The UN department of Disaster Risk Reduction boldly states, “there is no such thing as a natural disaster, only natural hazards.”
If you think about it – it makes sense. Take the ever-increasing risk of breast cancer: There are a lot of natural hazards that play a role in its development – genetic predispositions; hormonal dysfunctions; unknown exposure to toxins (natural or man-made). But they’re not inevitable disasters. Not all women with those risks develop breast cancer. And there are a slew of modifiable hazards that can reduce your risk.
One study found that in high-income countries like the U.S. and Canada 27% of cases of breast cancer are attributable to smoking, alcohol use, and most often, overweight and obesity. Women being older when they go through childbirth and spending a shorter time breastfeeding may also up the risk.
So what can every woman do to reduce the risk of breast cancer?
- Quit smoking
- Get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, 60 minutes of vigorous activity and 20 minutes of resistance exercise each week
- Eat a high-fiber diet (that’s 5 to 9 servings of fresh produce and 2 servings of 100% whole grains daily)
- Limit or eliminate alcohol
- Maintain a healthy weight and waist circumference.