Foods That Help Prevent Breast Cancer
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and that means that millions of people will embark on an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease and encourage more people to promote healthy lifestyles and form habits that help prevent breast cancer. Many people understand the seriousness of the condition but a lot of them still fail to take an active role against it. A lot has been done to inform and educate, but there's still more to be done to ensure that everyone knows what role to play in preventing the spread of breast cancer.
When it comes to fighting diseases, knowledge makes a huge difference and that's what Breast Cancer Awareness Month is about; sending out information and making sure people know what's happening in the world.
Despite the progress made so far, the US CDC (Center for Disease Control) still estimates that at least 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, and the American Cancer Society estimates that about one in eight women in the country will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life.
Chances of acquiring breast cancer vary with age: a woman in her 70's is twice as likely to acquire the disease as a woman in her 40's; but keep in mind these numbers only tell half the story. What's more important than statistics are rates of survival. Because of the knowledge and insight garnered through breast cancer month, more women are taking charge over their lives, and making changes that empower them to beat cancer.
The American Cancer Society states that 67% of women aged over 40 have had a mammogram within the last two years, a sharp rise compared to the 29% recorded in 1987. Currently, the five-year survival rate for women who get an early diagnosis has risen to more than 90%, and this has been largely attributed to awareness as generated by campaigns such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Foods That Lower the Chances of Acquiring Breast Cancer
As you may have heard, we are what we eat: and some foods have been known to contain antioxidant properties which make them ideal for cancer prevention. Let’s take a look at the remedies and benefits of some common foods.
These foods should be in your diet:
Rich in fiber, phytochemicals and selenium, they help boost the immune system and prevent tumor growth in breast cancer. Brazil nuts provide a good source of antioxidants and will help fight cancerous cells.
Researchers already know that green tea is highly beneficial in cell growth and development. Thus, it can help to lower the risk of certain forms of cancer such as breast cancer by ensuring cells grow normally and in some cases destroying cancerous cells.
|Broccoli and Broccoli Sprouts
Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which is normally processed in the body into sulforaphane (an anti cancer compound). It also contains indole-3-carbinol, which is also a powerful anti-carcinogen and antioxidant.
Pomegranates are rich in phytochemicals, which are very beneficial substances in plants. The phytochemicals in pomegranates are called polyphenols. The polyphenols promotes heart health and many other anti-cancer benefits.
Flaxseed has been attributed as a cancer-protecting health food, especially breast, colon and prostate cancer. It seems that that the omega-3 acids that are contained in flaxseed disrupt the growth of cancer cells as it prevents the malignant cells from "sticking" to other human cells.
A 6-ounce of wild Atlantic salmon provides about 80 micrograms of selenium mineral. Studies have shown that a low intake of selenium mineral may contribute to reduced risk of developing breast cancer and other viral diseases.
Garlic can aid in the prevention of several types of cancer. Cancers such as breast cancer, colon cancer, bladder and prostate cancer have been shown to have the tumors reduce when treated with garlic.
The antioxidant properties of turmeric help in preventing free radicals from damaging healthy body cells which can lead to breast cancer. In case any cancer cells develop, the compounds in turmeric work to destroy them and prevent their spread to other parts of the body.
While breast cancer has been known to affect men, it poses a higher risk to women; which is why most of the focus is on women. Recognize the month of October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and find out what changes you can make in your own life to minimize chances of acquiring it, and share that information with friends and family.
Common Risk Factors
Although we can’t claim to have the knowledge on how to actually prevent breast cancer, certain factors appear to have a common link with the disease. These include the following:
- • Age: as a woman gets older the risk of acquiring breast cancer tends to increase
- • Genetics: studies have shown a recurrence in breast cancer when a parent or sibling acquires it; and women who carry genes such as BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 are at a higher risk (only accounts for about 1% of breast cancer cases)
- • Wrong usage of oral contraceptives: talk to a health expert before using oral contraceptives
- • Having children after the age of thirty, or not having children at all
- • Lack of breastfeeding
Successful treatment largely depends on early detection so form a habit of getting screened and know what the warning signs are. As a general rule, you should contact a health expert if you feel a lump in your breast, or notice any other physical change.
Mammograms do reveal strange cell-growth but they are not 100% accurate; which is why women are encouraged to conduct self-examinations and promote a healthy lifestyle.