(CARLSBAD, CA) – Women of all ages, listen up! One in eight women will battle breast cancer in her lifetime. It’s the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in women following skin cancer.
Fortunately, there are steps that you can take now to reduce your risk. The patterns that you set in your daily life make a big difference in battling potential breast cancer. Take inventory on the following areas of your health, and determine where your preventative health habits need a tune-up.
Watch your weight. The American Cancer Society reports that women who gain 20-30 pounds after age 18 are 40% more likely to develop breast cancer. Excess fat tissue increases the level of estrogen, which is linked to some types of breast cancer. Try a Mediterranean diet with lots of fruits and veggies, and little saturated fat.
Get active. A little bit of exercise goes a long way in preventing breast cancer. A University of Wisconsin study shows that women who exercise at least six hours per week are 20-30 percent less likely to get breast cancer. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Southern California tracked more than 100,000 women for 10 years and similarly reported that exercising at least five hours per week reduces the risk of breast cancer. Jazzercise Founder and CEO Judi Sheppard Missett suggests that you vary your workout, including cardio, strength, and stretch components.
Learn your family history. While 80 percent of women with breast cancer have no family history, there are genetic links to some types of breast and ovarian cancer. Find out if any women in your family have battled either of these diseases, and tell your doctor!
Perform self-exams monthly. Examine your breasts every month for odd lumps and irregularities. By performing exams on a regular basis, you will learn what your breasts feel like in their normal state. Then, you’ll be more likely to notice a difference if something arises. This early detection is key to a complete recovery. Ninety-eight percent of women who catch tumors early are still alive five years later.
Breast-feed your baby. Nursing helps protect your baby against infections and allergies, and it may also help protect you from breast cancer. While research is still relatively new in this area, some studies have shown a decrease in breast cancer among women who breast-feed their children.
Avoid alcohol. The Harvard School of Health reports an increased risk for breast cancer among women who consume a fair amount of alcohol. The American Cancer Society recommends no more than one drink per day.
More than 40,000 women will lose their lives to breast cancer this year. Help to reduce that number! Make changes in your daily lifestyle and encourage your friends and family to do the same. As you make these health modifications, you can battle breast cancer before it even starts.
Jazzercise, created by Judi Sheppard Missett, is the world's leading dance-fitness program with more than 7,500 instructors teaching 32,000 classes weekly in the U.S. and around the globe. Since 1969, millions of people of all ages and fitness levels have reaped the benefits of this comprehensive program, designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, strength, and flexibility. For more information on Jazzercise go to jazzercise.com or call (800)FIT-IS-IT or (760)476-1750.