How to Reduce Your Risk for Breast Cancer

Learn what you can do to reduce your risks for breast cancer in this Howcast video with expert Marisa Weiss, MD.

Transcript

Hi, I'm Doctor Marisa Weiss, president and founder of breastcancer.org. I'm also a practicing oncologist, and mom, and also a breast cancer survivor. So I'm happy to share information with you today that could help protect your life against breast cancer. Most women who get breast cancer don't have a family history, don't have a gene that may be running in the family. And the truth is, is that changes you make today can reduce your risk of breast cancer tomorrow. You can change your life to reduce your risk. That can include getting to and sticking to a healthy weight, exercising three to four hours a week - five to seven hours is better, limiting your alcohol use. You want to keep to 5 or fewer drinks per week if you can. Stopping smoking. And all those changes I just described also help with your overall health, not just your breast health. In terms of what you're eating you want to eat mostly a plant-based diet. Fruits and vegetables, beans, seeds, spices, nuts, all those things are the richest sources of nutrients and energy for your body. And lower your exposure to or your use of, let's say red meat like beef. When it comes to dairy, it's important to use organic sources of fat-free dairy products, like Stonyfield yogurt is my favorite. And that's because still today, hormones are are used in the beef and dairy cattle industry when creating those food products. You want to select your fruits and vegetables carefully. You can use the dirty dozen list, where you're going to buy organic sources of those fruits and vegetables that tend to be treated with the most pesticides, if grown conventionally, like apples and peaches. Buy those from organic sources. Look for the price look-up code on the peach or the apple, it starts with a number nine. In terms of water, filtered tap water is your best source of water. Bottled water is not as carefully regulated as water that comes out of the tap. There are all kinds of other choices. In the bathroom in medicine cabinet you want to make sure you are using products that are fragrance-free, and try to avoid preservatives such as in your personal care products. Cleaning your house? Vinegar and water works great, and you don't have to buy all these fancy and expensive products in order to make sure things are as clean as you'd like. In terms of medicines that you might be taking, while the birth control pill is very popular and widely used, it's good to look into other non-hormonal types of effective birth control like an IUD. One brand is the ParaGard IUD. It's probably healthier for you than to use the birth control pill for extended periods of time. Those are just a few examples of everyday steps that you can take that can significantly help lower your risk of breast cancer.

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