Developing cancer is a concern for many women, particularly when it relates to ovarian cancer or breast cancer. Although medical advances are increasing the chances of surviving breast cancer, women can take measures to help reduce the risk of developing cancer. With the right combination of diet, exercise and healthy lifestyle choices, women can dramatically lower their risk of cancer.
Avoid Cigarette Smoke
Cigarettes are known to cause several forms of cancer, including breast and ovarian cancer in women. A simple way to reduce the risk of developing cancer is avoiding cigarettes. Although smoking contains the highest risk of health problems, second-hand smoke can also lead to cancer so it is best to avoid second-hand smoke as much as possible.
Women can still reduce their risk even after smoking for years by quitting. Giving up cigarettes is a great way to improve overall health, allow the body to heal and reduce the risk of cancer. Each year that passes without a cigarette will reduce the risk of developing cancer when compared to current smokers.
Although alcohol in moderation is potentially good for the heart, too much can increase the risk of developing cancer of the breasts. Women should avoid or limit alcohol as much as possible. A single drink, which is 5 ounces of wine, 1 and ½ ounces of liquor or one 12 ounce beer, is moderate drinking for a woman.
If it is hard to limit drinking to one drink, then it is better to avoid alcohol completely. The health benefits are very low when compared to the risks of drinking too much.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
A healthy weight will vary on many factors, including height and body fat percentage. A family doctor can make specific suggestions for healthy weight ranges based on body type, height and muscle mass, but it is best to stay within the recommended weight range. Maintaining a healthy weight will reduce the risk of developing many types of cancer.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables
A variety of fruits and vegetables are recommended for good health. The best rule of thumb is eating around nine servings of fruits and vegetables every day. A variety of colors is also ideal because it will provide more variety in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
After giving birth, women should breast-feed children if it is appropriate for the situation. Breast-feeding helps build up an infant’s immune system and is shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Although it is not possible to eliminate every risk associated with cancer, women can take measures to reduce the risks. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and avoiding activities that can cause cancer will help.