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Breast Cancer - How to lower your risk

3 Ways To Lower Your Risk To Breast Cancer

Regular exercise lowers estrogen levels, reduces body fat and produces a healthier body mass index (BMI), all of which significantly reduces breast cancer risk, especially in postmenopausal women. In a study of 173 sedentary, overweight postmenopausal women, researchers had half the women do aerobic exercise for 45 minutes, 5 days a week, and the other half perform weekly stretching. After 3 months, levels of estradiol, the most potent estrogen, in the exercisers dropped 8%, while levels in the stretchers did not change.

Fat cells produce estrogen, so losing fat through exercise lowers estrogen; plus, exercise itself seems to reduce levels as well. The result; lower breast cancer risk.

How much lower? A survey of more that 2,000 women, some with breast cancer, revealed that women with the highest lifetime average of activity from exercise, transportation, chores, and occupation were 26% less likely to develop premenopausal cancer and 19% less likely to develop premenopausal cancer than sedentary women. The highest group averaged 21 or more hours a week total activity compared with nine or less for the sedentary. Physically active women who also maintained a healthy weight reduced their risk even more: by 47% and 31% respectively. Though lifetime exercise has a profound effect, it's never too late to start.

Reduce your risk of Breast cancer through proper diet

According to the latest research you can cut your risk of Breast cancer by 50% by eating lots of fruits and vegetables. The standard recommendation is five servings a day, but research has shown nine servings a day is better. Research shows that fruits and veggies are packed with cancer-fighting phytochemicals and fiber. Broccoli, cabbage, carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, citrus fruits, and berries are especially protective.

A high-fat diet may contribute to breast cancer, so stick with low-fat dairy and lean cuts of meant and poultry in small portions. The type of fat you eat is as important as the total amount. Monounsaturated fats, including, olive oil and canola oil, are linked to lower risk, while polyunsaturated fats, such as corn oil and tub margarine, and saturated fats are associated with an increased risk.

Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids, which may help fight breast cancer and are worth including in your diet.

Whole grain foods(breads, cereals, pasta), beans, and nuts will increase your fiber intake, which is another way to fight breast cancer. Try to minimize the amount of foods you eat that are made from white flour and sugar-refined cards- since there is some evidence that they may increase your risk of breast cancer by as much as 40%.

Fermented soy foods seem to have a protective effect. Women from Asian cultures have a much lower incidence of breast cancer than women from Western cultures. Avoid alcohol, or limit intake to one drink a day. It can raise your risk of breast cancer by 30%.

Finally, avoid becoming overweight, especially after menopause. Fat cells make a form of estrogen that has been linked to increases in breast cancer, particularly after menopause. If you become estrogen dominate you increase your risks for breast cancer.

Copyright © 2004, Rodale Inc.,

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