Oncologist: Healthy habits may reduce your risk of breast cancer

News13 Digital First

MYRTLE BEACH, SC – (WBTW) – Making healthy lifestyle choices today may help lower your risk at developing breast cancer in the future.

Breast cancer is the the most common type of cancer developed in females worldwide following skin cancer, with one in every four to five women on average being diagnosed.

A Grand Strand Medical Center oncologist talked with News13 to explain how lifestyle habits that incorporate a balanced diet, daily exercise routines, weight management, and regular mammogram screenings are shown to reduce your breast cancer risk.

What foods, how often, how much, and what exercise?

It’s no surprise doctors recommend loading up on fruit and vegetables, but eating at least two and a half to three cups a day is a contributing factor in lowing risk.

Medical experts specifically recommend eating fruits and vegetables that contain carotenoids, a natural orange-red food pigment found in melons, carrots, squash and sweet potatoes.

“Diet is very important, as well as decreasing processed fats. I recommend omega threes and fish as good proteins,” Oncologist Dr. Ray said.

Sixty minutes of daily exercise at least five out of seven days of the week is recommended. Any type of low intensity such as walking to high tensity activity is healthy exercise. Women who exercise regularly are shown to be at lower risk than women who are not active.

Dr. Geoffrey Ray says as women get older their chance for breast cancer increases. He mostly seeing women developing breast cancer after menopause.

Weight management is a contributing risk factor as overweight and obesity may increase risk for women, both pre-menopause and post-menopause.

Annual mammogram screenings are recommended for women over the age of 50 and every five years for men. Breast cancer risk is much lower for men than women, but it does occur and men have a higher risk of developing the cancer genetically.

Women younger than the age of 50 should make mammogram decisions based on medical history and talking to their doctor.

“We have gotten better about catching caner at an earlier stage,” Dr. Ray told News13 including advanced detection like digital mammograms have done a better job detecting cancer.

Women’s age, genetics, and family history are among the top risk factors putting patients at a higher risk for breast cancer development.

Developing these healthy diet and lifestyle habits recommended by oncologists and medical experts may lower risk of being diagnosed in the future.

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