Researchers have found lifestyle changes are very powerful for women with higher genetic risk of breast cancer. Your genes are not set in stone. What you eat, how much or how little you exercise, how much alcohol you drink all affect your risk of developing breast cancer as well as other cancers and diseases. Turning genes ” off” or ” on” is referred to as epigenetics. An example of this is mesothelioma. Someone exposed to asbestos can develop mesothelioma years later. The exposure ” turned on” their mesothelioma cancer gene.
So here are the types of things you can do to keep your breast cancer genes ” turned off”.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight is associated with several cancers. Fat cells are so much more than dietary fat stored in your fat cells. Fat cells are metabolically very active. They are full of hormones. Being overweight is generally very inflammatory. Inflammation is a driver of disease.
- Don’t smoke. You can add breast cancer to the list of terrible outcomes associated with smoking.
- Limit alcohol. Women can have one small drink a day, and that drink is associated with better heart health, but more than one small drink a day is associated with a markedly higher risk of breast cancer as well as several other cancers. 2.5 to 4 drinks per day is associated with a 41% increase in risk of breast cancer.
- Not using hormone therapy after menopause. No one ever died of a hot flash.
Thus far I have covered “don’ts”. Here are some ” do’s”. Add a tablespoon of ground flax seeds to your diet every day. The lignans in the flax protect you against breast cancer. Add mushrooms to your diet. 1 button mushroom a day lowers a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 68%. Add turmeric to your diet. Turmeric reduces the risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s, and reduces inflammation.
As a personal trainer I feel it is my responsibility to read about research that helps you live healthier and longer.