Breast Cancer Awareness: The Power of Prevention
According to Webster, prevention is defined as the process of keeping something from happening. With cancer – in particular, breast cancer – this is only partially true. When it comes to the prevention of any disease, there is a lot of advice and information available on the best ways to avoid getting sick. It is important to remember that, with disease, we can lessen the chances of getting sick – but there is no guarantee that we can completely prevent it. For the purposes of this article, we will discuss prevention as a way to lessen the chances of something happening.
While some risk factors for breast cancer such as age, gene mutations, and family history are not preventable, other risk factors like obesity, poor dietary patterns, and physical inactivity are preventable. Below are the nutrition and physical activity prevention guidelines outlined by the American Cancer Society.
Achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life:
- For those who are overweight or obese, losing even a small amount of weight has health benefits and is a good place to start.
- Get regular physical activity and limit intake of high-calorie foods and drinks as keys to help maintain a healthy weight.
Be physically active:
- Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week.
- Children and teens should get at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous intensity activity each day, with vigorous activity on at least 3 days each week.
- Limit sedentary behaviors.
Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods:
- Choose foods and drinks in amounts that help you get to and maintain a healthy weight.
- Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat.
- Eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
- Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products.
If you drink alcohol, limit your intake:
- Drink no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men.
Source: The American Cancer Society. Retrieved May 19, 2015. From http://www.cancer.gov.