It is likely that many of us have been affected by a family member’s, friend’s or your own fight against breast cancer. This year, it is estimated that there will be a total of nearly 388,000 new cases of the disease in women with an estimated 39,000 losing their fight against breast cancer. There is no known cause of this disease; however researchers have identified potential risk factors that can increase your risk of developing breast cancer. In honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Live Healthy Iowa would like to share how healthy lifestyle choices may lower your risk of developing breast cancer and allow you to lead a long and prosperous life.
Excess weight can cause a lot of stress on your body; structurally and chemically. A weight gain of 20 pounds or more after the age of 18 could potentially increase your risk for breast cancer, as well as gaining weight after menopause. If you have gained weight, are overweight or obese, losing weight may lower your risk of breast cancer.
Physical activity has many positive benefits for your health including fighting obesity, lowering blood pressure, estrogen levels and insulin levels, as well as boosting the immune system, among many others. By including 30 minutes of physical activity to your daily routine, you can lower your risk of developing breast cancer. Always see your doctor before beginning an exercise program.
A positive attitude is a strong component of wellness and is an important aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Many of us often put others first but remember to support your own emotional healthy by making time for yourself, doing things that make you happy and relaxing. Some quality “me time” will boost your mood, give you more energy and allow you to gain inner peace.
There are many additional risk factors for developing breast cancer and you can find out more, plus additional information about breast cancer at komen.org. Be sure to know your risk, get screened, know what is normal for you and make healthy lifestyle choices to eliminate your chances of developing this disease and educate your loved ones.