In case you haven’t heard, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! This is an international campaign, supported by thousands of organizations around the world, which tries to draw attention on this issue and promote early detection and treatment.
According to estimates from the World Cancer Research Fund, 2018 brought more than 2 million new breast cancer cases. As with many of the other types of malignancy, genetics and hormones play an important role in one’s chance of developing cancer, but there are other factors, which you can have a bit more control over, that influence this outcome.
How can you reduce the risk of developing breast (or other types of) cancer?
Recently, more and more studies have surfaced confirming the link between nutrition and physical activity and cancer prevention, its progression or the possibility of recurrence. The short version is: be active, try to maintain a healthy weight, opt for natural and organic produce, and you should have a better chance of avoiding this terrible disease.
Research shows that weight management is particularly important, especially as women go along in age. Menopause and obesity greatly increase the risk of developing hormone-related cancers, including breast cancer. The recommended 30 minutes of daily physical activity is a good place to start. You can spend this time doing something as simple as a brisk walk, dancing or maybe even bicycling.
When it comes to dieting, it seems that foods rich in phytonutrients provide the best cancer-fighting benefits. Try having a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, and also whole grains. Aim to have about half of the plate with greens. For proteins, consider swapping red meat for fish or seafood.
Remember to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day, and try to avoid sugary drinks and alcohol as much as possible.
A healthy lifestyle will keep you better protected against cancer, so why not try some of these suggestions, at least for the month of October.