Table of contents:
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women. In Indonesia, around 26,550 cases of lumps in the breast were found in 2018-2020. You don't need to worry because there are many ways to prevent breast cancer that you can do
Habits of living a he althy life, such as eating more fruits, avoiding alcoholic beverages, and being active in sports, can help prevent breast cancer.
Recognizing Breast Cancer Risk
Please note that there are risks associated with breast cancer that cannot be avoided, such as being born a woman, genetic factors, and reaching a certain age. To understand them further, let's discuss them one by one.
1. Genetic factors
Genetic factors contribute to the possibility of breast cancer as much as 5-10%. However, there are also breast cancer patients who have absolutely no family history of the disease.
This means that environmental factors also play a role, so there is still a high expectation of being able to prevent breast cancer through a he althy lifestyle.
2. Age factor
The older the woman, the greater the risk of getting this disease. The average case of breast cancer is found in women over the age of 50.
Women who experience their first menstruation under the age of 12 and women who experience menopause after the age of 55 are also at risk of developing breast cancer.
3. Pregnancy factor
Pregnancy also has something to do with breast cancer. The risk of developing breast cancer is higher in adult women who have never been pregnant, are pregnant for the first time over the age of 30, and are not breastfeeding.
4. Other factors
Other factors that affect the risk of breast cancer are having had breast cancer or ovarian cancer before, having dense breast tissue, and having been exposed to radiation in the chest area in childhood and adolescence.
How to Prevent Breast Cancer
In addition to the risk factors above, there are also risk factors that can actually be avoided. You can prevent breast cancer by avoiding these factors by doing the following things:
1. Maintain ideal body weight
Women who are obese after menopause have a 20–40% higher risk of developing breast cancer than women of normal weight.
2. Eating he althy food
A he althy diet by prioritizing the intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts including soybeans, he althy oils, and high antioxidants, can help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Women who have had breast cancer can have a better quality of life if they avoid fatty foods.
3. Keep exercising
Being physically active can lower the risk of breast cancer. On the other hand, the risk of breast cancer increases in women who haven't exercised in years.
The standard for moderate-intensity exercise, such as cycling and brisk walking, is 2 hours 30 minutes per week.
4. Stop smoking
Former smokers have a 6–9% higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who have never smoked at all.
You can experience a worse condition if you are still an active smoker, which is 7–13% more at risk for breast cancer.
5. Limiting alcoholic drinks
Consuming one glass of alcoholic beverage per day can increase the risk of developing breast cancer by 7-12%. The potential for breast cancer will be higher if you usually drink more than a glass of alcoholic beverages per day.
This can happen because there is a link between alcohol levels and changes in the amount of hormones in the blood.
6. Breastfeed your baby regularly
Breastfeeding a baby can help reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 16%. So far not known for sure why breastfeeding can prevent breast cancer. However, it is suspected that breastfeeding can help balance hormones, prevent exposure to cancer-causing substances, and avoid damage to breast cells.
7. Limiting hormone therapy
Hormone therapy is usually done by women related to menopause. Therapy using the hormones estrogen and progesterone is usually long-term. Therefore, this therapy increases the risk of breast cancer.
If you really need hormone therapy, consult a doctor so that hormone levels can be reduced.
8. Avoid radiation exposure
Women who have undergone treatment with radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30 are more at risk of developing breast cancer. Therefore, avoiding radiation exposure is very important as a way to prevent breast cancer.
The most common thing to recognize changes in the breast is to do an independent examination called BSE, which is to feel the breast itself to detect any abnormalities. Don't be lazy to do it because this examination is important to detect breast cancer early.
In addition to self-examination, you are also recommended to have regular check-ups with your doctor as a way to prevent breast cancer. The doctor will do a mammogram or breast ultrasound to check the condition of the breast glands.