Each year, over 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer - and over 40,000 die. According to The National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women either has - or will develop - breast cancer in her lifetime. The men aren’t safe, either. 1,700 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, too. So, we’re going to help lower your odds of developing the disease. Here’s what you should be doing, courtesy of the researchers at Woman’s Day magazine.
- Exercise. Research shows that it’s the number-one thing you can do to lower your risk. One study from the National Cancer Institute found that women, who average three hours of exercise per week, over their lifetime, have a 23% lower risk of developing breast cancer. So, why is it a magic formula? Dr. Yvonne Coyle is an oncologist in Dallas. She says that exercise lowers estrogen levels – and estrogen is a well-known factor in cancerous changes in the breast. Also, it helps keep your weight in check, which also lowers your risk.
- Watch what you drink. Alcohol is a double-edged sword. While it’s been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, it increases your risk of breast cancer. What’s the word from Harvard preventive medicine specialist JoAnn E. Manson. One study found that each daily glass of alcohol raises a woman’s risk by up to 12%. Experts suggest sipping no more than one drink per day – less if you have a family history of the disease.
- Get more vitamin D. Research points to Vitamin D as a beneficial nutrient in the fight against breast cancer. One study found that women who got the most calcium and Vitamin D had a 35% lower risk than those who got the least. Unfortunately, nearly 75% of us have inadequate levels. Many experts now believe that taking 1,000 IUs of Vitamin D daily is best. You can get it from fortified dairy products, fish, and spending 15 to 20 minutes in the sunlight each day.