By Dr Karimi Prashob Kumar
Consultant Surgical Oncologist
Published on 28/10/2022
There is no perfect way to stop breast cancer. But we can certainly make good lifestyle choices that might lower the cancer risk. Various risk factors, such as being born a female and old age, are beyond our control. However, additional risk factors can be changed and may lessen the risk.
Breast cancer prevention starts with healthy habits like minimizing alcohol use and remaining physically active. Let’s learn what we can do to lower the risk of breast cancer!
Steps to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer
Even in women at high risk, lifestyle changes can decrease the risk of breast cancer. Follow the below-given preventive measures to reduce your chances of developing cancer.
1. Limit alcohol:
The more alcohol people consume, the more likely they are to develop breast cancer. Based on research on the influence of alcohol on breast cancer, the general guideline is to say no to alcohol or limit the amount, as even tiny amounts increase the risk.
No Smoking: Smoking is one of the risk factors for breast cancer which is a modifiable risk factor by No Smoking or Quit Smoking.
2. Maintain a healthy weight:
If the weight is healthy, work to keep it that way. For a healthy weight, you can talk to the doctor about healthy ways to do it. Reduce the daily calorie intake while gradually increasing the workout.
3. Be physically active:
Exercise can help people maintain a healthy weight, which lowers the risk of developing breast cancer. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week, plus at least twice a week of strength training, for the majority of healthy persons.
4. Timing of pregnancy:
Having a late pregnancy after age 35 or if you've never completed a full-term pregnancy might lead to a higher chance of breast cancer. Pregnancy may help safeguard against breast cancer as it forces breast cells into their final phase of maturation.
Breastfeeding may help to avoid breast cancer. The longer you breastfeed, the more protective the effect. Women who breastfeed are less likely to develop breast cancer later in life. Breastfeeding is beneficial for both the baby's and the mother's health.
6. Limit postmenopausal hormone therapy:
Breast cancer risk may increase with combination hormone therapy. Talk to the doctor about the advantages and disadvantages of hormone therapy.Nonhormonal treatment and medications may be able to help you control the symptoms. If you determine that the benefits of short-term hormone therapy outweigh the hazards, use the lowest dose that works for you and continue to have the doctor monitor the duration of the hormone therapy.
Can a healthy diet prevent breast cancer?
Foods that prevent breast cancer are vegetables and fruits including tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, spinach, garlic, pomegranate, citrus fruits, apricots, whole grains, etc. Studies have revealed that a plant diet reduces the risk of cancer.
Is there any link between birth control pills (oral contraceptives) and breast cancer?
Yes! Hormonal contraception, such as birth control tablets and hormone-releasing IUDs, increases the risk of breast cancer. However, the risk is considered very low and diminishes once women stop using hormonal contraception.
Take into consideration the benefits of hormonal contraception, including the ability to control monthly bleeding, prevent unintended pregnancies, and reduce the risk of other conditions like endometrial and ovarian cancer.
Discuss with your gynecologist to learn more about taking birth control pills, its impact on hormonal changes and its role in development of cancer.
Early detection saves lives! Consult the doctor if you detect any changes in the breasts, such as a new lump or skin changes. In addition, if there is a family history, consult the doctor about when to begin mammograms and other screenings.
Get yourself screened NOW! Prevention is better than cure!
Book an appointment with our expert Oncology Doctors.