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If you do one thing to reduce your risk of breast cancer...

AROUND one in eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. It's a frightening statistic but the good news is that there are steps you can take right now to reduce your risk.

Only three in every 100 cases are hereditary and a World Cancer Research Fund report claims that as many as 20,000 British women could avoid breast cancer each year if they led a healthier lifestyle by doing such things as cutting down on alcohol and taking more exercise.

So to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, MICHELLE O'CONNOR asked the experts for their key piece of advice to women.

BE BREAST AWARE "REGULARLY examining your own breasts can help to find a cancer early, when it's more likely to be treated successfully.

"About 20% of cases are found this way so get into the habit of doing a breast self-examination once a month to familiarise yourself with how your breasts normally look and feel.

Professor Carlo Palmieri "Do this several days after your period ends, when your breasts are least likely to be swollen and tender, or, if you're no longer having periods, choose a day that's easy to remember, such as the first or last day of the month.

"Check for lumps, dimpled or puckered skin, nipple changes such as inversion, discharge or a rash."

Professor Carlo Palmieri, a leading breast cancer expert from the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, Wirral TRY THE 'PREVENTION DIET' "THE 2-Day Diet - eating a low-cal, low-carb diet for two days and a healthy Mediterranean-style diet for five, is designed to reduce your breast cancer risk and a host of health problems - heart disease, diabetes and dementia.

Professor Tony Howell "It's proven to be better than other weight-loss diets in our clinical trials."

Prof Tony Howell, research director at Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention, Manchester, and co-author of The 2-Day Diet TRY TO AVOID TAKING THE PILL IN YOUR 30S "HORMONE replacement therapy, HRT, and the combined contraceptive pill are associated with a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.

"We recommend that women swap their oral contraceptive pill for a non-hormonal alternative when they reach their mid-30s, and limit combined HRT use to no more than two to five years if they are older than 50."

Professor Gareth Evans, professor of clinical genetics at Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention BREAST-FEED TO LOWER YOUR RISK "BREAST.FEEDING can slightly reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.

"We don't know why exactly. It might be because the ovaries don't produce eggs as often when you are breastfeeding - or it may be because this method of feeding could make the breasts more resistant to the changes that can lead to cancer." Fiona Osgun, health information officer at Cancer Research UK Fiona Osgun BE ACTIVE EVERY DAY "JUST 30 minutes of daily physical activity could reduce the number of breast cancer cases by at least 20% - that's 9,000 cases a year.

"That doesn't have to mean joining a gym though. It can be anything that gets you feeling warm, breathing harder and makes your heart beat faster - so it could be energetic vacuuming, gardening or even walking the dog.

Yinka Ebo "And you don't have to do 30 minutes activity in one go. Break it up into 10-minute chunks if it's easier to fit in with everyday life. Check out the activity tracker at brisk."

Yinka Ebo, Health Information Lead at Breakthrough Breast Cancer AVOID CANNED FOOD AND DRINKS "CHEMICALS such as bisphenol A (BPA) are used to make plastic containers, the linings that coat the insides of food and drink cans, and plastic food bags.

"It's thought these act as a 'xenoestrogen' - a substance that acts like the oestrogen hormone - increasing breast cancer risk. Experts disagree on which concentrations of BPA may be dangerous so minimise exposure by avoiding tightly packaged food such as meat from supermarket chiller cabinets.

Conner Middelmann-Whitney "Also, buy fresh rather than tinned foods and drinks and don't microwave food in plastic containers (use glass or porcelain instead)."

Conner Middelmann-Whitney, nutrition coach and author of Zest For Life: The Mediterranean Anti-Cancer Diet EAT MORE BROCCOLI "WHILE all fruits and vegetables are good for you, some are better than others for helping you to prevent breast cancer. These include vegetables such as cauliflower, but broccoli has been shown to block tumour growth.

Also, eat carotenoid vegetables such as carrots as they are rich in vitamin A. Studies show women with higher levels of carotenoids in their blood are at lower risk of breast cancer."

Amanda Hamilton, nutritionist and Tribest brand ambassador Amanda Hamilton WATCH WHAT YOU PUT ON YOUR PLATE "A NUMBER of foods are linked to breast cancer risk - and reduction.

"Fat consumption, especially a lot of animal fat and processed red meat, may increase the risk of breast cancer, so aim to get your essential fats from fish, nuts, chickpeas and avocados.

Dr Auldric Ratajczak "An American study, however, has found that increasing folic acid intake by eating dark leafy greens, asparagus, broccoli, citrus fruit, beans peas and lentils, avocados, carrots, beets and squash, can help to reduce your risk.

"And antioxidants, especially vitamin A, may also reduce your risk, so try to eat more sweet potatoes, leafy greens, carrots, tuna, peppers and melons."

Dr Auldric Ratajczak, Nuffield Health deputy medical director of wellbeing GET THE APP!

DESIGNED for iPads and iPhones with Breast Cancer Care and free to download, this app gives a step-by-step guide to breast awareness.

To download, visit: breastcancer careapp DRINK LESS "EVEN small amounts of alcohol can increase your risk of developing breast cancer and, the more you drink, the greater your risk will be.

Dr Sarah Rawlings "It's estimated that 3,000 cases of breast cancer each year are linked to alcohol. Try to stick to the recommended two to three units a day and bear in mind that's just one standard glass of wine."

Dr Sarah Rawlings, director of policy at Breakthrough Breast Cancer TAKE ACTION IF YOU'RE HIGH-RISK "IN June 2013, new guidelines from NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, recommended for the first time that drugs such as Tamoxifen should be offered to those women at a higher breast cancer risk due to their family history.

"This is a game-changer in the way we prevent breast cancer in women at high risk. Until now, surgery was the only meaningful preventive option women had available to them. Women with any concerns about their risk of breast cancer should speak to their GP."

Dr Caitlin Palframan, head of policy at Breakthrough Breast Cancer A N"BEIN MMAMA "STRESS N"FRES LKaye


Professor Carlo Palmieri

Professor Tony Howell

Fiona Osgun

Yinka Ebo

Conner Middelmann-Whitney

Amanda Hamilton

Dr Auldric Ratajczak

Dr Sarah Rawlings

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Oct 17, 2014
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