By Maria Lopez, Nutrition Educator
4 easy steps to promote breast health
If you are concerned about developing breast cancer, you might be wondering if there are steps you can take to minimize the risk. Some factors, such as family history, can’t be changed. However, there are lifestyle changes you can make to lower your risk.
Step 1: Do self-examinations regularly
Step 2: Maintain a healthy weight.
Step 3: Be physically active.
- Most healthy adults should aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity weekly.
- National Cancer Institute recommends: 4+ hours/week may help to decrease hormone levels and help lower breast cancer risk.
Step 4: Eat a Healthy diet & choose whole grains, legumes, and about 6-9 servings of a variety of colorful fruits & veggies.
- 1 serving =
- 1 cup leafy greens
- ½ cup raw chopped veggies
- ½ cup fruit (size of tennis balls)
- 6 oz 100% fruit juice or vegetable juice
- ¼ cup dried fruit
Unfortunately, there are also a number of important breast cancer risk factors that women have no control over. Knowing which ones apply to you can help you understand your risk and do what you can to lower it. If you feel you’re at high risk, talk to a doctor or other health professional. These can increase a woman’s breast cancer risk:
- Older age, especially 60 years or over
- Family history of breast cancer
- First menstrual period before age 12
- Menopause at age 55 or over
- First childbirth after age 35
- No children
- Tall height (5’8” or taller)
- Dense breasts
- History of benign breast disease (like atypical hyperplasia)