Healthy Life, Healthy Breasts; How to Help Prevent Breast Cancer

Apr 20, 2021
Healthy Life, Healthy Breasts; How to Help Prevent Breast Cancer
The connection between a healthy lifestyle and healthy breasts is incredible. Not only can it help prevent breast cancer, but it can also help increase your odds of beating the disease and not letting it come back! 

The connection between a healthy lifestyle and healthy breasts is incredible. Not only can it help prevent breast cancer, but it can also help increase your odds of beating the disease and not letting it come back! 

Hello warriors, readers, and faithful friends! Spring is here and the taste of summer is right around the corner. We've all been getting out more and more as it becomes safer to do so and as the weather allows. There is nothing like a beautiful walk through downtown, on the beach, through one of our many state parks, or one of our many historical sites. The Lowcountry offers so much that it's just calling for us to get up and get out right now! It's also an incredible mecca for foodies and all-natural purveyors! You can find every kind of delicious meal prepared at one of our many fine dining locations or buy it fresh out of the ocean and right off the farm. Healthy lifestyle choices can help you enjoy the beautiful Lowcountry life, make you feel amazing, and it can help you prevent breast cancer, help you defeat it, and make sure it never comes back! 

Breast cancer is a reality we all face. While some have a genetically higher chance of getting it than others, this silent killer doesn't discriminate. It picks and chooses at will. For those who have had breast cancer and are fighting to make sure it never returns, this battle is a constant worry. While we fight to discover a cure, there are things you can do right now, small changes in your lifestyle, to make whatever battle you might be fighting more successful. It's a tough battle, one that we try to educate everyone we possibly can about. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, affecting more than one and a half million women every year, with more than three million breast cancer survivors in the US alone right now. With numbers like that, it's an overwhelming thought if there is anything we can do to help make a difference in this battle. While there is no cancer-preventing food or specific exercise, a healthy lifestyle and many factors that go along with it correlates with being able to lower your overall risk. Any chances you can take to lower your risk are worth considering and implementing, and we are here to help you with the rest! 

  • Maintaining a Healthy Weight

While one's obesity and its link to breast cancer are not fully understood, according to the Cleveland clinic it's still important for women to maintain a healthy weight to reduce their risk of breast cancer. After menopause, the production of estrogen in fatty tissue can become a huge problem. Women who are above a healthy weight are exposed to more estrogen, which can lead to a higher chance of getting cancer. Obese women also tend to be more advanced in the disease when they are diagnosed, more likely to have cancer spread throughout their system, more likely to die from the disease and have a greater risk of the disease returning once they go into remission. Maintaining a healthy weight can help your fight against cancer, and it helps with optimizing your overall health as well. Also, keep these ideas in mind! 

  • Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle throughout your entire life and not just when you begin menopause can help you put up a strong and consistent fight throughout your life. 
  • A balanced food intake and consistent physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight. 
  • Portion sizes, choosing healthy snacks and avoiding fried foods, sweets, refined sugars, and fats can help you maintain a healthy diet and weight. 
  • Get Moving, Get Active

Right off the bat, according to the Cleveland Clinic, women who are physically fit are 25% less likely to develop breast cancer compared to women who are not active. Exercise will help boost and strengthen your natural immunity and your immune function which will, in turn, lower your obesity and help you maintain a healthy weight, and it will lower the levels of estrogen and insulin in your body as well. Staying active and exercising can also help you improve your body's bone mass, an issue that many women have when they've gone through endocrine therapy and chemotherapy. These treatments can cause bone fractures and osteoporosis, so maintaining that healthy bone density can help you stay healthy too. During your treatments and recovery, exercise can help with battling your fatigue symptoms, helps deal with stress, and can help you optimize your health over your entire life. According to hopkinsmedicine.org, the ten-year survival rate is much higher in those who exercise compared to those who do not. Also remember that exercise can help improve your mood, flexibility, endurance, and muscle strength. On those harder days during your treatments and after, your body can keep going and keep fighting when you keep exercise and activity in your routine. When it comes to the amount and what type of exercise you need, it's best to speak to your doctor about this and find out what they recommend and what is best for where you are in your journey at that moment. 

  • Eating Well, Drinking Well, Living Well

As we've mentioned before, adding a balanced diet into your life and removing unhealthy processed foods can be a key element in fighting breast cancer. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water is very important, along with limiting your alcohol intake. Start paying attention to what is exacting going into your body, read the labels before purchasing, and make smarter choices at the store. Note the calories, serving size, and the number of refined sugars and salts that are in your canned and processed foods. According to hopkinsmedicine.org, research has shown that diets high in fat and calories will lead to an increase in estrogen circulating in the blood, which can lead to breast cancer. Maintaining a healthy diet can also help in reducing the risk of your cancer coming back. A plant-based diet has been linked to helping to prevent cancer, and more women who eat this way tend to live longer than those who don't. Take these diet suggestions to heart: 

  • Enjoy five to eight servings of fruits and vegetables every day. 
  • Whole grains, beans, and lentils should be added to your meals every day. 
  • Choose to eat organic foods when you can. 
  • Increase your fiber intake. 
  • Have at least 2-3 servings of fish every week. Increasing omega 3 fatty acids that are found in salmon and other fish are very beneficial to you. You can also find them in walnuts, soybeans, and pumpkin seeds. 
  • Wash your produce thoroughly to prevent pesticide exposure. 
  • Avoid eating trans fats and processed sugars
  • Limit your red meat intake 
  • Take Your Vitamins, You Won't Regret It

Vitamin D is one of the most important that a woman needs in her system to keep her healthy. There is a strong link connected to women who have low levels of vitamin D and for those in remission with lower levels of vitamin D to get cancer or for it to return. You can get plenty of vitamin D by getting 20 minutes of sunshine every day, but don't forget your sunscreen! If you're not able to get outside much, make sure to take a doctor-approved supplement to help with your vitamin D levels! Always have your Vitamin D levels checked too, to make sure you're getting enough and if you need to add anything to your system. 

  • Continuing to Stay Healthy

On top of these four fantastic lifestyle changes that can help prevent breast cancer, and fighting against it returning, there are a few other ways to keep up and maintain a healthy lifestyle to keep up your battle. 

  • Limit your alcohol intake to one drink a day. 
  • If you are prescribed endocrine therapies, make sure to take them as you've been told to do. 
  • Even once you've beaten your cancer, that doesn't mean you stop your health screenings! Always continue with regular health screenings. 
  • Reduce stress across every part of your life as much as you can! 
  • Take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. 

There are some things about our bodies and our health that are out of our control. However, when it comes to a healthy lifestyle, our health is in our hands and we have the choice and the ability to care for ourselves. As health guru, fitness trainer, and ex-Rockette Amanda Kloots says "exercising is a privilege that we have every day. Getting up and moving our bodies is a gift." Let's celebrate that we are the incredible, powerful unique women that we are and that we can help our bodies fight against cancer with small daily changes and choices. We are here for you along the way, during your fight, and after. If you would like to begin or if you have any questions about our services including family history and genetic testing, survivorship, scar revision, body contouring, facial rejuvenation, laser hair removal, or lactation, please contact us today! Until next time, get up and get moving. You have another day to make healthy choices!