It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and aside from doing my usualy self-exam and having regular mammograms, I think I need to fine-tune my habits and lifestyle for prevention. The Mayo Clinic has some great information regarding lifestyle habits that I’m putting into action.
1. Limit alcohol. A link exists between alcohol consumption and breast cancer. How strong a link remains to be determined. The type of alcohol consumed — wine, beer or mixed drinks — seems to make no difference. To protect yourself from breast cancer, consider limiting alcohol to less than one drink a day or avoid alcohol completely.
So I think I may cut back on my one glass of red wine per night. I’m thinking about it…
2. Maintain a healthy weight. There’s a clear link between obesity — weighing more than is appropriate for your age and height — and breast cancer. This is especially true if you gain the weight later in life, particularly after menopause. Experts speculate that estrogen production in fatty tissue may be the link between obesity and breast cancer risk.
This is a definite must do. I had three orthopedic surgeries over the last year which led to a rather sedentary lifestlye for the better parts of the year. Needless to say, I picked up some pounds that I need to shed. I’m working on it!
3. Stay physically active. Regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and, as a consequence, may aid in breast cancer prevention. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week. If you haven’t been particularly active in the past, start your exercise program slowly and gradually work up to a greater intensity. Try to include weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging or aerobics. These have the added benefit of keeping your bones strong.
Oh, yea. I’m all over this one. Walking, riding the stationary bike for my aerobic exercise and I’m starting back up with the weights. Look out!
4. Consider limiting fat in your diet. Results from the most definitive study of dietary fat and breast cancer risk to date suggest a slight decrease in risk of invasive breast cancer for women who eat a low-fat diet. But the effect is modest at best. However, by reducing the amount of fat in your diet, you may decrease your risk of other diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke. And a low-fat diet may protect against breast cancer in another way if it helps you maintain a healthy weight — another factor in breast cancer risk. For a protective benefit, limit fat intake to less than 35 percent of your daily calories and restrict foods high in saturated fat.
I’m don’t have much fat in my diet, so this will not be a problem. That occasional butter on pancakes…But in accord with number 2, those pancakes are off limits!
So those are my goals for life! I hope anyone reading, male or female will join me in my efforts to have a healthy lifestyle.