Breast Cancer – Prevent With Healthy Living
Generally speaking, breast cancer can be explained as an abnormal growth or a mass of cells, also known as a tumor, anywhere within the breast or immediate surrounding area. Usually the breast tumor is felt to be a lumpy mass during the early stages of breast cancer. If a woman feels a lump or abnormality of the breast of any kind, she should see a doctor immediately. In many cases, there is no cause for alarm, but because breast cancer can be a killer, medical attention is highly recommended.
When breast cancer is detected early, it can be treated quickly and effectively – usually with excellent results. Quick treatment is essential because all breast tumors start off benign initially. If the tumor has not begun to grow abnormally and is removed during the benign stage, the cancer may not spread. If the cancer does not spread, the woman is able to lead a normal, cancer-free life from that point on.
As with most cancers, the exact cause of breast cancer has not been pinpointed. However, there are many risk factors applied to many women. There are many arguments that breast cancer is hereditary, so if there is a history of the cancer in a woman’s family, she should see a doctor regularly for preventative measures. While heredity may play a role, life choices do as well. For instance, women who smoke cigarettes and consume alcohol regularly are at a higher risk for breast cancer than those who do not. Additionally, obese women that do not engage in regular physical activity are at an elevated risk for breast cancer.
It has been found, however, that altering the levels of hormones in the body can lead to different forms of cancer, breast cancer included. Many women take drugs and supplements that have estrogen as a main ingredient. These medications are used to increase sexual drive, assist in lactation, or deal with menopause. There are studies currently underway to help determine the influence of increased levels of estrogen on the development of breast cancer.
Despite the exact causes of breast cancer being unknown, there are many resources explaining and suggesting how a woman might prevent it. While much of this literature is purely speculation, there are precautions all women can take including maintaining a healthy body weight. Because overweight women have a higher chance of developing breast cancer, it is a good idea to lose the fat. Also, regular visits to the doctor are recommended. However, one of the best ways a woman can monitor her breast health is by conducting the at-home exam once a month.
In addition to regular doctor visits and maintaining a healthy body weight, a healthy diet and plenty of exercise can also influence the onset, or not, of many types of cancers. Foods that contain nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants essential to preventing breast cancer include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and legumes. Other good foods are any type of citrus, tomatoes and soy products. A diet low in carbohydrates may also be helpful.
Combining the healthy diet with regular exercise, a positive attitude and an overall healthy lifestyle may dramatically reduce a woman’s chances of developing breast cancer. By no means are these suggestions the only answer, but should be followed as part of an overall attempt at living as healthy as possible.