Breast cancer remains one of the principal causes of untimely deaths among women around the world. It is a dreaded disease that can shatter anyone’s spirit. Even though the word ‘cancer’ is enough to instill fear, remember, it is highly manageable if diagnosed in the early stages.
In today’s world, it is natural to be concerned about cancer because of the rising number of cases. People do all sorts of things including buying cancer insurance as a protective cover to following an alternative lifestyle to minimise their risk of breast cancer. There is no doubt that cancer awareness plays a significant role in its prevention, diagnosis and treatment. If you are concerned, the best thing to do is to adopt a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk. However, some risk factors like family history cannot be eliminated while others can be controlled to lower the risk.
Here are ten things you can do to reduce the risk of breast cancer
Stop consuming alcohol
Many studies link Alcohol consumption and breast cancer risk. The more your alcohol consumption, the higher the risk. According to doctors, even a moderate amount of alcohol consumption can increase the risk. So, if you do drink, stop now and take yourself out of this risk pool. If you do not drink, stay that way.
Smoking is one of the worst lifestyle habits that can ruin your body in unimaginable ways. Smoking raises the risk of breast cancer and this is even higher in premenopausal women. If you are a smoker, quit now to reduce your risk of stroke, coronary heart diseases, and at least ten types of cancers including breast cancer. Quitting smoking will also improve the quality of your life, improve your skin. Overall, it will have a positive impact on your life.
Control Your Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight not only reduces breast cancer risk but other diseases as well. If obesity occurs later in life after menopause, it is time to put on those jogger shoes and start exercising. Remember, being obese will perpetuate many other risk factors that can lead to cancer. Combined with a healthy diet, regular physical activity keeps you healthy.
Being physically active has many advantages and can reduce the risk of several diseases. Regular exercise will help maintain your healthy weight and in turn, reduce the risk of breast cancer. According to doctors, exercise for at least 30 minutes every day to minimise the risk of breast cancer and heart diseases. It will improve the quality of life and keep you more energetic to take on everyday life.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables
A healthy diet is an ultimate gateway to a healthy body. Include a lot of fruits, vegetables and nuts in your diet to reduce the risk of breast cancer and other diseases. A healthy diet can keep weight in check, and offer sufficient nutrition for the body to function adequately.
If you are a mother-to-be or a new mother, breastfeeding is known to play a role in preventing breast cancer. According to doctors the more you breastfeed, the lower is the risk of breast cancer, with the added bonus of giving your baby a healthy head start in life.
Avoid Birth Control Pills
Yes, birth control pills may have their benefits, but they also increase the risk of breast cancer. In younger women who take birth control pills, the risk of breast cancer is less when compared to women over the age of 35. Other than breast cancer, taking birth control pills also raises the risk of stroke and coronary heart diseases. However, the risk will be lowered and eventually eliminated once you stop taking them. If you can, consider an alternate way of contraception and reduce the risk of breast cancer.
What Else Can You Do?
The points mentioned above can help prevent cancer; however, there are certain things that you need follow to be a step ahead and avoid any unpleasant surprises.
Knowing Your Family History
Women who have a family history of cancer must always be vigilant of any signs and symptoms that can lead to cancer manifestation in the future. Typically, having a first degree relative (mother or sister) with cancer increases the risk of cancer.
So, if there is any family history of cancer, take special proactive steps to protect yourself.
Breast cancer is manageable in its early stages. Undergoing routine screening helps in early diagnosis and treatment. Regular mammograms can save many lives and improve the chances of early detection.
If you are diagnosed with cancer, the emotional trauma can take its toll. In such a situation, you do not want to be limited by finances for your treatment; it will only make the situation worse. And let’s not forget, cancer treatment is expensive and can easily mean spending lakhs of rupees. So, what can be done in such a situation?
Get insured by buying a cancer insurance policy.
Reputable insurers like Future Generali offer a number of benefits in their cancer insurance plan, including a cover of up to Rs. 40 lakhs. It does not matter if it is a major or minor stage cancer – you get all the benefits of the cancer insurance policy.
Always be vigilant about the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Never ignore a lump, an unknown discharge, pain or even any minor changes in the breasts. Consult a doctor right away and discuss regular mammograms. Remember, prevention is the cure. So, take these steps now and ensure a good quality of life.