I’m sure you’ve read every possible article or heard about the latest breast cancer prevention information out there, but believe it or not, there are constant studies coming out on how to try to prevent obtaining this debilitating disease once and for all.
Is there an absolute fool-proof plan to guarantee that you will never get breast cancer in the first place? Not yet, but hopefully we’re on our way to that glorious day.
Here’s what we know, and what we can continue to do on our part to slash our odds:
Avoid being overweight or obese. Studies are linking excess pounds of fat as “…a stronger risk factor for estrogen-positive cancer” including those women who are postmenopausal—even those who have not taken any hormones, says Regina Ziegler of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology & Genetics at the National Cancer Institute.
Hold the alcohol. Ziegler also notes that alcohol consumption plays a key role, no matter if it’s one to six servings a week (a 29% higher risk of estrogen-positive cancer) or more (a 48% higher risk when drinking seven or more) versus women who drink no alcohol at all.
Eat Your Greens. Or juice them. It really doesn’t matter; what matters is eating more fruits and vegetables, but especially vegetables. Ziegler notes that “eating more fruits and vegetables, especially vegetables, may be protective for [the] estrogen-negative tumors” that are typically higher (and harder to treat) in younger women (Nutrition Action Health Letter).
Work out! Exercise lowers both the risk of estrogen-positive and estrogen-negative breast cancer; researchers aren’t sure why. They theorize that it could be due to keeping off excess pounds (and thus decreasing fat cells, and excess estrogen leading to breast cell proliferation) or perhaps a combination of the roles that insulin and inflammation play as well. According to Nutrition Action, “… a recent study found that women who had high insulin levels had double the risk of breast cancer, whether or not they were overweight.” Ziegler notes that “you’re [still] more likely to have high insulin levels if you’re heavier and inactive.”
We all know what to do: eat fruits and vegetables, workout, cut the stress, and so on. Tquestion is, are we doing it? What will it take for us to take the small steps to take care of ourselves before it’s too late?
Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes”. To send in a question, email Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com. She can also be reached at www.101FIT.com or www.PinkIslandFitness.com and 239-333-5771.