A recent study of breast cancer risk revealed that 1 in 28 Indian women develop the disease during their lifetime. In urban areas , it is even higher at 1 in 22. A World Cancer Research Fund report says that women could avoid breast cancer if they led a healthier lifestyle by making simple changes in their lifestyle. To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, experts from across the world offer some basic advice to women.
Be your own screener
Regularly examining your own breasts can help find a cancer early, when it’s more likely to be treated successfully. This should ideally be done several days after your period ends, when your breasts are not swollen and tender. Check for lumps, dimpled or puckered skin, nipple changes such as inversion, discharge or a rash. Consult a doctor the first time you do it.
Avoid the pill after 30
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and the combined contraceptive pill are associated with a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. Women should ideally replace their oral contraceptive pill for a non-hormonal alternative when they reach their mid-30s, and limit combined HRT use to no more than two to five years if they are older than 50.
Avoid canned food
Chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) are used to make plastic containers, the linings that coat the insides of food and drink cans, and plastic food bags – a substance that acts like the oestrogen hormone – increasing breast cancer risk.
Buy fresh rather than tinned foods and drinks, don’t microwave food in plastic containers and drink filtered water from stainless-steel or glass bottles instead of plastic ones, especially ones that have been exposed to sunlight. Eat organic & natural foods, especially those with a lot of anti-oxidants, like cashew nuts, from http://www.naturalmantra.com. Berries, Whole Grain and Organic & Green Teas are good too.
Count the glasses
Even one or two drinks a day could increase your risk of breast cancer.
*with inputs from Daily Mirror with Mumbai Mirror Bureau, Oct 5. 2014