What can you as an individual do right now to reduce your own risk of breast cancer in the future? Yes, get your regular mammograms and do self- breast exams. Most people find their own breast cancers so know how to do a self-breast exam and do them regularly. In the meantime, let's talk about what you can do to reduce your overall risk.
Reduce Your Bra-wearing time
Your risk of breast cancer goes us relative to the amount of time you spend in a bra, especially an underwire bra. Based on a Harvard study:
- Women who wore their bras 24 hours per day had a 3 out of 4 chance of developing breast cancer.
- Women who wore bras more than 12 hour per day but not to bed had a 1 out of 7 risk.
- Women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day had a 1 out of 152 risk.
- Women who wore bras rarely or never had a 1 out of 168 chance of getting breast cancer. The overall difference between 24 hour wearing and not at all was a 125-fold difference.
Wear your bra as little time as possible or consider bra alternatives like Sassybax's camisole/bra combination. This give you lift and shape without increasing risk of breast cancer by disrupting lymphatic flow and cutting off circulation.
Read labels, especially on your cosmetics, lotions, moisturizers, creams or anything else you leave on your skin for extended lengths of time, eliminate parabens as much as possible. Parabens have been associated with the development of breast cancer. Here is more information. Another link for more information.
Stop Microwaving in Plastic
I can't say enough of the importance of this. In the fast food, convenience days that we are all accustomed to and the availability of microwaves and plastic containers or frozen dinners, it is so easy to do this recommendation. Ultimately, my preference is to not microwave at all, but if you must then putting your food on a glass or ceramic dish is imperative. The plastic, once heated will end up on your food and these are estrogenic (have actions similar to estrogen in the body) hence contribute to breast cancer risk. This is also true for men who want to reduce their risk of prostate cancer.
Get Adequate levels of Sunshine
This is particularly important if you live in more northern latitudes. The more vitamin D you have every day, the less the risk of breast and other cancers. Not to mention risk of other neurological diseases like Parkinson's and autism. If you are fair skinned usually 10 minutes of unfiltered sunlight per day is adequate. Adjust for more time of year. Less if during the summer and more during the winter. The darker your skin, the more sunshine you will need. Usually 15-20 minutes is all anyone will need. No need to go back to your sun worshipping days in college but just a few minutes every day will keep your risk down. If you can't get regular sunshine then cod liver oil or a vitamin D supplement will suffice.
Eggs and Dairy Should be Organic
Yes, buying organic can really add up. If you have to choose between filling up your car and buying organic foods most would choose to fill up their cars. So here is a healthy compromise. Eggs and dairy products like milk, cheese, ice cream, sour cream, butter if conventionally grown are often laden with hormones that can trigger or accelerate a malignant growth in the breast. Optimally it is best to buy as many fruits and vegetables, meats, dairy, eggs and grains as possible. But if you only have the ability to buy some foods organically grown or at the minimum hormone free you can be going a long way by reducing your intake of eggs and dairy products.
Article form Dr. Wang’s Green Health Spot
In addition to the information in this article there is one huge thing you can do to prevent breast cancer. Breast Feeding your children for up to 24 months.
"can't b/l this article doesn't mention breastfeeding! it's the most natural thing a woman can do to help prevent breast cancer - not only for herself, but also for the child(ren) she's nursing. if you bf 2 yrs, you reduce your chances by 65-70%, and the odds improve the longer you go! this is why bfing organizations and charities will always get my donations first - bfing can help prevent most of the other diseases people are raising money to cure, if only awareness could be raised so more ppl know it ! it's also the best 1st aid and line of defense for babies and young children in disasters."this from jacks comment from the article above.