Healthy Habits to Reduce Your Breast Cancer Risk
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we're sharing information all month about breast cancer. In this video, Richmond health coach Lindsey Patton discusses several ways you can reduce your breast cancer risk. Watch the video below and scroll down for the full transcript.
1. Don't smoke.
First things first is to not smoke. This one should be obvious because there's essentially no health benefits from smoking, but really, if you are a smoker, try to reduce or totally cut it out of your lifestyle, because it does increase your risk of breast cancer, especially if you have not yet hit menopause. So first and foremost do not smoke.
Secondly, make sure that you are exercising. General guidelines for exercise is 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, which is about five days of 30 minutes. Or you could do 75 minutes of vigorous exercise. So that would be more intense.
You don't have to do as long of a workout if it is to a higher intensity. They do actually say that if you can exercise for one hour, five days a week, you have an even less of a risk of breast cancer. So you get out there and exercise. If your routine has changed a bit with COVID, feel free to meet with one of your health coaches to talk about a plan that will work with the current times.
3. Maintain a healthy weight and BMI.
So that brings us to our next point of maintaining a healthy weight and a BMI within a normal range. So that's going to mean 18 and a half to 25 would be a normal range for your BMI. And this is just based on your height and weight. If you need to help need help with calculating your BMI, I'd be happy to do that. We have a fancy BMI machines in each of our offices at PartnerMD that will calculate not just your body composition, but it will give you an ideal range of what your weight should be based on your demographics.
4. Eat healthy.
Exercise certainly helps with maintaining a healthy weight. So does your diet. So next point is to maintain a healthy diet. Cut back on processed foods and highly sugary foods that have a lot of refined sugars in them. The more real fruits and vegetables and whole foods you can eat the better. Whereas other foods that aren't made by the trees and plants... There's more of a risk of increasing inflammation in our body, which makes us more at risk for disease.
And so one other point that we can reduce the risk, but doesn't apply to everyone. If you are pregnant or have recently had a baby, breastfeeding can help to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
About 1 in 8 U.S. women (about 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. For men, the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer is about 1 in 833 (or about 1% of all breast cancer cases).
All this activity will culminate in a PMD Conversation on breast cancer, taking place on Facebook Live Oct. 29 at 1:00 pm. Click here to submit a question for our docs.