Breast Cancer Awareness: What lifestyle changes can help in the prevention of Breast Cancer?

A twitter user might have claimed the below photo as hers, and claimed she underwent a double mastectomy.
While we cannot verify the authenticity of the photo, we can assure you that the twitter user @the_officialbiz who tweeted the now viral photo may have made a false claim.

See below her claims;
We’d like to use this opportunity to raise awareness about breast cancer!
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women, affecting 2.1 million women each year. It is also responsible for the greatest number of cancer-related deaths among women.
So, the important question is, “Can breast cancer be prevented? If yes, how?”
Exercising regularly

This is a no-brainer; the best way to stay healthy is to exercise regularly. Adults should indulge in up to 300 minutes of moderate and 150 minutes of high-intensity workout every week. Even though it is not obvious as to how much physical activity reduces the chances of breast cancer, but there is a growing pile of evidence that suggests that regular exercise may reduce the risk of contracting breast cancer by 10-20%

Managing weight and diet
There exists a complex relationship between an individual’s weight and the risk of contracting breast cancer. Before a woman reaches menopause, most of her estrogen demand is fulfilled by the ovaries, but after menopause, the ovaries stop producing estrogen, and therefore, to compensate, estrogen is produced from fat tissue. Thus, being overweight after menopause can increase the chances of contracting breast cancer. Obesity can increase the risk of contracting a variety of other cancers as well, including that of colon, endometrium, esophagus, pancreas, and kidney. Also, if a person has previously suffered from cancer and then becomes obese, chances of recurrence increase.
Eating healthy goes a long way in maintaining proper weight as well. We must try to include a variety of foods in our diet, including fruits, green leafy vegetables, and foods rich in calcium, antioxidants, and vitamin D . It has also been found that eating excessive quantities of red meat or consuming red meat regularly might also trigger the onset of cancer.

Avoid consuming alcohol and tobacco
Alcohol and tobacco consumption are directly related to breast cancer. It has been found that consuming 1 drink a day increases the risk of breast cancer by 7% to 10% and consuming 2 to 3 drinks a day increases the risk to 20%. The risk further increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. Smoking regularly may also lead to breast cancer. One must try to avoid both alcohol and smoking altogether and if that is not possible, these things should be consumed in very small quantities on certain occasions only.
Having children at the right time
Women who get pregnant below the age of 30 and deliver on the due date are at a reduced risk of contracting breast cancer. Women who are past the age of 30 and do not have children or have their first child after the age of 30 are at an increased risk of breast cancer. Many independent researchers have corroborated that early pregnancy or having many pregnancies can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
In a study conducted by the Collaborative Group on Human Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer, it was found that for every year that a woman breastfed, her likelihood of contracting breast cancer dropped by 4.3%. In another research conducted by Australian researchers, it was found that women who breastfed for 13 months or more were 63% less likely to contract ovarian cancer than women who breastfed for less than 7 months.
Family planning and birth control
Women should be wary before choosing their method of contraception because some birth control pills contain hormones, which might increase the risk of breast cancer. Using OCP (Oral Contraceptive Pill) after the age of 30 and for less than 5 years might not increase the risk of breast cancer, but continuous use below that age might increase the risk of breast cancer.
Exposure to carcinogens
Certain carcinogenic chemicals might increase the risk of breast cancer among women especially among women who work in the packaging and construction industry. These chemicals may end up disrupting the functioning of the endocrine gland and may lead to the development of breast cancer. Although not all these situations can be avoided, certain situations can be handled better. For instance, wearing N95 masks inside the factory premises and choosing cosmetic products carefully may help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Authored by Dr Sarjana Dutt Director-Molecular Biology & Cytogenetics., Oncquest Laboratories Ltd

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