Sat, Dec 10, 2016 | updated 12:22 PM IST

Tips to prevent breast cancer in women

Updated: Nov 10, 2016 11:12 IST

New Delhi [India] Nov. 10(ANI): Cervical cancer was once considered one of the most life-threatening diseases for women, claiming one life every seven minutes, as per data recorded in 2008.

Today, however, breast cancer has replaced it as the biggest cause of concern. It is one of the most prevalent maladies amongst Indian women and claims one life every 10 minutes. The rate at which breast cancer is spreading its fatal tentacles across India has much to do with unhealthy lifestyle habits. Early detection can help a woman control the cancer from spreading or becoming malignant.

According to Dr. Sahana K, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynecologist, Medikoe, the best way to prevent yourself from developing this deadly disease is boosting your immunity and staying away from harmful habits. Here are a few measures that one needs to follow to prevent the risk of developing breast cancer.

1) Stay physically fit: Every woman should make exercise a part of her daily routine to stay fit. Staying physically fit has several advantages as it enhances the quality of life and improves physical form. Regular physical activity such as hitting the gym or doing exercises at home has the ability to cut down one's risk of breast cancer as well. Any form of physical activity can reduce breast cancer risk by at least 20 per cent.

2) Consume healthy food items: Along with regular exercise, it is necessary to follow a balanced diet. Eating the right food can boost your immune system and cut down your risk of developing breast cancer. Avoid processed foods and say no to aerated drinks. Include high fibre food items in your daily diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables. These food items can protect your body and boost your immune system to fight against breast cancer. Always maintain a healthy diet and control your body weight to considerably reduce breast cancer risk.

3) Breastfeeding is essential: Women who breastfeed are at a lower risk of developing breast cancer than those who don't breastfeed at all. Breastfeeding helps to lower the estrogen levels in the body, thus preventing the risk of cancer. Some women choose not to breastfeed as they believe the act will result in sagging breasts. However, breastfeeding is considered one of the most natural ways to protect one's body against development of cancerous cells.

4) Quit smoking and control liquor intake: Heavy smoking and high consumption of alcohol are high risk factors for breast cancer. A study published in the journal Cancer, revealed that women who tend to smoke a lot have a significantly higher incidence of "estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer", a common tumor characterized by its sensitivity to hormone-blocking therapy. Limiting your alcohol consumption and giving up on smoking are important to reduce breast cancer risk over time.

5) Consult your physician for hormonal therapies: If you wish to undergo hormone treatments, it is essential to consult your doctor for alternative therapies to cut down the risk of breast cancer. Avoid medicines that contain hormones for long term therapy or limit their use to less than three years. Staying away from such hormonal treatments is all the more imperative post menopause. Both estrogen-only hormones and estrogen-plus-progestin hormones increase the risk of breast cancer.

6) Go for periodic screening: Periodic screening is imperative, especially for those women who have a family history of breast cancer. A woman should undergo regular check-ups once she hits 30. The two screening tests available are mammography and ultra-sound. Be familiar with how your breasts feel normally. Always notify your physician if you observe any kind of lump, bleeding, discharge or if you experience any pain.

There is no assured way to prevent breast cancer, but there are ways to strengthen your immune system to fight against any deadly disease. Cultivate a healthy lifestyle and keep yourself mentally, physically and emotionally fit to improve your body's ability to fight against any life-threatening diseases, including breast cancer. (ANI)