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Chances are, you know someone who has been affected by breast cancer: one in eight American women will develop the disease at some point in their lives.
Want to prevent cancer, but do not know how? Don’t want to sit around and hope it does not happen to you? You do not have to feel helpless. There are many things you can do to help prevent cancer.

REDUCE YOUR RISK

SIMPLE EVERYDAY CHOICES FOR RISK REDUCTION

There are easy things we can all do to lower our risk, starting with leading a healthy lifestyle. Your 20s and 30s are the ideal time to start adopting new habits that can reduce your lifelong risk of breast and ovarian cancer, so give the following lifestyle choices the consideration your body deserves. And these risk-reduction steps can benefit women at all risk levels. They apply to everyone!
While all of these activities can help reduce your breast and ovarian cancer risk, they do not eliminate it completely. Keep the tips in mind as you create a comprehensive plan, which should also include early detection.
Regular Exercise
Regular Exercise
Health Tips
Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial there is a clear link between obesity and breast cancer because of the excess estrogen produced by excess fatty tissue. You’ve heard it before, but we’ll tell you again: being active is key. 30 minutes of regular exercise, enough to get heart rate up or to break a sweat, on most days may reduce risk by as much as 10-20%. Plus, it has lots of other benefits like lowering risk for heart disease and reducing stress.
Having Children and Breastfeeding
Having Children and Breastfeeding|
Health Tips
A woman’s childbearing history also influences her risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer. Pregnancy transforms and stabilizes the cells that comprise milk-producing glands and ducts, so the earlier this transformation happens, the lower the risk of breast cancer. Some studies have shown that women with first pregnancies under the age of 30 have a 40-50% lower risk of breast cancer than women who gave birth later or who were never pregnant.

Pregnancy can also reduce your risk of ovarian cancer by eliminating some ovulatory cycles and therefore the number of chances for ovarian cells to “go rogue” during cell division.

Breastfeeding can also play a role in risk reduction strategy. If it makes sense for you, breastfeeding for 1-2 years—not necessarily consecutively—lowers your risk for both breast and ovarian cancer by decreasing estrogen levels and the number of times you’ll ovulate over the course of your life. It also may reduce a female baby’s overall risk of developing breast cancer later in her life.

Stop Smoking
Stop Smoking
Health Tips
This one is simple, for a variety of reasons! There’s a known link between tobacco and many cancers (not just lung or other oral cancers). If you do smoke, commit to quitting smoking now.
Get A Mammogram
Get A Mammogram
Health Tips
Try to get in the habit of doing a breast self-examination once a month to familiarize yourself with how your breasts normally look and feel. Examine yourself several days after your period ends, when your breasts are least likely to be swollen and tender. Annual mammograms can detect cancer early when it is most treatable.
Live A Healthy Lifestyle And Live Longer
Live A Healthy Lifestyle And Live Longer
Health Tips
• Foods that provide Vitamin D, like fatty fish, fortified milk, beans, eggs, and nuts.

• Vitamin A reduces risk for those who have a family history of the disease. Look for carrots, sweet potatoes, dried herbs, and leafy greens.

• Fiber is a rich nutrient found in whole grain, flax, certain cereals, beans, and vegetables shown to reduce estrogen levels which in turn can slow the growth of cancer cells in the breasts. Consider swapping white bread with whole grain, white rice with brown, and sugary cereal for one rich in fiber and the vitamins listed above.

Environmental Factors
Environmental Factors
Health Tips
The chemicals in our environment play a role in altering our biological processes. We now know that exposures to toxic chemicals and radiation are connected to our breast cancer risk. Get to know the chemicals that have been linked to breast cancer and learn about what you can do in terms of personal, corporate and political action to limit your exposure, thereby reducing your risk of breast cancer.
Eat Well Live Well
Eat Well Live Well
Health Tips
Research has shown that the food you put in your body has a direct link to your health. Fill up on cancer-fighting fruits and vegetables, make sure you get all your vitamins, and avoid red meat research has shown a 12% increase in breast cancer risk per 50g of red meat consumed on average each day.

Vitamin D is known to help reduce the incidence of breast and ovarian cancer by slowing the growth of cancer cells. Research shows a 2.5x increase in breast cancer in individuals with a Vitamin D deficiency, and a possible increase in ovarian cancer risk.

Have your Vitamin D levels checked at your primary care physician’s office. If your levels are low, talk to him or her about the best ways to get those levels up – it can be surprisingly hard for those of us who live through long, dark winters inside, because the sun is our primary and best source of Vitamin D.Fatty fish (such as salmon) is a good dietary source of Vitamin D, as can be milk, fortified cereal, orange juice, and eggs.If your levels are low, try to take in the sun in small doses ,and also ensure that your diet or a Vitamin D supplement provides the rest.

Excess Alcohol
Excess Alcohol
Health Tips
Cut back on cocktails. Research shows a 10% increase in breast cancer risk for every 10g of alcohol that’s one standard drink consumed on average each day. Limit alcohol to one drink per day or eliminate it entirely.
Do Monthly Self Breast Exams
Do Monthly Self Breast Exams
Health Tips
Annual mammograms can detect cancer early when it is most treatable. In fact, mammograms show changes in the breast up to two years before a patient or physician can feel them. Mammograms can also prevent the need for extensive treatment for advanced cancers and improve chances of breast conservation.
Live A Healthy Lifestyle And Live Longer
Live A Healthy Lifestyle And Live Longer
Health Tips
• Low-fat foods research shows modest decrease in invasive breast cancer in women with low fat diet.

• Fruits and vegetables carry the vitamins and nutrients that can help lower your risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Aim for at least five servings a day.

• Vitamin E has been clinically proven to slow the growth of cancer cells in the ovaries by reducing the production of telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein that can increase the risk of developing ovarian cancer. Fill up on leafy greens such as swiss chard, spinach, and kale, as well as nuts, wheat, and tropical fruits.

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