Lowering Your Cancer Risk
By Green Shoot Media
KEEP A HEALTHY WEIGHT Try to keep your body mass index, or BMI, at between 18.5 and 24.9. This is a ratio or your weight to height, but it may not be accurate for all body types. This is particularly true after menopause, the Susan G. Komen Foundation says. Talk to your health care professional about an ideal weight for you. EXERCISE REGULARLY Physical activity helps you maintain a healthy weight, reduces risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, lowers your blood pressure, reduces your risk for stroke, can ease arthritis pain and reduce depression and anxiety. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity per week. Talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise regimen. LIMIT ALCOHOLIC DRINKS Alcohol consumption raises the risk of cancer proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed, the CDC says. That means that the more you drink, the more at risk you are for breast cancer and other cancers. Limit drinks to one per day. HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY AND ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES Women who take these kinds of replacement hormones can affect your risk of breast cancer. Talk to your health care provider about the type of therapy or birth control you take and the associated risks. BREASTFEED YOUR CHILDREN Mothers who breastfeed their children have a lower risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. The longer a woman breastfeeds, the greater the benefit. Women how breastfed for a lifetime total of more than two years got the most benefit from the practice, the Susan G. Komen says. Breastfeeding may be particularly good at lowering the risk of estrogen receptornegative cancers, which do not need hormones to grow. If you have a high risk of breast cancer, there are options, Susan G. Komen says. These include risk lowering drugs such as tamoxifen or raloxifene or a prophylactic mastectomy. Talk to your doctor if you think these options are right for you.