Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women. In fact, this disease is also a major cause of death for women. But don’t worry, there are many ways to prevent breast cancer that you can do yourself. The habit of living a healthy life, such as eating more fruits, staying away from alcoholic beverages, and actively exercising can help prevent breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Risk
Please note that there are risks associated with breast cancer that cannot be avoided, for example being born as a woman, genetic factors, and reaching a certain age. Let’s discuss them one by one.
It cannot be denied, genetic factors are very influential on the possibility of breast cancer. This factor contributes to the disease as much as 5-10 percent. However, there are also breast cancer sufferers who have no family history of similar diseases. This means that environmental factors also influence, so there is still high hope to be able to prevent breast cancer through a healthy lifestyle.
In cases of breast cancer, the older the age of women is considered to be more at risk of developing this disease. The average case of breast cancer is found in women over 50 years. Women who experience menstruation for the first time under the age of 12 and women who experience menopause after age 55 are also at risk of developing breast cancer.
Pregnancy also has something to do with breast cancer. The risk of getting breast cancer is higher in adult women who have never been pregnant, become pregnant for the first time at the age of 30 years, and do not breastfeed.
Apart from the factors mentioned above, there are other factors that make breast cancer risk increase. These factors were having had breast cancer before, had ovarian cancer, had dense breast tissue, and had been exposed to radiation exposure in the chest area in childhood and adolescence.
Breast Cancer Prevention
In addition to the risk factors above, there are also risk factors that can be avoided. You can prevent breast cancer by avoiding these factors, namely by doing a number of things below:
Maintain ideal body weight
Body weight is closely related to breast cancer risk. Women who are obese after menopause have a risk of breast cancer 20-40 percent higher than those who have a normal body weight.
Changes in body weight and time of weight gain are thought to be related to the state of the hormone estrogen and insulin in the body. Seeing this risk, maintaining an ideal body weight is one way to prevent breast cancer that you can do.
Prioritize healthy food
A healthy diet with emphasis on the intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts including soybeans, healthy oils, and high antioxidants, can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Women who have had breast cancer can live better quality if they avoid fatty foods. Fatty meat, sausages, cream, margarine, butter, and oil are various types of food that should be avoided as a breast cancer prevention effort.
Take time to exercise
Being physically active can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Conversely, the risk of breast cancer increases in women who have not worked physically for years. The standard for doing moderate intensity exercise (such as cycling and brisk walking) is for 2 hours 30 minutes per week.
Those of you who have been smokers still have a risk of breast cancer by 6-9 percent higher than those who have never smoked at all. You can experience worse conditions if you are still active smoking, which is 7-13 percent more at risk for breast cancer.
Limit alcoholic drinks
Drinking one glass of alcoholic drinks every day can increase the risk of breast cancer by 7-12 percent. The potential for breast cancer will be higher if you usually drink more than a glass of alcoholic drinks per day. This can occur because there is a connection between the level of alcohol and changes in the amount of hormones in the blood. Therefore, reducing alcohol consumption is also one way to prevent breast cancer. Even if possible, it is recommended to stop it altogether.
Feeding babies regularly
Breastfeeding a baby can help reduce breast cancer risk by 22 percent. So far it is not known exactly why breastfeeding can prevent breast cancer. However, suspected breastfeeding can help balance hormones, prevent exposure to cancer-causing substances, and avoid damage to breast cells.
Limiting hormone therapy
Hormone therapy is usually done by women associated with menopause. Therapy using the hormones estrogen and progesterone is usually long-term. For this reason, this therapy risks increasing breast cancer. If you really need hormone therapy, consult your doctor so that the hormone levels can be reduced.
Avoid exposure to radiation
There are a number of things that might expose you to high levels of radiation, such as undergoing a CT scan, working in a health facility that uses radiation, and being exposed to vehicle fumes or chemicals. So, protect yourself from this exposure and avoid it as much as possible.
Recognizing Existing Changes
The most common thing to recognize changes in the breast is to do an independent examination called Breast Self-Exam, which is by touching the breast itself to detect abnormalities. Do not be lazy to do it because this examination is very important to detect breast cancer early.
In addition to self-examination, you are also advised to check with your doctor regularly. The doctor will do a mammogram or breast ultrasound to check the condition of the breast gland. The goal is if there are signs of breast cancer, it can be dealt with immediately.