5 Things You Can Do Now to Help Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer

The Keep A Breast Foundation was founded in response to the growing need for breast cancer awareness programs that focus on educating young people.

October is a big month to raise awareness of the need of prevention education for young people. We work on this all year, but October gives us a huge platform to bring people into our community and encourage them to become a part of the conversation. Here are a few ways that you can help lower your risk of breast cancer!

Check Yourself!

In order to know when something is wrong, you have to know how your body feels when it’s right, your normal, we like to call it. We encourage everyone to check his or her boobies monthly (guys too!) to know your normal. Young people can and do get breast cancer, so we encourage starting monthly self-checks as early as possible. No scary medical procedures, just getting to know your boobies and starting that positive relationship with them. Research shows that 40 percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who discover their own lump. You can download our app to get a monthly reminder!

Eat Your Medicine

Diet is a big part of keeping your body healthy. There are many foods that naturally contain anti-carcinogens that fight cancer. By eating your medicine you can reduce your risk of cancer, while enjoying other benefits like maintaining a healthy weight, reducing your risk of heart disease and increased levels of energy. Food is fuel and nutrient rich food is medicine for your body. Women who eat a fiber rich diet are 54 percent less likely to get breast cancer. Other foods to add to the menu are mushrooms, turmeric, cruciferous vegetables, chia seeds, garlic, seaweed, blueberries, and more!

Move Your Body

Some studies have shown that just 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times a week can lower your risk of breast cancer by 30-50 percent. This October, KAB has started a movement called Fit 4 Prevention with a goal is to inspire people to reduce their risk of cancers by adopting a healthier, more active lifestyle, in a way that sparks their inner champion. Exercise boosts your T-cells, which strengthen your immune system and help you fight cancer cells. Hiking and other exercise releases adrenaline and endorphins, which can decrease tension, anxiety, and blood pressure levels. This can reduce risk of depression and will leave you feeling better physically and mentally, which will encourage you to continue your new healthy habits. Studies show that exercising during and after treatment benefits cancer survivors in several ways, ranging from improved fitness and higher quality of life to reduced rates of recurrence and a longer life. Cancer patients who exercise may experience less nausea and less fatigue. If you’re coping with cancer or its aftermath, now is the time!

Detox Your Life

Environmental factors contribute to 90% of breast cancer diagnosis. That includes the products we use in our home and on our bodies. The cosmetics industry is very loosely regulated and unfortunately the ingredients they use are often not safe. There claim is that their one product contains a “safe level” of harmful chemicals, but when women use an average of 12 products daily, which equals an average of 168 chemicals we are exposing our body to daily. Men use less, but still expose their skin to 85 chemicals daily. When we use that many products that contain potential carcinogens, the levels of those chemicals pass the safety mark. Many chemicals used in personal care, such as parabens, phthalates, formaldehyde, triclosan, and fragrance have been directly linked to many cancers. Luckily, there are many great companies that produce non toxic cosmetics, personal care and cleaning products to keep our bodies free of as many toxins as we can control. Check out Non Toxic Revolution and Open This Pit Up to switch your deodorant to non toxic, and download Environmental Working Group’s Healthy Living App to scan products in store so you can shop smart and non toxic!

De-stress

If you find yourself living a super fast-paced daily life, remember to slow down for yourself and decompress for your health. Long-term stress can open the door for breast cancer by increasing blood flow to tumors, feeding hormones that encourage tumor growth, and keeping your body in a constant state of inflammation. A few great ways to de-stress are to make sure you get enough sleep, listen to your favorite music when you feel stress coming on,  practice digital detoxes daily, visualize a less stressful situation to trigger relaxation, and hang with your friends!

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