4 Ways to Protect Yourself from Breast Cancer

Filed Under: General Health

An estimated 80 to 90 percent of all cancers could be prevented by healthy lifestyle choices. Here’s my four-step protection plan for keeping breast cancer at bay.

1. Eat more plant foods. Switching to a plant-based diet is one of the most powerful ways to reduce your risk of ever getting breast cancer. Start with soy, a dietary staple in Asia that is believed to be one reason Asian women are only 1/3 to 1/4 as likely to die of breast cancer as American women. Broccoli also contains compounds that inhibit the effects of carcinogens, boost the production of cancer-blocking enzymes, and lower levels of harmful estrogens.

Flaxseed is an excellent source of fiber and nature’s richest source of lignans. Like genistein, lignans bind to estrogen receptors and impede the cancer-promoting effects of estrogen on breast tissue. They also help keep estrogen levels in check by escorting excess estrogen from the body.

2. Take cancer-fighting supplements. Begin with a multivitamin/mineral that contains high doses of the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, beta-carotene, and the mineral selenium. These nutrients have been shown to protect cell DNA from free-radical damage—a major step in the initiation of cancer—and each has been linked to a reduced incidence of breast cancer. I also suggest supplementing with omega-3 essential fatty acids found in fish oil and flaxseed oil. Studies show that women with high levels of these essential fats in their breast tissue have a reduced risk of breast cancer.

3. Walk away from breast cancer. Exercise isn’t just good for your heart—it’s also good for your breasts. The Nurses’ Health Study, a long-term study of over 120,000 female nurses, found that women who exercised for at least one hour a day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 18 percent, compared to women who were sedentary.

4. Minimize environmental toxins. A number of environmental toxins are linked to increased risk of cancer, including cigarette smoke, radiation, pesticides, and other man-made chemicals. Among the most carcinogenic, particularly for the breast, are pesticides. Numerous studies have shown that women with elevated levels of pesticides in their breast tissue have a dramatic increase in cancer risk. To avoid this risk, wash produce with soap and water, peel waxed fruits and vegetables, and, whenever possible, purchase organic produce.

Now it’s your turn: Which of these healthy habits have you adopted?

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DISCLAIMER: The content of DrWhitaker.com is offered on an informational basis only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health provider before making any adjustment to a medication or treatment you are currently using, and/or starting any new medication or treatment. All recommendations are "generally informational" and not specifically applicable to any individual's medical problems, concerns and/or needs.

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