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Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Ways to beat breast cancer !

Ways to beat breast cancer: Top tips on how women can protect themselves r Around one in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. It’s a ­frightening statistic but the good news is that there are steps you can take right now to reduce your risk. Only three in every 100 cases are ­hereditary and a World Cancer Research Fund report claims that as many as 20,000 British women could avoid breast cancer each year if they led a healthier lifestyle by doing such things as cutting down on alcohol and taking more exercise. So to mark the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we asked the experts for their key piece of advice to women. Be breast aware Professor Carlo Palmieri, a leading breast cancer expert from the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Wirral “Regularly examining your own breasts can help to find a cancer early, when it’s more likely to be treated successfully. “About 20% of cases are found this way so get into the habit of doing a breast self-examination once a month to familiarise yourself with how your breasts normally look and feel. “Do this several days after your period ends, when your breasts are least likely to be swollen and tender, or, if you’re no longer having periods, choose a day that’s easy to remember, such as the first or last day of the month. “Check for lumps, dimpled or puckered skin, nipple changes such as inversion, discharge or a rash.” Woman holding breastCheck: Regular examinations can help detect cancer early Try to avoid taking the contraceptive pill in your 30s Professor Gareth Evans, professor of clinical genetics at Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention “Hormone replacement therapy, HRT, and the combined contraceptive Pill are associated with a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. “We recommend that women swap their oral contraceptive Pill for a non-hormonal alternative when they reach their mid-30s, and limit combined HRT use to no more than two to five years if they are older than 50.” GettyContraceptive pills in woman's handsStop: Contraceptive pills Breast-feed to lower your risk Fiona Osgun, health information officer at Cancer Research UK “Breast-feeding can slightly reduce your risk of developing breast cancer. “We don’t know why exactly. It might be because the ovaries don’t produce eggs as often when you are breast-feeding – or it may be because this method of feeding could make the breasts more resistant to the changes that can lead to cancer.” GettyMother breast feedingLower risk: Breast-feeding Be active every day inka Ebo, Health Information Lead at Breakthrough Breast Cancer Just 30 minutes of daily physical activity could reduce the number of breast cancer cases by at least 20% – that’s 9,000 cases a year. “That doesn’t have to mean joining a gym though. It can be anything that gets you feeling warm, breathing harder and makes your heart beat faster – so it could be energetic vacuuming, gardening or even walking the dog. “And you don’t have to do 30 minutes activity in one go. Break it up into 10-minute chunks if it’s easier to fit in with everyday life. Check out the activity tracker at” GettyGroup of people exercising in gymActive: To lower the risk Avoid canned food and drinks Conner Middelmann-Whitney, nutrition coach and author of Zest For Life: The Mediterranean Anti-Cancer Diet “Chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) are used to make plastic containers, the linings that coat the insides of food and drink cans, and plastic food bags. “It’s thought these act as a ‘xenoestrogen’ – a substance that acts like the oestrogen hormone – increasing breast cancer risk. Experts disagree on which concentrations of BPA may be dangerous so minimise exposure by avoiding tightly packaged food such as meat from supermarket chiller cabinets. “Also, buy fresh rather than tinned foods and drinks, don’t microwave food in plastic containers (use glass or porcelain instead) and drink filtered water from stainless-steel or glass bottles instead of plastic ones, especially ones that have been exposed to sunlight.” (c) Brian Hagiwara GettyCanned food Eat more broccoli Amanda Hamilton, nutritionist and Tribest brand ambassador “While all fruits and vegetables are good for you, some are better than others for helping you to prevent breast cancer. “These include cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, but broccoli in particular has been shown to block tumour growth. Also, eat carotenoid vegetables such as carrots as they are rich in vitamin A. Studies show women with higher levels of carotenoids in their blood are at lower risk of breast cancer.” Wonderfoods Brocolli (Pic:RexFeatures)Wonder: Brocolli Drink less Dr Sarah Rawlings, director of policy at Breakthrough Breast Cancer “Even small amounts of alcohol can increase your risk of developing breast cancer and, the more you drink, the greater your risk will be. “It’s estimated that 3,000 cases of breast cancer each year are linked to alcohol. Try to stick to the recommended two to three units a day and bear in mind that’s just one standard glass of wine.” GettyWine tastingCut back: Drink less booze Take action if you're high risk Dr Caitlin Palframan, head of policy at Breakthrough Breast Cancer “In June 2013, new guidelines from NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, recommended for the first time that drugs such as Tamoxifen should be offered to those women at a higher breast cancer risk due to their family history. “This is a game-changer in the way we prevent breast cancer in women at high risk. Until now, surgery was the only meaningful preventive option women had available to them. Women with any concerns about their risk of breast cancer should speak to their GP.” GettyNurse preparing patient for mammogram, rear viewPrepare: Especially if you're high risk Lose your extra pounds Eluned Hughes, head of public health at Breakthrough Breast Cancer “Being overweight increases your risk of breast cancer, particularly after the menopause. In fact, 9,000 cases a year are linked to excess weight. “Although working out your body mass index, or BMI, is one way of finding out if you’re overweight, measuring your waist circumference can be more accurate. Storing excess weight around your middle can particularly impact on your risk. This isn’t the size you take in jeans – it’s the mid-point between your hips and ribs. “Anything over 32in suggests you’re overweight, while anything over 35in indicates obesity.” GettyWeight Watchers opinionLose weight: Being obese is a risk Discover linseeds Michele Kaye, nutritionist and wellness coach, “Freshly ground linseed (also called flaxseed) is the richest source of lignans (also found in many vegetables, fruits, wholegrains, nuts and other seeds). “Lignans are a form of plant oestrogen, phytoestrogen, that can reduce the action of human oestrogen, protecting against hormone-associated breast cancer. “Just before eating, grind two to four tablespoons of linseed daily and mix into your cereal, porridge, smoothie, juice or sprinkle on your vegetable dish or soup.” velvety pumkin soupSprinkle: Linseeds on soup Make time to relax and de-stress Dr Patrick Kingsley, author of The New Medicine, the “Stress damages the adrenal glands and impacts on the immune system, so it’s logical that it plays a part in cancer development. “And, when women are stressed, they ignore their own needs and develop bad lifestyle habits that also contribute to their risk, such as overeating. “It’s vital to find a healthy way to relieve stress and look after yourself properly.”