1. Women should exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Physical activity lowers the amount of estrogen in the body, thus lowering the breast cancer risk. A study discovered that active women are half as likely to develop the disease as those who do no vigorous activity. A fast 30-minute walk 5 days a week can reduce the risk of breast cancer 18%.
2. Women should maintain a healthy weight. A study found that the more weight women gain after age 18, the greater their risk of developing postmenopausal breast cancer. Women who gained over 70 pounds during middle age doubled their risk. The additional weight will increase estrogen production, which can cause tumor growth.
3. Women should limit the polyunsaturated fat (corn, safflower, and sunflower oils) and saturated fat (meat and dairy). High levels of these fats have been linked to breast cancer. Focus on monounsaturated fats, such as olive and canola oils.
4. Women should eat fruits and vegetables rich in carotenoids. These are powerful cancer-protective pigments. Eat 5 to 9 half- to one-cup daily servings of carrots, tomatoes, watermelon or spinach.
5. Women should consume soy. A study discovered that the more miso soup women consumed, the lower their breast cancer risk. Include 1 to 2 servings of soy foods each day: a cup of soy milk or half a cup of tofu, tempeh, or soy nuts.
6. Women should flavor food with flaxseeds. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which lower the risk of all types of cancer. Use 2 to 3 tablespoons of ground flaxseed on your morning cereal, mix it into smoothies, or use flaxseed oil in salad.
7. Women should limit alcohol. One or two drinks a day can increase your chances of getting breast cancer, because alcohol is linked to higher levels of cancer-causing estrogen.
8. Women should breastfeed. Lactation suppresses ovulation and the production of estrogen in your body. A study found that for each year of breastfeeding, a woman's breast cancer risk dropped 4%.
9. Women should stop smoking. Many studies found that women can increase their risks if they smoke. In addition, a recent study discovered that secondhand smoke can cause breast cancer, mostly in younger women.
10. Women should avoid unnecessary antibiotics. It was discovered that the more frequently you take antibiotics, the higher your breast cancer risk.