We’re finding that a very small percentage—perhaps 10%—of (opens in a new tab) has a genetic link. You can take several steps to reduce your breast cancer risk, and we’ll touch on some of them here. Avoid toxins as much as possible. (Possibly link to hazardous chemicals article here) We live in a polluted environment and breathe air full of toxins from factories and vehicles. We eat food and drink water that is full of chemicals and stored in plastic containers that leach bisphenol-A. We clean our homes with harsh, hazardous cleansers. We use shampoos, soaps, cosmetics, lotions, and potions that contain ingredients we can’t even pronounce, much less know what they are. Every step you take to reduce your exposure to these harmful products is not only a step away from breast cancer, but it’s also a step away from other cancers and serious illnesses. Use nontoxic cleaning products, such as vinegar and baking soda. Try some mineral makeup and goat’s milk soap. Avoid plastic containers with the number 7 on the bottom, and toss out scratched or worn plastic items. Filter your water, and choose homegrown or organically grown food. Maintain a healthy weight and exercise. Obesity and a sedentary(opens in a new tab) increase your breast cancer risk, but the good news is that even a small reduction in weight or moderate, regular exercise are helpful. Find activities you enjoy doing, and focus on moving rather than exercising. An easy way to start losing weight is to eat as naturally as possible. Take it easy and don’t overwhelm yourself. Start by substituting a piece of fruit for a piece of candy, or add a few vegetables to your evening meal. When you’re used to the first step, take the next step. Before you know it, you’ll be losing weight and feeling amazing. Have no more than one alcoholic drink a day. Red wine is beneficial to the heart, but drinking more than one glass a day ups your risk of cancer. Enjoy that one glass of wine and know you’re doing something healthy for yourself, but stop there. Breastfeed. According to the Mayo Clinic, breastfeeding appears to protect women against (opens in a new tab), and the longer you breastfeed, the more protection it gives you. Avoid hormone therapy when possible. Long-term hormone therapy increases breast cancer risk. Ask your (opens in a new tab) about other options if you’re taking hormones, as you may be able to relieve symptoms with non-pharmaceutical means. If you do decide to continue with hormone therapy, use the lowest dosage you can, and have a goal date to stop using it.
We hope this post has been helpful—do you have any tips to help other women start exercising, lose weight, or avoid toxins?