Five things to do daily for your breast health
Some risk factors for breast cancer are not within our power to modify, like the genes we inherited, or the age at which we began to menstruate, but there are things we can do that can reduce our risk of breast cancer considerably.
Get Moving: Spend at least 30 minutes, 5 days each week, in continuous physical activity that keeps your heart rate in your “aerobic zone." Your aerobic heart rate zone is the range of heart rate you should strive for during moderate to vigorous physical activity. The table below is from the American Heart Association (www.heart.org, as of Feb. 25, 2021)
Large clinical trials show that 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week can reduce risk of breast cancer by 20% to 50%!
Do not smoke! The rate of new breast cancer cases is 24% higher among smokers than among non-smokers.
Watch the Scale: Maintain a healthy body weight, especially after age 18 years old. Being overweight (BMI of 25 to 29) or obese (BMI of 30 or higher) after age 18 increases risk of breast cancer as much as 30%.
Limit Alcohol: Do not drink more than one alcoholic beverage per day. The more alcohol a woman drinks, the higher her risk of breast cancer.
Avoid Hormone Therapy: Do not take combination hormone therapy after menopause for more than 56 years. Breast cancer risk is increased approximately 35% among current long-term users of HRT; and the risk among former users returns to that of never-users within five years of cessation.