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Ways to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer

One in three people in the world will develop some kind of cancer in their lifetime. For women, this is likely to be breast cancer. There are a number of identified risk factors, knowing them and acting on them can help you reduce your risk of contracting breast cancer considerably. Some of the risk factors are unchangeable like gender, age, genes, family history, race and ethnicity, hormones and medical history. Other risk factors are changeable and therefore potentially controllable like environment, lifestyle and personal behavior. It is vital that you manage the risk factors that you can in order to over-ride the risks that you can’t. You can start with:-

Life-style factors:-

1. Diet

According to Dr Murray, Birdsall, Bizzorno and Reilly, the authors of “How to prevent and treat cancer with natural medicine” – poor diet is a major cause of cancer in the United States. Eating a nutrient rich diet of mainly organic fruit, vegetables, grains and legumes is an excellent way to reduce the risk of breast cancer. The pH of the blood should be alkaline as too much acidity encourages cancer growth. Encourage this by having an alkaline drink daily. Foods that are believed to increase cancer risk are: meats, dairy, refined sugar and alcohol. There is a clear connection between alcohol consumption and many types of cancer, including breast cancer. A report by RAND Corporation researchers found that obesity contributes as much or more to the development of chronic degenerative diseases, including cancer.

2. Vitamins

With so many women today avoiding sunlight either because of fear of sunburn or because their work and life takes place mainly indoors, there is an increasing incidence of vitamin d deficiency. In a study involving 1394 women with breast cancer and a control group without breast cancer, the women with breast cancer were three times more likely to have low vitamin d levels. An earlier randomized controlled study had already shown that there was a 60% reduction in internal cancers in women taking 1 100 IU per day of vitamin d.

3. Exercise

Increased physical activity has been found to cut the risk of breast cancer in half. The greater the activity: the lower the risk. You do not have to join a gym. Do small things like choose the stairs instead of the lift. Walk when you can, it’s more environmentally friendly than jumping in the car. Try hula-hooping, swimming, throwing frisbee, playing ball games and/or rebounding.

Environmental factors

1. Avoid chemicals

Journal of Natural Medicine Issue 45 – in 2007 the Silent Spring Institute in Massachusetts released a comprehensive review of the 216 carcinogens (cancer causing substances) identified to date. It includes combustion products, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, hormones etc. It is vital to protect yourself from these toxins when and where possible. Take the time to identify all the carcinogens out there and protect yourself as much as you can from them.Quit smoking or being around people who smoke, it is a well known cause of cancer.

2. Limit radiation exposure

Radiation is a serious cause of cancer. Be wary of using services that use radiation. For example:-

-Instead of a mammogram, ask your doctor if you can rather get a thermograph. Infrared thermography uses the heat radiating from your own body to detect problems from your breasts. Best of all, there is no contact with the body: no compression and no radiation.

-Get an ultrasound rather than an x-ray where possible.

-Choose an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) over computed tomography (CT).

There are many ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer. The first step is consciousness, an awareness of what works and what hurts. Do what works and eliminate what hurts. It may not be easy but it can be simple if you research thoroughly and act on it. The cliché “prevention is better than cure” is a cliché for a reason – because it is true!

Added References

[Abbas S, et al. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer – results of a large case-control study. Carcinogenesis 2007; Oct 31 (E-pub ahead of print) and 2. Lappe JM, et al. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2007; 85: 1586-1591]