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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer awareness monthWhile breast cancer information has been widely disseminated this month, I thought I’d focus today’s nutrition bite on the role of diet and the disease.

We know advancing age and family history are among the uncontrollable factors; we also know when it comes to diet, there is not a single food that promotes or prevents cancer, BUT, overall nutrition habits can change your risk. There are two biggies.

The first is alcohol. Alcohol is correlated to breast cancer; the more a woman drinks, the greater the risk.

You might have already guessed excess body fat is the other major factor.

Early menarche, the onset of the menstrual cycle in girls, is related to too little exercise and too much body fat. That early start to a period will end up with a later than typical menopause. The result is that the body is exposed to hormones for a longer time, somewhat increasing the risk of breast cancer.

The CDC states being overweight or obese after menopause increases your risk of breast cancer. Too little exercise is listed as a separate risk factor and is often seen along with excess body weight and fat.

We talk about managing weight often here but usually in regard to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke and certain cancers, but we need to recognize the specific role it plays in breast cancer. Excess body fat is not a cosmetic problem but a complicated health issue.

If weight loss seems unrealistic for you, perhaps weight maintenance is where you need to begin. If exercise isn’t in the cards, being more active in daily life could help. But, if you’re thinking, I’d like to start on those 5 pounds, begin today recording what you eat. It’s one of the most difficult but most beneficial weight reduction tools we have.

Take care of your weight to be well,

Marcia

 

 

 

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