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LEARN: Tips to Reduce Your Risk for Breast Cancer

Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control. When these cells start growing in the breast, it is called breast cancer. Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, regardless of race or ethnicity. Breast cancer is the most common cause of death from cancer among Hispanic women and is the second most common cause of death from cancer among white, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.

Numerous elements can influence your risk for breast cancer, and most women who develop breast cancer do not have any known risk factors or a history of the disease in their families. Luckily, there are things you can do to help lower your risk of breast cancer:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Studies show that eating a plant-based diet that is void of salt, refined sugar, and bad fats will not only reduce your risk of breast cancer but will also play a vital role in the treatment of the disease.
  • Exercise regularly (at least 30 minutes per day). Studies show that exercise has a greater effect on treating breast cancer than chemotherapy.
  • Sleep 7 to 9 hours per night. Research shows, poor sleep and stress impair immunity function and detoxification, and may keep us from vitality-promoting lifestyle habits!
  • Don’t drink alcohol, or limit alcoholic drinks to no more than one per day. The studies are clear: the more you drink, the higher your risk of breast cancer. Two drinks per day increases risk by as much as 70%.
  • Avoid exposure to chemicals that have been shown in clinical trials to cause cancer specifically carcinogens such a Bisphenol-A (BPA), Phthalates, Parabens.
  • Limit your exposure to radiation during medical tests like mammograms, X-rays, CT scans, and PET scans. Talk to your doctor about what tests are right for you.
  • Breastfeed your babies, if possible. One large study found up to a 59% reduction in risk in breast cancer in premenopausal women who had breastfed for any length of time, even though all of these women had a first-degree relative (mother, sister) with breast cancer.

Although breast cancer screening cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find breast cancer early, when it is easier to treat. Talk to your doctor about which breast cancer screening tests are right for you, and when you should have them.