Protect your health with this by-the-decade guide to breast-cancer prevention
In your 20s
Party smart: Alcohol is really a carcinogen, so remember: Moderation is essential. The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation recommends drinking a maximum of one drink a day (13.6 g of alcohol, which fits out to one glass of wine or perhaps a pint of beer). More than that can lift up your risk by 25 percent.
Don’t smoke: Experts agree illuminating regularly is a no-no, but don’t forget social smoking and second-hand smoke count too. Until we all know for sure just how much of a link exists between tobacco and cancer of the breast, the healthiest strategy is to prevent exposure as much as possible.
Eat well and workout: Maintaining a healthy weight is among the key factors in warding off cancer of the breast. Eat a diet of whole grain products, fruits and vegetables and stay away from fat and delicate sugars. And regular exercise can reduce your risk of developing cancer of the breast by as much as 30 percent.
Get to know your girls: Knowing how your breasts normally feel and look, it’s easy to catch tiny changes that may hint at a larger problem. Don’t be worried about following any particular steps, just watch out for differences in size and shape, unusual and chronic pain, swelling under the armpit or collarbone, changes to skin texture and strange discharge or rashes. If changes don’t disappear after one menstrual cycle, speak to your doctor.
Find out your family history: One close female relative (sister, mother or daughter) identified as having breast cancer doubles your risk. Two diagnoses and you’re 5 times as likely to develop the disease. Knowing this can help your doctor decide what measures to consider, and when.
In your 30s
Take vitamin d: Studies suggest women with low vitamin D possess a higher risk of getting breast cancer. Because so many Canadians spend a lot of time in low sunlight conditions, it’s smart to up your intake. Eat more fatty fish and eggs, and get your doctor or pharmacist about supplements.
Breastfeed: We’ve heard lots about how exactly good breastfeeding is for baby, but don’t discount its cancer-preventing properties for you personally. Breastfeeding mothers tend not to menstruate just as much (which means they have lower levels of estrogen) and they often have healthier habits. And also the longer you do it the better: The advantages are more pronounced if you breastfeed for any year and a half or more.
Close the blinds: Link exposure to nighttime lights and irregular sleep cycles by having an increased breast cancer risk. Researchers think it’s because of melatonin. Your body needs darkness to activate melatonin production, if you work at night or reside in an area with a lot of light pollution, your levels might be low. listen to your intuition: Younger women’s breasts in many cases are more dense and they’re more prone to develop benign lumps. But simply because a change is likely to be absolutely nothing to worry about doesn’t mean you should be passive. If you notice a physical change in your breasts as well as your gut says something is wrong, be firm and contact your doctor.