Breast cancer is the second highest cancer in Indian women after cervical cancer. More than one lakh cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in India every year with almost half of them being in the advanced stage.
The number of breast cancer cases in India has been augmenting. There’s a deep rooted connection between changing lifestyle and breast cancer. With urbanisation, women have shifted from homes to offices. This has triggered many risk factors like delayed first delivery, fewer children, shorter duration of breast feeding and so on. In addition to this, long term use of oral contraceptive pills, a fatty diet, physical inactivity and consumption of alcohol have also been linked to breast cancer.
Fortunately these factors remain compliant. Here are a few tips to modify the risk factors that are in our control.
- Age of childbearing: Research suggests that females who do not have children or have their first child after 30 are at an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Use of oral contraceptive pills: Research suggests that women who consume hormone pills, especially those combining oestrogen and progesterone, are at an increased risk of breast cancer.
- Breast-feeding: The more a woman breast-feeds, the more is she protected from breast cancer. The Indian Academy of Paediatrics recommends exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months and a combination of breast-feeding and complementary foods for the next 2 years.
- Alcohol intake: Research has shown that alcohol has also been linked to breast cancer. Reducing the intake of alcohol will therefore help reduce the risk.
- Keep a check on weight: Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for breast cancer and this is especially attributed to central obesity.
- Eating healthy: Avoid high energy, carbohydrate and fatty diet. Consume green vegetables and fruits.
- Increase your physical activity: Remaining active throughout helps decrease the risk of breast cancer, say studies.