The three main risk factors for developing breast cancer are: being female, getting older and significant family history.
Breast cancer is a cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts. It can occur in both men and women, but it’s far more common in women. Studies say one in eight women develop breast cancer.
But some other factors that could increase the risk of breast cancer are the foods and drinks we take. It is therefore important to choose a healthy diet.
According to Leta Chay, 2014, if you want to lower your risk of breast cancer, eating less red meat is a way to lower your disease risk.
Choose oily fish
Those whose diets were high in oily fish had a lower risk of developing breast cancer. Oily fish contains high levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are responsible for regulating blood vessel and immune system activity. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like mackerel, lake trout, tuna, and salmon are especially important for your health; they’ve already been linked to cancer and heart disease prevention.
Other healthy foods are: berries, broccoli, tomatoes, beans, carrot, spinach and cabbage.
It is advisable to stay away from alcohol but if you choose to drink, drink in moderation.
Not smoking is one of the best things you can do to maintain good health. To reduce the risks of breast cancer, women, especially those in premenopausal stage, should not smoke.
Other ways to reduce breast cancer risk reduction include:
Self–examination: Think of a self exam as a casual way to know. Best time to check is a few days after your period ends when things are most normal. A cancerous lump feels different from a normal lump; it’s often hard and immovable and can be any shape or size.
Breast cancer screening exams and tests: Go for screening exam and test such as clinical breast exams and mammograms.Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of screening and decide what breast cancer screening strategies are right for you.
Exercise: Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. The department of Health and Human Serviced recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly , plus strength training at least twice a week.
Reduce postmenopausal hormone therapy: It may increase the risk of breast cancer. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks of hormone therapy.
Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase the risk.If your weight is healthy, work to maintain that weight. If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor about healthy strategies to accomplish this instead of self help.
Breast cancer risk reduction for women with a high risk
According to Mayo Foundation for Medical and Research, if your doctor has assessed your family history and determined that you have other factors, such as a precancerous breast condition, that increase your risk of breast cancer, you may discuss options to reduce your risk, such as:
Preventive medications (chemoprevention): Estrogen-blocking medications, such as selective estrogen receptor modulators and aromatase inhibitors, reduce the risk of breast cancer in women with a high risk of the disease.These medications carry a risk of side effects, so doctors reserve these medications for women who have a very high risk of breast cancer.
Preventive surgery: Women with a very high risk of breast cancer may choose to have their healthy breasts surgically removed (prophylactic mastectomy). They may also choose to have their healthy ovaries removed (prophylactic oophorectomy) to reduce the risk of both breast cancer and ovarian cancer.