How do Lifestyle Factors Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer

by Arlene

Cancer develops because of abnormal changes or genetic mutations in the genes that regulate cell growth and health. Breast cancer basically refers to abnormalities in cells that cause the development of a malignant tumor in the breasts. In most cases the cancer develops within the lobule cells. These are essentially the lactation glands or ducts, responsible for the production and drainage of milk. In some cases however breast cancer could also develop in the stromal tissues. The breast comprises of a lot of fatty and fibrous tissue, which is referred to as the stromal tissues. Breast cancer like many other cancers can be quite aggressive and spread rapidly to other areas if not detected early, which is why it is so dreaded. Early detection is therefore vital and there have been great advances in modern medicine in this regard.

While breast cancer awareness, and early detection and testing are the most effective and important aspects of addressing this problem, it is also possible to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer with adequate lifestyle modifications. There may be no fool proof method to prevent breast cancer, but awareness of risk factors and lifestyle conditions that could influence the problem, can help make a difference. Although the causes of breast cancer may not be understood entirely it is accepted that there are certain factors that increase the risk. Age is an important factor, as the risk increases with advancing age. A family history or heredity and genetic factors are a significant cause of breast cancer, but there are other risks as well like obesity, the use of contraceptive pills and hormone replacement therapy. Exposure to radiation, past breast diseases, obesity, alcohol consumption, smoking, child bearing and breastfeeding, are all believed to play some part in the development of breast cancer. While genetic factors and age are not conditions we have control over, they do alert us to the risk and accordingly regular testing and caution can help in the timely detection of cancer. Other risk factors can however be controlled or eliminated to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

Your lifestyle is the easiest to modify, particularly with regard to diet and physical activity. Daily consumption of alcohol is believed to increase the risk for developing breast cancer, so it would be wise to limit your intake of alcohol to the occasional drink or simply quit drinking. Smoking is of course a significant risk factor and there can be no compromise here. It is absolutely essential that you kick the habit. obesity is another condition that is clearly connected to breast cancer. The simple measures you take to eliminate obesity not only will help eliminate the risk posed by obesity, but will also help lower other risk factors. Following a healthy diet with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, while eliminating fatty and other unhealthy foods not only helps fight obesity but is also believed to help reduce the risk of breast cancer. The same holds true for physical fitness, even if indulging in simple non strenuous activities like walking, swimming, cycling or jogging. 
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