How to Prevent Breast Cancer

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Prevent Breast Cancer

According to the World Health Organization (the WHO), breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women in both the developed and the developing world. It is a condition that becomes increasingly harder to treat, especially when it is diagnosed at late stage. Knowing the risk factors of this disease and looking after your health through frequent check-ups is a big part of reducing the chances of developing a cancer. On OneHowTo we explain how to prevent breast cancer taking into account all the factors in your life that you can control and change.

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Can you prevent breast cancer?

Unfortunately there is no completely effective formula to prevent breast cancer. However, you can minimise the risk factors that can lead to the onset of cancer. This is your chance to make big decisions about your health and your life. Health checks and checking your own body at home, as well keeping fit and healthy and visiting a specialist at the slightest sign of discomfort or a change: these are all critical steps to lessen the chances of developing breast cancer.

Some risk factors for breast cancer that cannot be controlled are:

  • Being a woman
  • Being older than 45, after which time the majority of cases occur.
  • Having a family member who has had breast cancer.
  • Having genetic mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes
  • Having previously had breast cancer, this increases the risk of it coming back.

Those risk factors that can be controlled are:

  • Being obese.
  • Leading a sedentary life.
  • Being a smoker for many years.
  • Conducting hormone replacement therapy during menopause.
  • Drinking alcohol.

Controlling your weight.

Preventing the onset of obesity, especially after menopause, is a good way to prevent breast cancer as this condition directly affects hormone production by increasing the possibility of having this condition.

When the woman is of childbearing age the ovaries are responsible for producing most of the oestrogen in the female body, whereas adipose tissue produces a small part. But when a woman enters the phase of the menopause, if she is obese, adipose tissue can start producing excess oestrogen, increasing the likelihood of breast cancer. Caring for your body and diet whilst maintaining a healthy weight is important to prevent cancer and other diseases that can result from being overweight, e.g. Diabetes, high cholesterol or fatty liver.

How to Prevent Breast Cancer - Controlling your weight.

Do physical exercise

Physical inactivity is one of the factors that influences the occurrence of breast cancer, whilst also increasing the likelihood of obesity. Physical exercise on a regular basis, practicing 4 or more hours of physical activity a week, means you can reduce the chance of developing cancer by encouraging healthier living habits and promoting your body's fight against the formation of free radicals.

How to Prevent Breast Cancer - Do physical exercise

Attend annual gynaecological check-ups

Visiting your gynaecologist once a year for a routine check-up is essential, but this is even more important if there are or have been cases of breast cancer in your family, especially close family. Your doctor should be aware of this information and start annual mammography exams when you are 40 years old or older.

How to Prevent Breast Cancer - Attend annual gynaecological check-ups

Self-examine your breasts. Get a good hold of them!

Self-examining your breasts is essential to detect any anomalies in the area early on. Although this measure is not a preventive solution against breast cancer itself, it is a basic OneHowTo suggestion that you should always double-check with a trained medical professional. For any lumps, hardness or numb and unusual sensations, it is important to consult your gynaecologist.

How to Prevent Breast Cancer - Self-examine your breasts. Get a good hold of them!

Avoid hormone replacement therapy

A decrease in oestrogen production that occurs during the menopause makes many women face a number of important physical changes and psychological challenges. Some of these changes can affect the mood and disposition of the menopausal woman, so she might opt to go for combined hormone replacement therapy in order to ease the transition period. However, this treatment has been shown, according to recent studies, to increase the risk of breast cancer. So, it is advisable to avoid hormone replacement therapy.

Resort to natural treatments to reduce symptoms and maintain a healthy lifestyle. These can reduce the presence of menopausal symptoms and improve the quality of life of menopausal women during this difficult period of change.

How to Prevent Breast Cancer - Avoid hormone replacement therapy

Talk with your doctor if there is a high risk of breast cancer

If multiple cases of breast cancer exist in your family or if you suspect that the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes mutation is in your genes, it is very important that you visit your gynaecologist to get advice and to find the best solutions. Genetic testing for such mutations is a good alternative in patients with family histories of breast cancer, however, only a specialist can help you figure what is best for you.

How to Prevent Breast Cancer - Talk with your doctor if there is a high risk of breast cancer

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Prevent Breast Cancer, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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