One of the easiest ways to prevent breast cancer is to practice healthy habits in your everyday life. According to the latest breast cancer statistics, about 1 in 8 women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime. Over 250,000 new cases are expected to be diagnosed in women in the US this year.
Breast cancer is a disease that doesn’t discriminate, it can happen to anyone – even TV stars. Veep and Seinfeld actress Julia-Louis Dreyfus was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and had past co-star Jason Alexander reach out to her to talk about his own wife’s battle with the disease.
Here are some tips you can follow to help reduce your risk:
1. Limit alcohol intake.
Drinking alcohol increases your risk of developing breast cancer. It’s recommended that you limit yourself to less than one drink per day.
By staying physically active, you have more control over maintaining a healthy weight. Overweight and obese women have a greater chance of developing breast cancer, so getting regular exercise is key.
3. Eat healthy foods.
Harvard researchers discovered that women who have the highest levels of carotenoids (found in fruits and vegetables) in their blood had a 19% lower risk of breast cancer. Lycopene, which is found in tomatoes, is also shown to have cancer-fighting properties.
4. Breast-feed your children.
It has been shown that women who breastfed on a regular basis had a 10% reduced risk of death from cancer. Because women don’t have a period while breastfeeding, it limits the number of cycles she has over a lifetime. This in turn limits the amount of estrogen being exposed to the body.
5. Detect it early.
You have a much greater chance of surviving breast cancer when it’s caught early. Get regular breast exams and mammograms starting in your 40s. You should also get familiar with how your breasts normally feel so that you can recognize any changes in appearance or touch.