October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You may have seen pink ribbons, pink shirts, or even NFL players’ pink gloves already this month, with many organizations using this promotion to help raise money for breast cancer research.
Risk of Developing Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women. (Skin cancer is the first, so don’t forget your sunscreen!). I bet every one of you reading this can quickly think of someone who has been affected by breast cancer.
A study found that 27% of breast cancer deaths can be linked to alcohol use, overweight and obesity. Being overweight or obese had the strongest effect on increasing the risk of dying from breast cancer. (reference)
Reducing Your Risk of Breast Cancer
This article has lots of information about risk factors and symptoms of breast cancer. Some risk factors, like family history of breast cancer cannot be changed. But others can be changed to help reduce your risk of getting breast cancer.
Eat Smart– There is no specific diet to reduce the risk of breast cancer. But your best bet is to eat smart using MyPlate, getting plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. This type of diet helps keep you healthy and protects against many diseases, not just cancer.
Alcohol– The more you drink, the higher the risk of getting breast cancer. If you do drink, limit to no more than 1 drink per day.
Move More– Being physically active helps reduce your risk of breast cancer, as well as keep you healthy in general. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity each week. This works out to about 30 minutes a day, which is achievable for all of us with a little planning.
Slim Down– Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for preventing breast cancer. If you need help losing weight, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see if there is a free Eat Smart, Move More, Slim Down program near you.
Nurse Your Babies– Breastfeeding helps reduce the risk of breast cancer. It also is nature’s perfect (and Free!) food for your baby. WIC does a great job of helping moms breastfeed their babies. Visit their website to see if you’re eligible.
So this month, every time you see the pink ribbon, use it as a reminder to focus on eating smart, moving more and slimming down to reduce your risk of breast cancer.