Cowry Medical Group

How has breast cancer affected your life? Research tells us that one out of every eight women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis, so it is likely that we all know someone who has fought the battle against it.

With such a widespread disease, you might wonder how likely you are to develop it and what you can do to lower your chances. Although there is not a 100% effective way to avoid cancer, making certain lifestyle choices can help reduce your risk.

Here are some risk factors to consider as well as some tips on how you can avoid them:

  1. Sedentary lifestyle: Exercise is one factor which has been linked to breast cancer but maybe not in the way you think. Research has shown that women who exercise just 30 minutes every day have a lower risk of developing breast cancer. This doesn’t mean a high-impact workout routine, either. Taking a vigorous walk is enough to make a difference, so incorporate some moderate exercise into your daily schedule to reduce your risk.
  2. Excess weight: Just as a sedentary lifestyle poses a risk to your health, women with excess weight are more likely to develop breast cancer. To reduce your risk of cancer and enjoy greater overall health and wellness, maintain a healthy weight or ask your care provider about strategies to help you lose weight.
  3. High-fat diet: A diet which is high in fat puts you at a higher risk of developing breast cancer due to the relationship between estrogen production, which is triggered by fat, and tumor growth. Opt for a nutritious diet that includes colorful vegetables and fruits to help lower your risk.
  4. Postmenopausal hormone therapy: Combination hormone therapy has been linked in some research to a higher risk of breast cancer. To help mitigate this danger, talk with your healthcare provider about hormone therapy and the pros and cons of the treatment to make sure it is the right choice for you. It might be possible to treat symptoms with medications and non-hormonal therapy instead.
  5. Chemical hair treatments: Research has found that the use of permanent hair dye and other chemical hair treatments can be linked to a higher incidence of breast cancer. Chemical hair straighteners were also linked to a higher risk of developing breast cancer in that same study, with women who use straightener every five to eight weeks being 30% more likely to develop cancer. Avoiding chemical hair treatments could help lower your risk for breast cancer.

In addition, note that breastfeeding can lower your risk of developing breast cancer. Talk with your healthcare provider about how to accurately weigh your risks and protective factors.