Awareness is the key to breast cancer prevention. If you have a family history of breast cancer, it is essential that you have regular medical tests and mammograms. Don't omit to check your breasts every month. Breast Self Examination can help in early detection of cancer. Women who have their children while in their mid-thirties run added risk of developing breast cancer. Breastfeeding the child reduces the risk of developing breast cancer.
Read on to find out how you can make dietary and lifestyle changes to prevent breast cancer. Breast cysts have often been said to be responsible for breast cancer. Look for ways to keep breast cysts at bay. Find out how you can prevent breast cancer recurrence.
Preventing breast cancer
- It is essential to maintain healthy body weight; with BMI less than 25. With extra fat tissue, you run the increased risk of estrogen circulating in the body. Women with higher body weight are more predisposed to breast cancer.
- Consequently a regular fitness regimen would aid in maintaining ideal body weight. This could help keep cancer at bay. Moderate aerobic activity boosts body's protection against breast cancer.
- Studies have shown a definite correlation between high intake of dietary fat and incidence of breast cancer. Keep away from saturated fats and trans-fats. Monounsaturated oils have tremendous cancer-fighting properties. Enrich your diet with nuts and seeds that provide selenium. Add Omega-3 fats and soy products. Lowering the fat intake can go a long way in helping you maintain good body weight. Lowered fat intake also helps in reducing the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- Your diet must contain many servings of breast cancer prevention foods - from broccoli and cabbage to brussel sprouts and dark leafy greens. Go in for carrots and berries and don't omit the cruciferous vegetables. Avoid foods with high glycemic index and instead opt for whole grains, beans and legumes. Eat fruits high in phytochemicals, fiber and antioxidants. Include carotene-rich food such as mango, spinach, pumpkin, sweet potato, yams, chili peppers and greens.
- Limit alcohol intake to not more than a drink of wine, beer or liquor a day. Increased alcohol intake has been linked to increased risk of developing breast cancer.
- Certain types of breast cysts are known to increase the chance of breast cancer. Avoid Hormone Replacement Therapy as far as possible.
Preventing breast cancer recurrence
Even after surgery, it is noticed that there is a chance of breast cancer recurrence in some women. With adequate adjuvant therapy, women have seen 'disease-free' years. But some types of breast cancer recurrence have been known to occur. Either there is a local recurrence of breast cancer, where there is recurrence at original tumor location or there is regional recurrence in the general area such as the chest or underarms. Distant recurrence is when cancer is identified in any other area of the body.
Adequate intake of antioxidants during and after breast cancer treatment reduces chances of breast cancer recurrence. Regular intake of Vitamins C and E are known to provide a protective effect against breast cancer recurrence.
Preventing recurrence of cancer is possible with regulated use of chemotherapy after surgery so as to destroy any remaining cancerous cells. Drugs such as Tamoxifen and Trastuzumab are also prescribed to prevent breast cancer recurrence. But none of the above are guaranteed against recurrence of breast cancer.
Preventing breast cysts
Your diet can help you prevent breast cysts to a large extent. Include fish such as salmon, trout and mackerel to benefit from the Omega-3 fatty acids, iodine and healthy oils they contain. Beta carotene, either from food or supplements can be taken as it is converted into Vitamin A by the body.
Iodine has a beneficial effect on fibrocystic disease and is necessary for functioning of the thyroid. Hypothyroidism is linked to fibrocystic disease. Wheat germ oil, flaxseed oil and sunflower seed oil are known to benefit cystic breast condition. Benefit from the germanium found in garlic and onions. Reduce intake of dairy and meat products.
Application of Vitamin E oil or primrose oil on the breasts can alleviate the tenderness and gentle massage can move liquids out of the breast area into the lymph passages. Nicotine is known to stimulate cystic growth, therefore avoid smoking. Drink plenty of water to aid better functioning of the blood and lymphatic system.
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