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Breast Cancer Prevention Tips

Despite all the 'noise' about breast cancer being one of the worst killers of women in the world today, it is annoying that most women still do not take active steps towards protecting themselves from this dreaded condition. Although, the increasing prevalence of breast cancer and perhaps other cancerous conditions has been linked to environmental factors such as the increasing levels of radiation and chemicals released into the air, water, soil and food that we consume in the civilized world; or to genetic and hereditary factors, the role of other self imposed factors cannot be ignored.

There are a lot of things every woman can do individually or collectively, to prevent breast cancer. Poor lifestyle choices, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, lack of exercise or ingestion or hormone mimicking medications, all play crucial roles in the cause of breast cancer and any attempt at preventing this disease should begin from here.

A simple positive and optimistic attitude has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer. This will sound amazing to many people; however, it will suffice to explain that several medical studies have demonstrated the link between a positive attitude and an improved immune system. Laughter and humor has been shown to enhance the body's immunity and prevents against cancer and other diseases. You must have heard the slogan 'happy people don't fall sick'. Part of maintaining a positive attitude is learning to express your feelings. The mind is free and open and energy flows freely throughout the body when there are no accumulated pains and anxieties weighing you down.

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Exercise is another tool that you will find very useful in your fight against breast cancer. Aerobic exercises, at least 3-4 times a week, constant breath work and deep body awareness (as in yoga meditation) are all effective in preventing breast cancer. Exercise has been shown to be very effective in maintaining a healthy body and mind. By exercising regularly, you will do yourself a great favour, because you will not only be preventing breast cancer, you will also be making it easier to maintain a sound mind and healthy body.

Eating healthy food is another great tool in preventing breast cancer. A great deal of cancers are caused by the chemicals and preservatives in the food we eat. Most genetically modified foods (GMO) i.e. food materials that were enhanced in the laboratory, are known to pose serious health dangers to consumers. Also, the hormone mimicking substances in contraceptive pills and other prescription pills could predispose you to cancerous growth. Thus, taking the right supplements could also be an effective tool in the fight against breast cancer.

Besides all these, self examination of the breast regularly is the number one means of detecting any changes in the breast. It is advisable to examine the breast at the same time every month; this will make it easier to spot any changes in the shape, color or texture of the breast. Common signs or changes to look out for are: lumps, thickening or knots anywhere in the breast, unusual swelling or warmth, change in size, color or texture such as reddening or darkening of the breast, itching or scaling especially on the nipple, sudden discharge, rashes, dimpling of the skin or unusual pain. Although, most of these changes might not be a sign of impending breast cancer, however, you never can tell. Forget all what you have heard, it is still possible to prevent breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Prevention Diet

One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to follow a breast cancer prevention diet. It doesn't matter if you are a woman or a man. Yes, men can get breast cancer too. Most risk factors are beyond your control, such as age, family history, or age at first menstrual period. However you do control what you eat, and it is quite simple to follow an anti inflammatory diet.

Some foods that fight breast cancer and inflammation are:

- Omega 3 fatty acids which are found mostly in fatty fish such as salmon, trout, and sardines. If you're not a fish lover take an omega 3 supplement.

- Use Olive Oil, Pure Virgin Coconut Oil and Butter

- Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables

- Use pure manuka honey which is proven to be an anti inflammatory as well as anti bacterial

- Try to find a source of grass fed beef which is high in omega 3s

Research on Chronic Inflammation and Breast Cancer:

A study led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has identified two proteins in the blood that could become important prognostic markers for long-term survival in breast cancer patients. The proteins are associated with chronic inflammation, which is known to contribute to cancer development and progression of the disease.

WTN News published an article about the "Medical College of Wisconsin it ties breast cancer to inflammation". Ashwani Khanna associate professor of medicine presented his finds at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Orlando.

He said: "Research shows that when the condition becomes chronic, it can lead to a great many diseases, including cancer".

He clearly found a relationship between inflammation and this disease. What can you do about inflammation? Fortunately there are many things you can do to prevent inflammation or get it under control if you already have it, and sadly most of us have it. The most important thing is to follow an anti inflammation cancer prevention diet.

Top 5 Supplements For Breast Cancer Prevention

More studies are coming out showing how supplements may assist in breast cancer prevention. In some cases, supplements can decrease your risk by a significant amount. While a cure for cancer has not been discovered, the next best step is to live healthy and help your body prevent cancer from forming.

If you think about it, you have probably been told to do regular breast exams or get a mammogram to prevent breast cancer. However, this does not prevent breast cancer, but rather detects it. However, studies suggest certain supplements can actually reduce your risk.

If you ever have questions regarding the use of these supplements, I always encourage you to have a discussion with your physician. Feel free to print off the studies I reference and ask your physician to comment on them. In no particular order, these are the Top 5 Supplements For Breast Cancer Prevention:

Fish Oil/Omega-3. On July 8th, 2010, ABCNews reported on the findings of a study which looked at the effectiveness of fish oil for breast cancer prevention. The "Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle followed 35,016 post-menopausal women who had no history of breast cancer.". These women were followed for an average of 6 years. It was found those who used fish oil supplements had a 32% reduced risk of developing breast cancer. The study was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention and was also referenced in WebMD.

Olive Oil. The people of Greece have some of the world's lowest rates of heart disease and cancer. And now studies are showing a direct link to their use of olive oil with regards to these decreased risks. This article from National Geographic outlines a study from 2005 which showed oleic acid (the main fatty acid in olive oil) "can cripple a cancer gene responsible for 25 to 30 percent of all breast cancers.". Another article in WebMD reported on a study which showed olive oil reduced the risk of breast cancers having the HER2 molecules. Another major study was begun this year and will last approximately 5 years.

Grape Seed Extract. Studies show grape seed extract actually promotes apoptosis, or self-destruction, of cancer cells. An Oxford study actually promotes this finding. Currently, studies are being undertaken to specifically look at the effects of prevention in humans. However, test tube studies have been promising.

Vitamin D. Looking just at cancer risks, the results are quite stunning. The National Cancer Institute states, "an inverse relationship was found between sunlight exposure levels in a given geographic area and the rates of incidence and death for certain cancers in that area. Individuals living in southern latitudes were found to have lower rates of incidence and death for these cancers than those living at northern latitudes. Because sunlight/UV exposure is necessary for the production of vitamin D3, researchers hypothesized that variation in vitamin D levels accounted for the observed relationships.". Furthermore, Vitamin D has shown to create apopotosis in cancer cells. They also highlighted a study which followed 1300 post-menopausal women who took calcium supplements and 1100IU of Vitamin D every day. The women taking the supplements showed a 60% reduction in cancer rates. Dr. Christine Northrup also recommends Vitamin D supplementation as a aid in preventing cancers of all types, including breast cancer.

Vitamin E. The general consensus here is that Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. And some cancers have been shown to be the result of free radical damage. Antioxidants help protect against these free radicals. When it comes to specific studies regarding Vitamin E, the jury is still out. However, the Nurses Health Study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine 1993;328: 1444-9, studied 83,234 women for 14 years. And they found women with a family history of breast cancer who took the highest quantity of Vitamin E showed a 43% reduction in breast cancer as opposed to women with no family breast cancer history (16% risk).