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Q: How can I lower my risk factors for breast cancer?

Posted September 25, 2013 in Altoona, Advice Column, Pleasant Hill

A: It is estimated by the American Cancer Society that in 2013 there will be 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed in women. Many of the risk factors that contribute to breast cancer and other estrogen-sensitive cancers have been identified and can be prevented through healthy lifestyle choices.

• Exercise. Physical activity lowers hormone and insulin levels, improves the immune response and assists with weight maintenance to avoid a high body mass and excess body fat.

• Eat a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables, particularly kale and Brussels sprouts. These vegetables contain phytochemicals that have been found to target specific breast cancer genes. Eat a diet high in fiber from fruits and vegetables. Research shows a high fiber diet works to reduce hormone levels that may be involved in the progression of breast cancer and increases the amount of estrogen removed from the body.

• Consume sufficient levels of omega-3 fats and limit intake of omega-6 fats. Omega-3 fats are found in oily fish as well as flaxseeds and walnuts. To reduce your intake of omega-6 fats, use coconut or olive oil for cooking and avoid processed foods and greasy, fried foods. Taking a high quality omega-3 supplement is necessary for most people to maintain healthy levels in addition to their diet. Supplement with Vitamin D. On a molecular level, Vitamin D turns on genes that cause cancer cells to stop growing.

Information from The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, provided by Dr. Kari Swain, Swain Chiropractic, 410 Center Place S.W., 967-9300.

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