Top lifestyle mistakes that could increase your risk of breast cancer | Health - Hindustan Times
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Top lifestyle mistakes that could increase your risk of breast cancer

Mar 15, 2022 04:11 PM IST

From eating junk, not exercising to drinking and smoking, here are some harmful habits that may increase your risk of breast cancer.

The battle with cancer is never easy and the side-effects are often drastic lowering the immunity of a person suffering from it and making the normal life difficult. While there are certain factors like genetics and family history that are not in our control, approproiate lifestyle changes that reduces risk of cancer must be adopted. (Also read: Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Common breast cancer myths busted)

Breast cancer is a cancer that develops when cells proliferate out of control and spreads to other parts of the body(Pixabay)
Breast cancer is a cancer that develops when cells proliferate out of control and spreads to other parts of the body(Pixabay)

Breast cancer is a cancer that develops when cells proliferate out of control and spreads to other parts of the body, beginning in either one or both breasts. Although it primarily affects women, men are not impervious to the condition.

Older women, personal history of breast cancer, inherited risk of breast cancer, dense breast tissue, reproductive history resulting in greater exposure to estrogen, taking hormone therapy for symptoms of menopause, radiation therapy to the breast or chest, obesity, drinking alcohol are all the factors that may increase the risk of breast cancer, according to Dr. Chandrika Anand, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynecology, Fortis Hospitals, Nagar Bavi.

Dr Anand also told HT Digital about the habits that may be increasing your risk of getting breast cancer.

Eating junk: If you are someone who thrives on comfort food and largely lives a sedentary lifestyle, you may put on extra weight, turn obese and increase your risk of breast cancer. Maintaining a healthy BMI on the other hand reduces your cancer risk significanting. Stop overeating now.

Not exercising: If you are too lazy to do workouts and look for excuses to not move from your desk preferring to stay glued to it, this is a mistake that might increase your risk of breast cancer. Working out is important for maintaining a healthy weight and aid in breast cancer prevention. Most healthy adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of strenuous aerobic activity weekly, as well as strength training at least twice a week.

Drinking alcohol: While you may feel that alcohol brings your stress levels down, what it is doing to you is increasing your chances of several lifestyle diseases. It also increases the risk of breast cancer. The level of risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed.

Smoking: As per studies, women who smoke or used to smoke are more likely to get breast cancer than those who don't or never did. Smoking also raises your chances of dying of breast cancer after your diagnosis.

Getting exposed to chemicals: Personal care products and cosmetics are loaded with chemicals and overusing them can lead to exposure to a variety of toxins that can disturb the natural endocrine system, raising the risk of breast cancer. Also try to avoid chemicals in furnishings, food packaging plastics, building materials, among others.

Delaying pregnancy: Women who conceive after 35 years of age and women who do not have pregnancy at all are exposed to continuous estrogen hormone. They are at high risk of breast cancer. Young women have to be educated to conceive earlier than 35 years.

Avoiding breastfeeding: Estrogen levels may remain lower while a woman is breastfeeding. Women who breastfeed have a 4.3 per cent lower risk of breast cancer than women who have had children but did not breastfeed.

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