Breast Cancer Prevention

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Many factors are risks for developing breast cancer such as age, family history, age of first menstrual cycle and age of first childbirth.  These factors are out of our control.  My patients often ask me what they can do to prevent breast cancer.

The Mayo Clinic lists seven things that each of us can do to prevent breast cancer.  These lifestyle changes can even help women who have a higher risk due to family history.

  1. 1
    Limit alcohol intake.  The general recommendation for reducing breast cancer risk is to limit your alcohol intake to less than one drink per day.
  2. 2
    Don’t smoke.  This risk is even higher in premenopausal women.
  3. 3
    Control your weight. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of breast cancer.  This risk is even greater if obesity occurs later in life or post menopause.
  4. 4
    Be physically active.  Aim for at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity, plus strength training twice a week.
  5. 5
    Breast-feed.  The longer you breast feed, the greater the protective effect.
  6. 6
    Limit dose and duration of hormone therapy. Combination hormone therapy for more than 3-5 years increases the risk of breast cancer.  If you are taking hormone therapy for menopausal symptoms, ask your doctor about other non hormonal options.
  7. 7
    Avoid exposure to radiation.

A healthy diet can also help with breast cancer prevention.  Studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet can lead to a reduced risk of breast cancer.  I’ve attached an easy guide for following this type of diet.

Attached is an article I found about 12 foods that help with breast cancer prevention.  For this, I turned to my friend Chef Lori Fernandez to create some easy recipes that include these foods.

Dr. Cindy’s Care Beyond the Visit with Chef Lori

Dr. Cindy and Chef Lori Roast Vegetables

Dr. Cindy and Chef Lori Make a Smoothie