5 Ways You can Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Some of the ways to prevent Breast Cancer includes regular checkups, breast self-exams and mammograms . Doing these on time can help you detect breast cancer early on, when it is most treatable. But what about prevention? Short of radical surgery, are there steps you can take to reduce the risk?

Certain immutable factors like genetics, a family’s medical baggage and just being born female determine much of the risk of breast cancer. And, as with all cancers, that risk increases with age: a 30-year-old woman’s chances of developing breast cancer over a 10-year period are less than half of 1 percent, or 1 in 234, while a 60-year-old has a 3.5 percent risk, or 1 in 28.

However ,there are a few things you can do to prevent Breast Cancer . Choices that have an effect include how much alcohol a woman drinks , the amount of physical activity she gets (the more the better) and whether she takes hormones (the less the better). Doctors also urge women to keep their weight down, as obesity increases the risk of developing breast cancer during the postmenopausal years.

Know your family’s medical history.Keep in mind that breast cancer genes come from both sides of the family, not just your mother’s.Among relatives, “the special red flags” are premenopausal breast cancer, bilateral breast cancer (cancer that appears in both breasts) and ovarian cancer, said Dr. Larry Norton, deputy physician in chief of breast cancer programs at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. But even if no one in the family had breast cancer, that is no guarantee that you are safe, said Dr. Runowicz; in fact, only 10 percent of breast cancer patients have a family history.

Some of the ways to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk Includes
  • Cut down on alcohol, or avoid it altogether. When it comes to breast cancer, studies have been pretty consistent: there is no safe amount of alcohol
  • Obesity after menopause increases the risk of breast cancer, so try to keep your weight down. But exercise is beneficial regardless of weight, and even a small amount of physical activity may be helpful.
  • Avoid combined hormone therapy. The recommendation for all hormone therapy is to take the lowest dose for the shortest period necessary. A Women’s Health Initiative study found a slightly higher risk for breast cancer among women who took estrogen with progestin after menopause, and a drop in breast cancer diagnoses since then has been attributed to the fact that many women quit using hormones.

Read the full Article on how to Reduce "Breast Cancer Risk" here

article source:Nytimes Health


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