Breast Cancer Prevention and Recovery: The Power of Lifestyle Choice

breast cancer prevention

Picture this: you’re a woman over 50, and in your family’s health history, breast or ovarian cancer casts a long shadow. It’s a worrisome but undeniable fact that your risk of breast cancer is higher. Age, genetic mutations, gender, dense breast tissue, and your unique menstrual history (starting periods before age 12 and menopause after 55) – are all part of the equation and factors beyond your control. 

But here’s where the journey takes a promising turn – there’s hope and action you can take for breast cancer prevention. 

A happy note on breast cancer prevention

Let’s kick things off with positive news. You have the power to reduce your risk of breast cancer. A healthy diet and regular exercise are two of the most potent tools in our arsenal! 

Breast cancer prevention and diet

Eating a healthy diet reduces breast cancer risk. Studies show that a Mediterranean diet filled with fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts helps lessen the risk of cancer and other diseases. Here’s how to reduce breast cancer risk with food: 

1. Fibre friends

A fibre-rich diet of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can be your breast cancer BFF. High-fibre foods like broccoli, spinach, and lentils are not just good for your waistline but also your long-term health as it helps regulate hormones 

2. Antioxidants to the rescue

Antioxidants found in colourful fruits and vegetables (think berries, carrots, and spinach) protect your cells from damage that can lead to cancer. Research proves that they provide resistance against tumorigenesis, acting like little superheroes patrolling your body 

3. Healthy fats

In postmenopausal women, dietary fat poses a higher risk of breast cancer. So, ditch the saturated fats and say hello to good fats! Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon and walnuts, have anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce your risk of breast cancer. 

4. Meat matters in cancer

Avoid red meat like lamb, beef, mutton, pork, and goat. Stick to white and lean cuts of meat and poultry like turkey, fish and chicken. They are the best breast cancer prevention foods. Similarly, stay away from processed meat like ham, jerky, corned beef, salami and bacon. Anything that has been cured, smoked, fermented or gone through any process to improve flavour will be high in fat and salt. 

5. Bingeing alcohol

The risk of breast cancer increases with each unit of alcohol consumed daily. If you cannot completely stop drinking it, limit your drinking amount. 

Reducing the risk of breast cancer with exercise

Does exercise reduce breast cancer risk?  

Yes, it does.  

So, watch that waistline.  

Excess body fat can increase your oestrogen levels, which, in turn, can raise your breast cancer risk. Regular exercise can help keep those pesky extra pounds at bay. 

Sweat it out

“Women who exercise for at least 30 minutes each day, 5 days per week, are less likely to get breast cancer.” Regular physical activity becomes a game-changer. Aim for moderate-intensity exercise. Brisk walking, swimming, or dancing – whatever floats your boat. 

Muscle matters, too. 

Strength training exercises are more than a ticket to toned arms and legs. They can help reduce your risk of breast cancer. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have, the easier it is to keep a healthy weight. 

How lifestyle choices impact breast cancer survivorship

Now that we’ve tackled how diet and exercise can prevent breast cancer let’s talk about those who have already faced breast cancer and won – the survivors. A healthy lifestyle can improve your quality of life post-treatment and lessen the chances of recurrence.  

1. Make nutrient-rich choices

Your body needs all the help to recover from breast cancer treatment. Focus on nutrient-dense foods like lean proteins, whole grains, and a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. They’ll help you regain strength and energy. 

2. Focus on bone health

Breast cancer treatments can impact bone health, so get enough calcium and vitamin D to keep your bones strong and reduce the risk of fractures. 

3. Exercise to fight fatigue

Breast cancer survivors often struggle with fatigue. While it might sound counterintuitive, regular exercise can help increase your energy levels and reduce fatigue. 

But exercise isn’t just for your physical health. It’s a natural mood enhancer, helping you battle post-treatment depression or anxiety. Even a daily walk can work wonders for your mental well-being. 

Living happier and healthier

Breast cancer is a formidable opponent, but you have the power to take charge of your health. A wholesome diet and regular exercise are your loyal allies in breast cancer prevention and recovery.  

Remember, it’s not just about living longer; it’s about living happier and healthier. 

So, why not start now? Embrace these positive lifestyle changes, and take control of your well-being.  

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