Women have a one in eight chance of developing breast cancer during their lifetime. In fact, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women -- except for skin cancers -- and the second leading cause of cancer death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.
The American Cancer Society estimates that over 192,000 new cases of the disease will be diagnosed in women in 2009, and over 40,000 will die from it.
While screening tools can help you to detect breast cancer, they obviously do nothing to help prevent the disease, and this latter strategy is the best one for avoiding cancer.
Researchers estimate that about 40 percent of U.S. breast cancer cases, or about 70,000 cases every year could be prevented by making lifestyle changes.
A healthy diet, physical exercise, optimized vitamin D levels and an effective way to manage your emotional health are the cornerstones of just about any cancer prevention program.
It’s also important to make sure you’re getting sufficient amounts of animal-based omega-3 fats such as krill oil.
Two studies from 2002 offer explanations for how omega-3 fats can protect against breast cancer. BRCA1 (breast cancer gene 1) and BRCA2 (breast cancer gene 2) are two tumor suppressor genes that, when functioning normally, help repair DNA damage (a process that also prevents tumor development).
Earlier research had discovered that women who carry mutated versions of these two genes are at higher risk of developing both breast and ovarian cancer than women who do not have these genetic mutations. Currently, women with BRCA1 mutations account for about 5 percent of all breast cancer cases. Omega-3 and omega-6 fats have been found to influence these two genes.
Omega-3 fats tend to reduce cancer cell growth while highly processed and toxic omega-6 fats have been found to cause cancer growth.
Three additional steps that can lower your breast cancer risk as well include:
- Not drinking alcohol, or limiting your drinks to one a day for women
- Breastfeeding exclusively for up to six months
- Watching out for excessive iron levels. This is actually very common once women stop menstruating. The extra iron actually works as a powerful oxidant, increasing free radicals and raising your risk of cancer.
All you need to do is measure your ferritin level and if it is above 80, donate blood, which will reduce the amount of iron that you have and thereby lower your cancer risk.
Breast cancer is really one of the afraid diseases of women. Recently, based on the “Cancer Facts and Figures 2009 - PDF” most cases of women who had this type of cancer are on the middle aged or older where 77% of them are 55 years old or older. Breast cancer is not for women only, men are also possible to have this type of cancer, although not unlike to women it has a very low percentage cases. Anyway, it can be prevent by having a healthy diet, regular exercise, and optimized vitamin D levels are the effective way for just any cancer diseases. If you find any unusual or changes from your breast, I would suggest to make an appointment with your doctor – discipline is a key for a good help.
What are the signs and symptoms?
- A breast lump or thickening that feels different from the surrounding tissue
- Bloody discharge from the nipple
- Change in the size or shape of a breast
- Changes to the skin over the breast, such as dimpling
- Inverted nipple
- Peeling or flaking of the nipple skin
- Redness or pitting of the skin over your breast, like the skin of an orange