With Breast Cancer Awareness Month well underway, the health of our breasts is firmly on the agenda.
One in seven women in the UK will have breast cancer in their lifetime. While most breast cancers are caused by genetics and age, the environment and the lifestyles we lead are contributing factors.
By making the following small changes and living well right now, you can actively lower breast cancer risk.
Kick your bad habits
Drinking alcohol and smoking are two risky habits that have been linked to increased breast cancer risk.
Drinking alcohol excessively is a particular risk factor in postmenopausal women. This group are already at greater risk of developing breast cancer due to their age. Here WebMD explains more about alcohol and breast cancer risk:
“Previous studies have linked alcohol intake with an increased breast cancer risk. Alcohol may change the way the body metabolizes estrogen. Many breast cancers are fueled by the hormone estrogen. Therefore, regular use of alcohol is thought to increase the risk of breast cancer by increasing blood estrogen levels.”
While there’s no need to go completely teetotal, avoiding alcohol or drinking in moderation was found to present a lower breast cancer risk than drinking two or more glasses of alcohol per day.
Get active and stay active
While going for the odd workout at the gym may leave you feeling good in the short term, making exercise a part of your routine is key to preserving good health and wellbeing and safeguarding against breast cancer.
Your risk of breast cancer increases if you are overweight or obese. However, with regular exercise, you can maintain a healthy weight, boost your physical fitness, and reduce your breast cancer risk.
Keep stress to a minimum
Stress is not only taxing on your mental health, it takes its toll physically too. Some studies have linked high-stress levels (which often cause people to overeat or drink alcohol) with increased breast cancer risk. So slow down to keep stress under control.
Practising yoga is a great way to look after your physical and mental wellbeing. Aim for adding 15 minutes a day to improve your happiness and health. Read more about how yoga can support better mental health right here.
Fill up on the good stuff
In addition to exercising regularly, eating well is a vital aspect of maintaining great breast health and lowering cancer risk. Fruits and vegetables should be a key component of your diet.
Studies have shown the more fruits and vegetables you eat, the lower the chance of developing oestrogen-receptor-negative breast tumours.
Reaching for foods that are rich in folic acid will also serve you and your breasts well. Folic acid (or naturally occurring folate) is integral to the repair of your body’s DNA.
Without the right levels of folic acid or folate, DNA will remain damaged and this has been linked to cancer. Oranges, orange juice, baked beans, lettuce, peas, cauliflower, egg yolks (eggs will give you glowing skin too!), milk, and fortified cereals and grains contain the folate you need to keep your body functioning as it should do.
Grapes and grape juice are other must-eats for promoting breast health. Grape skin contains the antioxidant resveratrol, which has extraordinary anti-cancer properties.
Oily fish is another superfood staple that has been linked to a lower risk of breast cancer, with its omega-3 and vitamin D content both unlocking anti-angiogenic qualities.
Treat yourself every once in a while
A healthy diet may be integral to good health and wellbeing but there’s no shame in treating yourself!
Lovers of dark chocolate have another reason to rejoice as treating yourself to a square a day has been linked to good breast health. Dark chocolate contains compounds that fight and kill cancerous cells.
Check your breasts every month
Make checking your breasts both physically and visually a part of your routine to ensure you catch breast issues before they become more serious problems.
Four out of 10 breast cancers were detected by women who felt a lump or irregularity in their breasts, a fact that makes checking your breasts every month even more important.
Celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month with a special treat from us!
As part of our Breast Cancer Awareness Month celebrations, we’re giving every customer who has completed a breast exam a special treat. If you’re a Butterfly Club member placing an order with us, just let us know in the message section that you’ve checked your breasts and we’ll send you a gift! Shop our all-natural skincare range here.
Image: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock.com