Breasteeding, diet and exercise help to prevent breast cancer


In the largest research study into lifestyle and breast cancer ever conducted, The American Institute for Cancer Research has confirmed that women can reduce their risk of breast cancer by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and by breastfeeding their children. They have updated a 2007 review of over 800 studies on the affect of nutrition and lifestyle on breast cancer by adding results of 81 new studies.

“This study represents the clearest picture we have ever had on how lifestyle affects a woman’s risk of breast cancer,” said Professor Martin Wiseman, MD, Medical and Scientific Adviser for AICR and WCRF.

Susan Higginbotham the institute's director of research said, "We estimate that almost 40 per cent of breast cancer cases in the U.S. — or about 70,000 cases every year — could be prevented by making these straightforward everyday changes."

The report recommends:

  • Doing physical activity for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Limiting consumption of alcohol to two drinks a day for a man and one for a woman.
  • Breastfeeding exclusively for up to six months after a baby is born.
  • Staying as lean as possible without becoming underweight.
  • Avoiding sugary drinks and energy-dense foods.
  • Eating more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans.
  • Limiting consumption of red meats such as beef, pork and lamb and avoiding processed meats.
  • Limiting consumption of salty foods and foods processed with sodium.
  • Not using supplements to protect against cancer.
  • Not smoking or chewing tobacco.

"Having a healthy lifestyle doesn't guarantee a woman won't get breast cancer, but it reduces her risk," said Dr. Alison Ross, senior science information officer for Cancer Research U.K., in a statement commenting on the report.

"If women attend screening and keep an eye out for any symptoms that could be breast cancer, they are more likely to pick up any early signs of the disease when treatment is most likely to be successful."

Similar reviews for colon and prostrate cancer are currently in the works and should be completed by early next year.

The full report of this fabulous study can be found at The American Institute for Cancer.



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