In 2010, more than 200,000 women in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer, and nearly 50,000 of them died from the disease. So, if you could prevent half of those cases, that would be great news, right?
Well, we do have some great news for you: according to a study published last week in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, information already available may be used to prevent up to half of all breast cancers in the U.S. The study found that making healthier lifestyle choices can lead to reduced breast cancer rates in all women, and those at a very high risk for contracting the disease may benefit from preventive chemotherapy. It's also important to start these preventative measures as early as possible, which means that younger generations could benefit from this research for years to come.
What are these lifestyle choices, you ask? Consuming little or no alcohol, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and exercising regularly all appear to significantly reduce the risk of contracting breast cancer. In short, the choices you already knew led to a healthier life can also help you prevent cancer.
One of the most exciting aspects of this study is that the researchers focused on prevention, not finding new pharmaceutical treatments for breast cancer. The study's authors write that "efforts to improve treatment and early detection resonate strongly with clinicians and patients alike. Breast cancer prevention has received far less attention but holds tremendous promise." Hooray for a more holistic approach to disease!
Of course, drinking less, eating more kale, and going to yoga is no guarantee you'll never get breast cancer. Still, more information is a useful tool to ensure you're doing all you can to lead a healthy and happy life.