The World Health Organization (WHO) has predicted that by 2020 the number of breast cancer cases will jump to an alarming figure and one in every eight women would run the risk of developing the disease in her lifetime. Nearly 85% of women diagnosed with breast cancer DO NOT have a family history when caught early. The best part is that breast cancer has a 98% survival rate.
A healthy diet and lifestyle modification can reduce the chances of breast cancer by nearly 40%. Some of the factors like family history can't be changed but there are lifestyles changes that you can make to lower down the risk of the breast cancer.
Let's have a look at them:
1. Keep your weight in check: Maintaining a healthy weight is an important factor to reduce the risks of various types of cancers which includes the risk of breast cancer especially after menopause.
2. Breastfeeding is a must: Women who breastfeed consistently for 6 months are at less risk. This further helps keeping their child healthy and their own bodies healthy too
3. Keep it moving!: Doing exercise and physical activity seem to protect against the breast cancer in several ways. It also helps in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeps the weight in check.
4. Say No to smoking and limiting alcohol intake: Smoking has already been proven as a major factor for various types of cancers which also includes breast cancer. It is also advisable to keep your alcohol intake in control.
5. Diet, the most important part: There is growing evidence that eating the right food plays an important part in helping to prevent breast cancer risks. Some foods, such as oily fish (forage fish, sardines, pelagic, etc.) can prevent the growth of cancerous tumors; while others, such as green leafy vegetables helps to fight cancer-causing hormones. Some of the key foods that can help protect you against breast cancer are:
Tomatoes: They are rich in lycopene which have been proven to lower the risk of getting cancer.
Green Tea: It is packed with powerful antioxidants that may lower blood pressure
Grain cereals: They contain folate, Vitamin B, which helps prevent breast cancer
Beans & Pulse: They offer an excellent source of vegetable protein into your diet and the intake of beans and pulses such as lentils and chickpeas are associated with reduced breast cancer risk
Garlic: It contains rich source of cancer-fighting compounds that can slow tumor growth and prevent breast cancer risk
Dark Green Leafy vegetables: Studies have shown that chemicals present in them may help prevent cells from DNA damage and induce cell death which could reduce the risk of cancer.
Ms. Kanchan Naikawadi, preventive healthcare expert, Indus Health Plus says, “Breast cancer is one of the most dreaded ailments in India and is rapidly increasing amongst women of younger age. Irregular lifestyle changes and improper food intake is adding to its numbers year on year. Breast Cancer is completely curable if detected at an early stage. We are consistently trying to spread the awareness and therefore trying to make it imperative for one and all to invest in healthy living and a preventive health check-up before it’s too late.”
The author Kanchan Naikawadi is Preventive Healthcare Specialist of Indus Health Plus.