you want to encourage and pump into the body even more. Understandably, HRT may be necessary at times to treat some menopausal symptoms like extreme hot flashes, but as a general rule, don’t increase estrogen unless absolutely necessary if you want to protect against breast cancer.
- Get Moving – Exercising at least three times a week helps your bodily systems to function better, stimulates immunity, and protects against disease, including breast cancer.
- Vamp Up Your Diet – You’ve heard this like a broken record, so it’s no surprise here either: Eat your vegetables (especially the cruciferous kind), stay away from fatty foods (generally the bad fats), consume more fiber, and cut back on the dairy. So many diseases and ailments can be prevented by just eating right, and we all know what eating right means.
- In this case, you’re going to want to go after cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage and brussel sprouts, all of which help to keep estrogen levels regulated. Keep in mind, too, that many fruits and vegetables that you purchase in the grocery store are sprayed with pesticides, and these pesticides may contribute to an estrogen increase in the body.
- So to protect against this, thoroughly wash your produce, peel the skin or go after organic produce whenever possible which are generally devoid of pesticides. With these dietary changes, your hormones will become more regulated; you’ll feel better and cut your risks for breast cancer significantly.
- Get Rid of Bad Habits – No one has to tell you that smoking is bad for you, and though lung cancer is usually the main cancer associated with smoking; with every puff of smoke, you are introducing carcinogens into the body and cancer can attack any part of your body. To be on the safe side, aim to quit.