Breast cancer: Six lifestyle tips women should follow to reduce their risk!


    New Delhi: Breast cancer is alarmingly increasing in India with the disease overtaking cervical cancer as the biggest killer among Indian women.

    Recent reports revealed breast cancer is claiming one life every 10 minutes. And the rate at which breast cancer is spreading its fatal tentacles across India is pathetic that one new case is being diagnosed every 29 seconds. Moreover, the mastectomy rate in the country is now more than 90%, which is double the rate of US.

    Besides replacing unhealthy lifestyle habits with healthier ones, early detection can help women control breast cancer from spreading or becoming malignant.

    According to Dr Sahana K, a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist, the best way to prevent yourself from developing this deadly disease is boosting your immunity and staying away from harmful habits.

    Here are a few measures that one needs to follow to prevent the risk of developing breast cancer.

    Stay physically fit

    Every woman should make exercise a part of her daily routine to stay fit. Staying physically fit has several advantages as it enhances the quality of life and improves physical form.

    Regular physical activity such as hitting the gym or doing exercises at home has the ability to cut down one’s risk of breast cancer as well. Any form of physical activity can reduce breast cancer risk by at least 20 per cent.

    Consume healthy food

    Along with regular exercise, it is necessary to follow a balanced diet. Eating the right food can boost your immune system and cut down your risk of developing breast cancer. Avoid processed foods and say no to aerated drinks.

    Include high fibre food items in your daily diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables. These food items can protect your body and boost your immune system to fight against breast cancer. Always maintain a healthy diet and control your body weight to considerably reduce breast cancer risk.

    Breastfeeding helps

    Women who breastfeed are at a lower risk of developing breast cancer than those who don?t breastfeed at all. Breastfeeding helps to lower the estrogen levels in the body, thus preventing the risk of cancer.

    Some women choose not to breastfeed as they believe the act will result in sagging breasts. However, breastfeeding is considered one of the most natural ways to protect one?s body against development of cancerous cells.

    Quit smoking and control liquor intake

    Heavy smoking and high consumption of alcohol are high risk factors for breast cancer. A study published in the journal Cancer, revealed that women who tend to smoke a lot have a significantly higher incidence of ‘estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer,’ a common tumour characterized by its sensitivity to hormone-blocking therapy. Limiting your alcohol consumption and giving up on smoking are important to reduce breast cancer risk over time.

    Consult physician for hormonal therapies

    If you wish to undergo hormone treatments, it is essential to consult your doctor for alternative therapies to cut down the risk of breast cancer. Avoid medicines that contain hormones for long term therapy or limit their use to less than three years.

    Go for periodic screening

    Periodic screening is imperative, especially for those women who have a family history of breast cancer. A woman should undergo regular check-ups once she hits 30.

    The two screening tests available are mammography and ultra-sound. Be familiar with how your breasts feel normally. Always notify your physician if you observe any kind of lump, bleeding, discharge or if you experience any pain.

    There is no assured way to prevent breast cancer, but there are ways to strengthen your immune system to fight against any deadly disease. Cultivate a healthy lifestyle and keep yourself mentally, physically and emotionally fit to improve your body’s ability to fight against any life-threatening diseases, including breast cancer.

    Breast cancer usually develops from breast tissue. Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include a lump in the breast, a change in breast shape, dimpling of the skin, fluid coming from the nipple, or a red scaly patch of skin.

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