By Stacy Ching, Clinical Dietician
Breast cancer statistics for 2016 in the United States (according to the American Cancer Society):
- There are currently about 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the US.
- About 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. About 1 in 8 (12%) women in the US will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetime.
- About 61,000 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and the earliest form of breast cancer).
- About 40,450 women will die from breast cancer.
Ways to reduce your risk for breast cancer:
Maintain a healthy weight.
- Assess your weight status by using the Body Mass Index (BMI) table which is a weight for height calculation. A normal BMI range is between 19 – 24.
- Obesity increases the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer.
Be physically active.
- Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise each week. It is recommended to spread your activity out throughout the week.
- Moderate activity: slight increase in heart rate and breathing such as brisk walking, dancing, doubles tennis, yoga, baseball, vacuuming the house or mowing the lawn.
- Vigorous activity: increased heart rate with sweating and faster breathing rate such as jogging/running, aerobics, singles tennis, swimming, soccer, digging, carpentry or other heavy manual labor
- Ready? Set… Go! Here are some activity substitution tips:
- Avoid sitting at your desk all day- get up and walk to talk to your co-workers instead of using the phone or sending an email.
- Use the stairs instead of taking the escalator/elevator.
- Wear a pedometer to see how many steps you take throughout the day.
- Tip: if you’re not physically active, initial goal is to aim for 5,000 steps per day.
- Take a quick walk during your lunch break.
Consume a healthy diet, aim for more plant-based foods.
- Aim for 2 ½ cups or more of fruits and vegetables per day.
- Half your plate should be filled with non-starchy vegetables.
- Eat whole fruits and vegetables instead of drinking fruit/veg juices.
- Aim for a variety of color- green, red, yellow, orange for the best nutrients.
- Limit processed meats.
- Select whole grains instead of refined-grain products.
- Read food labels.
- “Low-fat” or “non-fat” does not necessarily mean “low calorie”.
- Be aware of what the portion/serving size is.
- Limit alcohol intake to one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men.