Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer
The National Cancer Institute estimates that there will be close to 230,480 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in 2011 alone. The month of October celebrates National Breast Cancer Awareness month, so there’s no better time to consider the ways you can reduce your risk of breast cancer.
Limit Estrogen Exposure
One of the first ways to reduce your risk of breast cancer is to limit your exposure to estrogen whenever possible. This is especially true for older women who are taking hormone replacement medications after menopause.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Women who are overweight have a greater chance of developing breast cancer than those who maintain a healthy weight, especially after menopause. Most of the estrogen in a woman’s body comes from their fat tissue following menopause, which means that the more body fat a woman has, the higher her chances of developing breast cancer. In addition to following a healthy diet, exercise has been shown to modulate high levels of estrogen and enhance the immune system to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Lifestyle Habits to Avoid
It is crucial to avoid smoking and limit your alcohol consumption to lower your risk for breast cancer. Studies show that women who consume 2-4 alcoholic drinks per day have a 40% higher risk of developing the disease than women who do not drink.
One of the best ways to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer is to undergo routine screenings with your cancer care facility. Clinical breast exams and mammograms can help diagnose the signs of breast cancer during the early stages, making it easier to obtain effective treatments and destroy the cancer cells before they metastasize.
The Women’s Diagnostic Center at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is fully accredited by the American College of Radiology and specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. For more information on our cancer care services, visit our website or contact us at (818) 676-4000.