Breast Cancer Prevention - Part I

Breast Cancer Prevention - Part I

Breast Cancer Prevention - Part I :

 

Factors We Can Control

 

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States, second only to lung cancer.  In fact, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. With October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about breast cancer prevention. There are several CONTROLLABLE factors that come into play when we talk about prevention of breast cancer.

 

Alcohol intake, for example, is clearly linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Now there is a very small increase in risk with one alcoholic drink per day, but 2-3 drinks or more increases risk by about 20%. Also important to note that alcohol increases risk for other cancers as well. That being said, it is best to try and moderate alcohol intake, with optimal being none at all.Continuing, oral contraceptives and birth control injections also increase risk, along with combined estrogen/progesterone hormone replacement therapy. On the other hand, other types of HRT will not increase risk, and studies are being done on other contraceptive methods such as IUDs, patches, and rings. 

 

Obesity is another risk factor, and the reasoning behind that is that after menopause, when the ovaries are no longer making estrogen, most of a woman’s estrogen is now coming from fat tissue. So by that logic, more fat tissue equals more estrogen, which ultimately translates to greater risk of breast cancer. The other side of this is that being overweight means higher blood insulin levels, and higher insulin level is associated with breast cancer as well as some other cancers. Recent research has been addressing the differences in obesity among women, such as if they were overweight from a young age or later on in life. Another important facet of this is the distribution of fat throughout the body and whether it is centrally located or more towards hips and thighs; we’re still waiting on studies to give us a clear understanding of this, but what we do know for sure is that maintaining an optimal body fat percentage (20-25%) decreases all-cause mortality risk and reduces risk for breast cancer.

 

Physical activity is another point to discuss. Being physically active doesn’t just reduce breast cancer risk, but comes with so many other benefits. Stress reduction, mood improvement, better sleep, and increased productivity are just some of the many positives to exercise, so make sure you’re getting enough activity throughout the week! The American Cancer Society recommends a few hours per week at the very least. Continuing, oral contraceptives and birth control injections also increase risk, along with combined estrogen/progesterone hormone replacement therapy. On the other hand, other types of HRT will not increase risk, and studies are being done on other contraceptive methods such as IUDs, patches, and rings. 

 

Lastly, breast implants increase risk in that they can cause scar tissue to form in the breast. And also the fact that implants themselves can interfere with the actual breast cancer screening exams, so that can make it difficult to detect cancerous lesions early on. They do perform implant displacement scans, which can circumvent this issue, but it is still something to keep in mind.

 

We hope you have found this information useful and encouraging for a healthier lifestyle. Feel free to stop into LAVA 24 Fitness anytime for a free health and initial Success Session! Also, Keep an eye out for the next parts of our Breast Cancer Prevention in support of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

 

We truly treasure all of members, and look forward to continuing to help facilitate a healthy Hilton Head Island lifestyle!

 




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