There are certain things we can all do to lessen our chances of getting breast cancer. Since it’s one of the ugliest of all monsters, we should take every precaution we possibly can to keep from ever having to stare it squarely in the eye. Can it be stared down and defeated? You betcha, strong-willed individuals with a zest for life do it every day – including my own beloved aunt who has been cancer free for 6 years. But if there are things we can do to lessen our odds of ever having to suit up for a fight we don’t want to be in, we’re going to do them, right? Because that’s just how we roll.
- Irregardless of your age, begin frequent self breast exams. Don’t perform one in May, then another one in November. Make a date with yourself to examine your breasts once a month.
- Get clinical breast exams. If you are in your 20s or 30s, have a medical professional examine your breasts at least every three years. If you are over 40, you should be examined every year AND have a yearly mammogram.
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating a “Plant Based” diet lowers your chances for getting quite a few types of cancer. From Health.com: “National Cancer Institute has for many years recommended that members of the general population eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, but Dr. McTiernan points out that most experts on cancer and diet recommend at least double that amount. Focus especially on eating a variety of brightly colored vegetables and fruits, as these contain the highest concentrations of vitamins.”
- Drink non-alcoholic beverages. Alcohol use increases your odds for getting breast cancer.
- Be physically active. Exercising three to four hours per week can reduce your risk of breast cancer by about 20%. Whether you walk, bike, dance, or jog, you’ll want to keep your heart rate above its baseline level for at least 20 minutes at a time.
- Eat less red meat. Limit your intake of red meat to 4 ounces per day, on average, and cut out meats such as sausages and bologna. The chemicals that are used to process these meats have been found to cause several kinds of cancers.
Be smart. Be prepared. Be careful. Be proactive. Be safe. Be here for everyone you love.