One Question, Three Answers: What Can You Do to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer
An estimated 268,600 new cases of breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in 2019 alone. We asked a few of our clinical experts one question: what can the average person do to reduce their risk of breast cancer?
Dr. Mark Bechtel, Primary Care Physician at CaroMont Family Medicine in Lake Wylie
“One thing I recommend for my patients who are concerned about their risk for the disease is to focus on the things they can control. None of us can change family history, but we can commit to being more physically active. Evidence suggests there is a relationship between your cancer risk and your level of physical activity. I recommend patients focus on establishing an exercise routine that includes movement or activity that raises their heart rate for at least 30 minutes, a minimum of four times per week. The key is consistency, and will result in a multitude of health benefits, including your ability to maintain a healthy weight. Yes, it can reduce your risk for breast cancer, but also other types of cancer and a variety of other illnesses.”
Meredith Mills, Registered Dietitian, CaroMont Cancer Center
“A balanced diet is really the key to lowering your risk of cancer through nutrition. Fruits and vegetables can be beneficial in reducing breast cancer risks for a couple of reasons. First, they are rich sources of antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber, which have been shown to be useful in cancer risk reduction. In addition, obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer and a diet that is focused more on fruits and vegetables and less on refined sugars and processed foods in general makes it easier to attain and/or maintain a healthy weight. The American Cancer Society recommends eating at least two and a half cups of fruits and vegetables a day to reduce your risk of cancer. A healthy diet is going to have an overall positive effect on anyone’s health, but it’s a great thing to evaluate if you have concerns.”
Amber Carpenter, Radiation Technologist and Mammography Supervisor
“Prevention is important, but early detection is equally important. With any cancer, but especially breast cancer, if we catch it in its early stages, it is more easily treated and the survival rates drastically increase. So yes, live a healthy life, eat well and be kind to your body. But definitely perform routine self-checks and annual clinical checks at your primary care appointments. After the age of 40, all women should have a yearly screening mammogram.”
Have questions about breast cancer or other factors affecting your health? Talk to you primary care provider or OB/GYN at your next appointment. Have you had your annual mammogram? Call 704.671.5300 to schedule your appointment at one of our convenient locations.