Reduce Your Risk
How Can I Reduce the Risk of Getting Breast Cancer ?
The good news is that some of the risk factors mentioned in the previous section can be modified in order reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Avoid becoming overweight after the menopause and ensure that your blood vitamin D levels are within normal range.
- Undertake regular exercise and increase physical activity (min. 1 hour per week).
- Avoid excessive alcohol intake – try not to drink more than 6 units of alcohol per week (equivalent to one glass of wine per day). If you drink regularly, then consider taking folic acid supplements.
- Reduce the intake of animal fat and red meat (esp. overcooked red meat)
- Eat more fish (excluding farmed salmon)
- Replace full-fat dairy products with low-fat dairy products and try to add Soya to your diet
- Increase the intake fibre and fresh fruits and vegetables especially: garlic, onions, leeks, watercress, cranberries, raspberries, cherries, red grapes, and pomegranates. Minimise the intake of grape fruits
- Increase the intake of green tea.
- Increase the intake of curcumin (ginger spices) and olive oil.
Comment: There is no credible scientific evidence that underarm cosmetics and low-fat dairy products increase the risk of developing breast cancer.
- Avoid taking HRT after the menopause and try to use alternatives to HRT.
- Try to have your first child before the age of 30 years and avoid pregnancy after the age of 40 years.
Other Ways (for Women at High Risk)
- Anti-oestrogen drugs, such as tamoxifen (a breast cancer drug) and raloxifene (used to protect post-menopausal women from developing osteoporosis), have been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by 50–75%. However, further research is needed before these drugs can be recommended for breast cancer prevention.
- Preventative mastectomy (removal of the whole breast) seems to reduce the risk of breast cancer by 90% in high-risk women, such as those who carry breast cancer genes. Preventive oophorectomy also decreases the risk of developing breast cancer in BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 gene carriers.
- Recent research suggests that aspirin-like drugs may reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. However, further research is needed before these drugs can be recommended for breast cancer prevention.
- A new class of breast cancer drugs called Aromatase Inhibitors have been found to be better than tamoxifen in preventing breast cancer in the opposite breast among postmenopausal women with breast cancer, but further research is needed.