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12 Ways to Cut Your Breast Cancer Risk
On Monday 10 October 2011
Avoid Alcohol Findings from the Million Women Study, a British study that tracked more than 1,280,000 women in the UK for 7 years, showed that each daily alcoholic drink consumed raised the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer by 12 percent. For healthy breasts, experts recommend women drink no more than one alcoholic beverage a day. Smother Secondhand Smoke Even if you don't smoke, you're still not free from cigarettes' dangerous reach. A study conducted in 2005 by the California Environmental Protection Agency suggests that secondhand smoke and breast cancer are casually associated in younger, mainly premenopausal women. Steer clear of lingering tobacco clouds in bars and other public spots. Work Up A Sweat Brisk walking for as little as two hours a week can reduce your breast cancer risk by 18 percent, according to findings from the landmark Women's Health Initiative study. Research suggests that more exercise has an even greater benefit. The National Cancer Institute recommends four hours or more of vigorous exercise a week to combat cancer risk. Go Green Do your body right and load up on lean greens and other healthy produce. Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day bestows benefits that can indirectly decrease the risk of developing breast cancer, such as helping you maintain a healthy weight. Load up on a rainbow of brightly-colored produce, like broccoli, brussel sprouts, collards, carrots, tomatoes and grapefruit. Hole Up with Whole Grains Make the switch from refined grains like white bread and white rice to whole grains like whole wheat bread and brown rice, urges the American Cancer Society. Whole grains are good sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Plus, whole grains are naturally low in fat and chock-full of fiber, two factors that help prevent weight gain, which, in turn, lowers breast cancer risk. Monitor Your Meat Meat lovers, listen up! Those who like their meat medium-well or well-done, fried, or barbequed have a higher risk of developing breast cancer (along with stomach, colorectal and pancreatic cancers), according to the National Cancer Institute. Cooking muscle meats, such as beef, pork, foul and fish, at high temperatures creates carcinogenic chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HCA) that aren't there when the meat is in its raw state. Next time you're in the mood for a cheeseburger or a steak, try ordering it medium-rare to reduce your risk of breast cancer. Another bonus? Your meal will be noticeably more flavorful and tender! Know Your Personal Risk Your age, height, weight, ethnicity, genetics, diet, hormones, age at onset of your menstrual period and menopause, in addition to many other personal factors help determine your overall risk of developing cancer. If the disease runs in your family, talk to your doctor about being screened for the breast cancer genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2.

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