You’ve probably seen more people sporting pink ribbons, t-shirts, and bumper stickers than you normally do this month. That’s because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!
This month while we focus on education and prevention, we’ve put together some of the easiest steps you can take to lower your risk of developing breast cancer. Remember, regular mammograms and self-exams are the best way to detect breast cancer early. Early detection will increase your chances of surviving the disease drastically!
Manage Your Weight
Studies show that obese or overweight individuals are much more likely to develop breast cancer. Women at the age of menopause should pay close attention to maintaining a healthy weight as you get older. If you’re overweight, now’s the time to start making some healthy changes in your diet like adding more fruits and vegetables, and replace soda with water. Every pound helps to lower your risk!
While you try to manage your weight, be sure to incorporate exercise in your daily routine. Even if you’re at a normal weight, exercise can help lower your chances of developing breast cancer. You should aim to get 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity every week. That’s less than 30 minutes per day!
Don’t Sit Too Long
There are studies that suggest women who spend six hours or more sitting each day are more likely to suffer from breast cancer than women who sit for three hours or less per day. Even if you aren’t vigorously exercising you should aim to get moving each hour to improve vascular circulation and reduce your cancer risks!
Cut Back on Alcohol
Women who have more than one drink per day are not only increasing their risk for breast cancer, but many other cancers as well. Excessive drinking harms your body in more ways than you know. If you’re used to drinking more than one drink per day, you should aim to slowly cut back to a healthy amount over time.
Limit Hormone Therapy
During menopause some women may turn to hormone replacement therapy to help manage menopause symptoms such as hot flashes and night sweats. Women who take these hormone replacement therapies could be increasing their risk of breast cancer. If you’re already on a hormone therapy, talk to your doctor about other options available to treat your symptoms. After just five years of not being on the hormone therapy, your breast cancer risk will begin to drop!