The United Nations Office of Disaster Risk Reduction (sounds like something out of a futuristic British sci-fi movie!) boldly states: “There is no such thing as a natural disaster, only natural hazards.”
If you think about it, it makes sense. Take the ever-increasing risk of breast cancer: There are a lot of natural hazards that play a role in its development, like genetic predispositions; hormonal dysfunctions; unknown exposure to toxins (natural or man-made). But they’re NOT inevitable disasters. Not all women with those risks develop breast cancer. And there are a slew of modifiable hazards (thank heavens!) that can reduce your risk and make your RealAge younger.
One study found that in high-income countries like the U.S. and Canada, 27 percent of cases of breast cancer are attributable to smoking, alcohol use (we say, excessive use) and, most often, overweight and obesity. Women being older when they go through childbirth and spending a shorter time breastfeeding also may up the risk.
So what can every woman do to reduce her risk of breast cancer?
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▪ Quit smoking (go to sharecare.com for help).
▪ Get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, 60 minutes of vigorous activity and 20 minutes of resistance exercise a week.
▪ Eat a high-fiber diet (that’s five to nine servings of fresh produce and two servings of 100 percent whole grains daily).
▪ Limit or eliminate alcohol. (It, like inactivity and tobacco use, is tied to the risk of developing breast cancer and recurrence in women treated for early stage BC.)
▪ Maintain a healthy weight and waist circumference.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.