If being cured or recovered from breast cancer is hypothetic, its prevention is somehow different. Some preventive methods can help you reduce breast cancer risks in the short and long term. Taking the following steps can help you not only reduce the risk of developing breast cancer but also its reoccurrence if you already diagnosed with it:
Chemoprevention – this method consist of using natural or synthetic substances to preven t, reverse, or delay the development of cancer cells. Micronutrients such as iron, cobalt, chromium, copper, iodine, manganese, selenium, zinc and molybdenum, as well as other nutrients like calcium, and folic acid (Vitamin B9) are often used.
Other medications used in chemoprevention of breast cancer in women at low or average risk for breast cancer include tamoxifen or raloxifene (Evista). When it comes to your health, prevention is always better than treatment, which does not always lead to cure; make your first step today to prevent breast cancer.
Your lifestyle plays a crucial role in preventing breast cancer or your survival chances if you are already diagnosed with the disease. In fact, some women are victim of breast cancer due to their unhealthy lifestyle. You can reduce your chance of having breast cancer by practicing the following preventive methods:
Avoid Hormone therapyfor menopause symptoms – although menopause is not a disease, its symptoms can be troublesome in some women. To relieve these symptoms, some women use menopause hormone therapy (MHT). While it can be helpful, some hormonal treatments can cause serious health problems; in fact, long-term use of menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) may lead to breast cancer. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), MHT is a risk factor for breast cancer especially when taken for more than 5 years.
Practice Prolonged Breastfeeding – it may sound old fashion, but prolonged breastfeeding is good for you and your child. Studies have shown that the practice helps reduce risk of breast cancer occurrence, and provides many benefits in the physical and mental development of the infant. In another word, by breastfeeding you increase the chance of your infant to be healthy, and decrease your risk of developing breast cancer.
Avoid contraceptive containing estrogen: Some cancer cells (breast cancer cells for instance) need sex hormones to survive. Some studies have shown an increased risk of breast cancer in women taking oral birth controls containing synthetic estrogen. Although controversial, it is wise to use oral contraceptives medications that do not contain syntheticestrogen hormones.
Maintain a normal weight – being overweight increases the risk of variety of disease, including breast cancer. The risk is even higher in post-menopausal women and women with high levels of estrogen (hormone). It is estimated that a global reduction of obesity could prevent more than 10,000 new cases of breast cancer per year. Therefore, if you really to want to prevent breast cancer; you need to maintain a normal weight.
Regular physical exercise – there is no benefit in being physically inactive; the wages of physical inactivity is disease and death, not less than the “wages of sin is death”. Practicing 30-45 minutes of exercise daily, at least 4 days a week can reduce the risk of breast cancer up to 40%. Not only exercise can prevent formation of new cancer cells, it can also kill cancer cells in their genesis. Whether you are a breast cancer victim, at risk or feel concerned, regular exercise is beneficial for you.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco use – the risk of breast cancer is higher with consumption of alcohol and smoking of cigarette. Even moderate consumption of alcohol and second hand smoking can increase the risk of breast cancer 20% to 30%. In addition to breast cancer, tobacco is the number one cause of oral and lung cancers.
Although it is not appreciated by the majority of cancer victims or women at high risk, surgery is often performed as treatment or/and prevention of breast cancer. If you are at high risk of breast cancer, your doctor can lower your risk by performing a preventive breast removal. In some case, a preventive removal of your ovaries can be done if you have increased chances of developing ovarian cancer. In general, your oncologist may consider one or both of these surgeries to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer or/and ovarian cancer:
Mastectomy: this surgical procedure is one of the most effective methods to prevent breast cancer. Mastectomy involves removing one or both breasts, and surrounding tissue that is considered as precancerous. Although radical, this technique saves life of thousands of high-risk women for breast cancer.
Prophylactic oophorectomy: this is another type of surgery your doctor may consider to reduce your risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. This preventive method can reduce up to 95% risk of ovarian cancer and 60% of breast cancer if it is performed before the age of 35. Prophylactic oophorectomy involves the removal of both ovaries. In general, it is performed for women with a high risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer due to an inherited mutation in their BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene.