Is it Possible to Prevent Breast Cancer?

No single measure can fully prevent cancer. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and following medical advice can contribute to a good quality of life.
Is it Possible to Prevent Breast Cancer?

Last update: 06 June, 2021

One must know how to prevent breast cancer as is one of the most diagnosed cancers worldwide in both men and women, according to data from the National Institute of Cancer. It’s a chronic and often incurable disease that occurs when breast tissue cells begin to grow abnormally.

This disease often hits you without a warning but it’s possible to detect it early (and thereby increase the chances of successful treatment) through self-examinations and regular mammograms.

According to AECC specialists, the chances of recovering from cancer are almost 100% when detected in its initial stage.

In addition, they recommend putting into practice a series of healthy habits that, even though they don’t always fully guarantee prevention, do contribute to minimizing the risks significantly.

The causes of breast cancer

The causes of breast cancer aren’t 100% understood. However, doctors agree it occurs when some of the breast tissue cells begin to grow quickly and abnormally. These cells can spread (metastasize) throughout the breast and other bodily tissues, as they move through the bloodstream and the lymphatic system.

Most cases start in the duct cells that produce breast milk. This is known as invasive duct carcinoma. Cancer can also originate in glandular tissue and we refer to it as invasive lobular carcinoma. Moreover, other types of cancer form on other tissues in the breast.

Risk factors

For years, some hormonal, environmental, and genetic factors have been identified as possible causes of breast cancer. However, it’s not clear why some people develop this disease and others don’t.

The risk factors include:

  • Firstly, the consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • Also, being overweight
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Starting a period at a very early age
  • In addition, precocious puberty and early period
  • Having the first baby after the age of 30
  • Also, late-onset menopause
  • Being a woman (men can also develop breast cancer but it’s not as common)
  • Age (the older a person, the more chances they have of developing the disease)

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Symptoms of breast cancer

  • A lump or thickening of the breast tissue
  • Also, changes in the size or shape of the breast
  • Changes in the skin covering the breast
  • A recently inverted nipple 
  • Flaking in the pigmented skin around the nipple
  • Redness or small punctures in the skin around the breast
prevent breast cancer

Recommendations to prevent breast cancer

Due to the complexity of this disease, it’s impossible to discuss a 100% effective method for preventing breast cancer. However, there are certain habits and recommendations that can reduce your risk, especially if you’re in the aforementioned groups at risk.

1. Stay active

Women who lead an active lifestyle are less likely to develop the disease. Thus, physical activity helps balance estrogen levels, which are essential for women’s health.

2. Maintain a healthy weight

Individuals who have a higher percentage of fat cells have a higher risk of cancer. For that reason, it’s essential to adopt good habits and maintain a healthy and balanced weight.

3. Limit alcohol consumption

The consumption of alcoholic beverages has a negative impact on your health and increases the risks of developing breast and other forms of cancer. Thus, be quite moderate in its consumption.

4. Breastfeed

Breastfeeding isn’t only the best way to provide nutrients to your baby. In addition, it can reduce your risk of breast cancer and other aggressive diseases.

5. Perform a monthly self-exam

Self-exams are key when it comes to preventing breast cancer. This is because they’ll help you detect the presence of any abnormality in the breast tissue early on.

6-Request genetic testing

This kind of test can determine your risk if you have a family history of breast cancer. Subsequently, your doctor will decide whether or not it’s necessary to start treatment through this kind of professional evaluation.

A specialist with blood samples.

Are you worried about breast cancer? Talk to your doctor as soon as possible if so, and request the relevant tests if you have reason to suspect you might have this disease.

In general, follow the above tips as they can prevent and decrease your chances of developing breast cancer. Finally, consult your doctor with any concerns you might have.

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  • A step-by-step guide to reducing your risk of breast cancer. Breastcancer.org [Document avaiable online].
  • Breast Cancer Risk and Prevention. American Cancer Society. [Document avaiable online].
  • Hashemi, Seyed & Karimi, Samieh & Mahboobi, Hamidreza. (2014). Lifestyle changes for prevention of breast cancer. Electronic physician. 6. 894-905. 10.14661/2014.894-905.
  • Sauter, Edward R. “Breast Cancer Prevention: Current Approaches and Future Directions.” European journal of breast health vol. 14,2 64-71. 1 Apr. 2018, doi:10.5152/ejbh.2018.3978
  • Thompson, P. & Stopeck, A. & Alberts, David & Hess, Lisa. (2008). Breast Cancer Prevention. 10.1007/978-3-540-68986-7_14.