There is are cent rise in breast cancer in younger women and nowadays it is no longer restricted to women over 40 years of age .it is necessary that we do some things to lower the risk .one of the major issues with breast cancer is that it is often not detected in very early stages and this is attributed mostly to low awareness about the disease.
Inactive lifestyle, stress, unhealthy food, irregular sleeping hours, etc. are some of the things that can lead to breast cancer. Various risk factors other then being a women are:
Age( nowadays even prevalent in younger age group)
Delayed pregnancy or no pregnancy
Using oral contraceptive pills
Harmone replacement therapy
Women generally presents with common symptoms of
1. A hard ‘lump’ or a ‘knot’ in the breast. Usually, these lumps are painless.
2. Occasionally, a clear cut lump cannot be felt, but a ‘lumpish’ feel is there. And this feel is different as compared to the same area of the opposite breast.
3. Bloody or a blood stained nipple discharge
4. A recent ‘in drawing’ or ‘inward pull’ on the nipple or even a change in direction.
5. Changes in the skin over the breast, which feels thick, hard and like an ‘orange’ peel
6. Occasionally, small ‘knots’ or nodes may be felt in the arm pits.
Self breast examination helps in detecting the symptoms early. Women are advised to do self breast examination bimonthly so as to get thematically feel of the breast tissue n hence any new lump or symptoms noted on examination can be picked up early with early evaluation by the doctor . Early detection of the disease is the most effective way to treat the ailment but that doesn’t happen due to lack of awareness. If breast cancer is diagnosed and treated early the chances of cure and survival rates improve significantly, making it even more important to detect its presence.
According to the American Cancer Society’s guidelines for early detection of breast cancer:
1. A woman should undergo yearly mammograms starting at the age of 40.
2. They should get a clinical breast examination (CBE), approximately every 3 years for women in their 20s and 30s and every year for women in their 40s .
Breast cancer is NOT preventable and even healthy people can get it. Which is why, early detection is extremely important.
Leading healthy lifestyle can decrease the chances.
Few things which can be be done are:
1. Exercise: It could be in any form – brisk walking, gym, aerobics, yoga etc. 45 minutes of daily exercise has definitely shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
2. Decrease stress by meditation.Don’t worry ,be happy!
Besides these, some food habits that can keep cancer at bay.
1. Focus more on plant-based foods — like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, pulses etc. Start your day with fruits and nuts. Have some whole grain cereal for breakfast. Make sure to have a big portion of salad with vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, beetroot, cucumbers etc pre-lunch and pre-dinner. Carry snacks like fruits, trail mixes (sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, walnuts etc), opt for sandwiches with multigrain breads and lot of veggies in it.
2.Fiber: is the key component to prevent cancer. All plant based foods are rich in fiber which helps to keep your digestive system clean and healthy and push the cancer causing compounds out of the gut before they can harm you. You can add fiber to your diet by replacing white rice with brown rice, eating the fruits with skin, choosing popcorn over potato chips etc.
3. Avoid processed foods – The more you eat food in its original form, the better protection it gives. For example instead of drinking orange juice, peel and eat the orange or prepare oatmeal porridge with raisins rather than having an oatmeal raisin cookie.
4. Cut down on red meat and whole-fat milk – research shows that vegetarians are about fifty percent less likely to develop cancer than those who eat meat. That is because meat and milk lack fiber, antioxidants and nutrients that have cancer protective properties and is high on saturated fat which is linked with increased risk of cancer. But you don’t need to eliminate meat completely.A good visual reminder is to have 2/3rd of your plate filled with plant foods and 1/3rd of it with meat and dairy products.
5. Choose your fats smartly – Saturated and trans fats are demons for health, so limit them.On the other hand unsaturated fats (good fats)like MUFA and PUFA are found in oils that are liquid at room temperature eg: olive oil, ricebran oil, etc. The other sources of unsaturated fats are avocados, nuts like walnuts, almonds etc. Also focus onomega-3 fatty acids, which support brain and heart health. Good sources include fish like salmon, tuna, and flaxseeds. You can add them by eating fish once or twice a week, adding flaxseeds to your salad, avoiding fried foods, checking the label for bad fats.
6. Opt for cancer-fighting foods — You immune system needs to be strong to fight against cancer causing agents. eat a variety of colourful foods containing g antioxidants (vitamin A, C, E ),such as tomatoes, broccoli, dark green leafy vegetables, grapes, cranberry, carrots, cabbage, garlic, onions, grapefruits, blueberries, chilli peppers, jalapeno, soy products like tofu etc. Green tea is also antioxidant rich, so replace your black tea with three cups of green tea per day.
7. Drink plenty of water – as it helps to eliminate toxins from the body and supply nutrients to the cancer cells which can kill and prevent them from multiplying. Avoid sugary drinks like colas, juices etc .
8. Preserve nutrients when you cook – Wash the vegetables and fruits with a brush to remove all pesticide residues. Eat raw as much as possible, this helps retain the nutrients. Steam the vegetables using very little water. Prevent over-heating of oil as it can become carcinogenic.
9. Opt for healthier cooking methods – Instead of deep-frying, pan-frying, and sautéing, opt for baking, boiling, steaming, or broiling.Use microwave friendly containers of good quality to prevent plastic material interaction with food.
10. Avoid foods that look or smell mouldy – as they are likely to contain aflatoxin, a strong carcinogen.