I manage to get together with seven of my best gal pals from my co-ed days about once a year. With the eight of us sitting around a table, I am reminded of the staggering breast cancer stat: one in eight women will be diagnosed with the disease in her lifetime. Three of these noisy lovable ladies have mothers who have had the disease, which unfortunately ups their odds even more. We know that genetics increases the risk for the disease, but there are lifestyle choices you can make to lower your risk of getting breast cancer.
- Alcohol: Having a glass of wine a day may be good for the heart, but not the breast. Studies have found that drinking one to two servings of alcohol, red wine included, increases a woman's chances of developing the disease by 10 percent. It is highly recommended that you limit your alcohol intake to lower your risk, so remember to stop after one glass ladies!
- Healthy Weight: Breast cancer is fueled by hormones, and those hormones like to hide out in body fat. Maintaining a healthy body weight helps reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
Learn three more ways when you keep reading.
- Exercise: Not only does exercise help you feel good, and burn calories, it also helps prevent breast cancer. And vigorous exercise is the best. The correlation is not necessarily a direct one, but exercise helps you maintain a healthy weight, which in turn lowers your risk.
- Bisphenol A: The controversial plastic BPA has been found to increase breast cancer risk in addition to other ailments like heart disease and diabetes. The chemical, used as a liner in metal food cans and baby bottles, leaches into food and into the human body. Exposure to BPA in utero increases cancer risk too. Look for Eden Farms organic canned foods — they're BPA free.
- Fiber: Load up on fiber daily and decrease you risk of breast cancer. Eating 30 grams daily can lower your chances of breast cancer by 50 percent. To jump start your newfound fiber kick, here are 10 high-fiber snacks under 150 calories.
Which of these healthy and preventative measures do you already take?