What can I do to prevent breast cancer? What is the best way to find my cancer early, before it has spread?
These are two of the most common questions women have.
Here's what we know:
There is nothing that you can do to ensure that you absolutely do not get breast cancer. However, studies suggest that some lifestyle choices may help reduce breast cancer risk.
1. Eating a healthy diet that is low in animal fat and high in whole grains and fruits and vegetables. There is no data indicating that a specific diet, per se, can help reduce breast cancer risk.
2. Taking a multivitamin and make sure it includes adequate folic acid.
3. Having your children before 35, if you have a choice.
4. Breastfeeding your children.
5. Avoiding unnecessary X-rays.
6. Drinking alcohol in moderation and make sure you take folic acid when you do drink.
7. Losing weight (if you are overweight).
8. Not gaining weight after menopause.
9. Getting regular exercise.
10. Using hormone therapy to treat menopausal symptoms for the shortest time period necessary, it at all.
You should also be sure to:
· Evaluate any breast symptoms or changes that develop.
· Have mammograms when appropriate.
· Consider raloxifene if you are postmenopausal and need to take a drug to prevent bone loss.
· If you have a family history of breast cancer or for other reasons are at high risk of getting breast cancer, visit our section for High-Risk Women.
To help us learn more about breast cancer prevention, you can:
· Join the Love/Avon Army of Women, revolutionary initiative that is changing the face of breast cancer research.
· Participate in studies sponsored by the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.
· Become a breast cancer advocate, and work with us to insure that research on breast cancer prevention is supported and funded.
This post is courtesy of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, dedicated to eradicating breast cancer and improving the quality of women's health through innovative research, education and advocacy. To support this important cause and donate, visit www.dslrf.org.