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How to prevent breast cancer: from diet to mammography

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Although the main cause for the development of breast cancer has not yet been discovered, risk factors have already been mapped. Many of them are preventable, such as high cholesterol, alcoholism and smoking. With this, it is possible to define attitudes that help to prevent the emergence of the disease.

Here are the main ways to prevent breast cancer:

  1. Healthy eating;

  2. Physical exercises;

  3. Do not smoke;

  4. Do not drink alcoholic beverages;

  5. Reduce stress;

  6. Perform mammography;

  7. breastfeed.

1. Healthy eating

Healthy eating, in addition to helping to control weight, avoid obesity and high cholesterol, improves the functioning of the body and the absorption of nutrients that prevent the development of cancer cells.



“Food always valuing nature, with animal protein, vegetables and fruit. Always prioritizing the fruit itself over the fruit juice”, guides Carlos Machado, a preventive physician.

Women who eat vegetables frequently are up to 45% less likely to develop breast cancer, according to a study by Boston University. Foods like broccoli, mustard greens, kale and green vegetables are rich in glucosinolates (amino acids that play an important role in the prevention and treatment of breast cancer).

Food is also a great substitute for hormone replacement – also considered a risk factor for the disease. Consume foods with flavonoids, such as soybeans, flaxseeds, and yams, as the nutrient helps reduce menopausal symptoms.

2. Physical exercises

Keeping the body moving is also an excellent tactic to prevent breast cancer. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that teenagers who engage in intense physical exercise decrease their chances of suffering from breast cancer in adulthood by up to 23%.



In this analysis, the practice of physical activity should start around the age of 12 and last at least ten years for protection against the disease to be noticed. Exercise is able to reduce estrogen levels, a hormone related to cancer risk.

In addition, physical exercises help to “cleanse” the body, activating circulation and eliminating toxins that can favor the development of the disease. “You hydrate yourself with plenty of water and do physical activity, whether it’s a walk or a run, for at least an hour every day,” says the doctor.

3. No smoking

There are studies that suggest a link between smoking and breast cancer, but there are also those that say there is no link. Anyway, according to the Ministry of Health, a joint analysis of 14 studies identified that women who smoked for more than ten years had an increased risk of developing the malignant tumor by 18% – especially if the practice started early, still in adolescence. .

4. Do not drink alcoholic beverages

Alcoholic beverages are also associated with the development of breast cancer, even more so than smoking. And whoever thinks that this relationship only happens if it is an exacerbated consumption is wrong. One study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) observed that intake at lower levels, equivalent to three to six servings per week, is already sufficient to favor the disease.

5. Reduce stress

Stress, especially when recurrent and in excessive levels (characterized as a chronic condition) favors the emergence of different types of disease, including breast cancer. Research by the Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein observed that chronic stress increases the chances of developing more aggressive breast tumors.

In addition to psychotherapy, breathing, meditation and relaxation techniques, practiced in Tai Chi and yoga, for example, help manage stress and anxiety, and can be used strategically to prevent breast cancer.

6. Perform mammography

Mammography is the only exam capable of detecting the presence of breast cancer even before the first symptoms, facilitating early diagnosis and successful treatment. The National Cancer Institute’s recommendation is that mammography be performed essentially every two years from age 50 to age 69.

Before this period, the breasts are usually denser, reducing the sensitivity of the exam and increasing the chances of a false-negative or false-positive, in addition to generating unnecessary exposure to radiation.

However, if the person has a family history, this frequency is reduced to one year – and the age must be ten years younger than the earliest case in the family. For example, if the mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 50, you should start having a mammogram annually starting at age 40.

7. Breastfeed

Breastfeeding also helps to prevent breast cancer. When a woman breastfeeds, she stimulates the mammary glands and decreases the amount of hormones, such as estrogen, in her bloodstream.

But this should not be one of the main ways to avoid the disease, considering that breastfeeding is an individual process and that it depends on a pregnancy – and not all women have the desire to be a mother.



Content for educational purposes only. Consult a Doctor.

The translator user relied on the following source:

Minha Vida Website – REF99827

Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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