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Can You Prevent Breast Cancer?

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While three percent of women die of breast cancer, more than 50 percent think they’ll succumb to it. With strides in research though, we now know there’s a lot you can do to protect yourself against this much dreaded disease, which continues to be the third leading cause of death in women (heart disease is number one, followed by lung cancer).

Uncovering an optimal lifestyle

Most of us are confused about breast cancer and its causes, much less about what an optimal low-risk lifestyle looks like. Which brings us to the core question: Can lifestyle changes prevent breast cancer — or at least lower the odds of being one of the women who are diagnosed with the dreaded disease?

Lifestyle lessons

I’ll tell you more about state-of-the-art research and breast-smart prevention strategies in ensuing articles. In the meantime, here are some simple steps to start you on the path to breast health:

• Consider vegetarianism. There are lots of nutrients in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts and seeds that can contribute to breast health.
• Get physical. Women who exercise four or more hours weekly are at 50 percent lower risk for breast cancer than inactive women.
• Seek sunshine. When researchers tracked 5,000 women for 16 years, they found that those with the most sun exposure had a 30 to 40 percent lower risk of breast cancer than women who got the least sun.

The bottom line: Though the answer isn’t completely clear—yet, more and more research is shedding light on lifestyle solutions as a major strategy for preventing breast cancer.

Deborah Kesten, MPH, and Larry Scherwitz, PhD, are international lifestyle and health researchers and Certified Wellness and Cardiac coaches. They also are the award-winning authors of Feeding the Body, Nourishing the Soul, The Healing Secrets of Food, and The Enlightened Diet. Visit them at www.Enlightened-Diet.com to take their FREE What’s Your Eating Style? Quiz, and to learn more about their Whole Person Nutrition Program for wellness and weight loss, coaching, and books.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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