Breast cancer – common cause of death in Hispanic females
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women regardless of your race and ethnic background. It is also the most common cause of death from cancer in Hispanic females, second most common cause of death from cancer in white, black and asian/pacific islander females. Average age of breast cancer diagnosis in women is 61. Yes, breast cancer can happen in men,usually diagnosed between ages 60 – 70 years.
What are the risk factors of breast cancer?
- Heavy alcohol consumption – more than one serving per day.
- Taking birth control pills – adds additional estrogen exposure.
- Early menarche (young girls as young as 8 years of age are reaching menarche, I thought normal was 12)
- Late menopause
- Low intake of fruits of vegetables
- Exposure to radiation
- Sedentary life style
As you all know by now I am a firm believer in primary prevention. I understand that breast cancer has genetic vulnerability however the environment pulls the trigger. Like many cancers breast cancer is interplay of genes, , radiation and poor lifestyle choices. We know pro-inflammatory diet is linked to early menarche and now breast cancer, So what can we do about 8 year old’s going thru menarche? We also know obesity is a significant risk factor? Recent study published in American Association of Cancer Research suggests pro inflammatory diets such as consumption of processed foods, sugar-sweetened drinks, diet soft drinks, margarine in adolescents have been linked to increased risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer.Start talking to your children about importance of diet, lifestyle and chronic health conditions. My five years old tells me he is eat lettuce when he is grows up, but for now I like pizza. Or sometimes he will ask me about his food choices by saying “mommy did I make a healthy choice” I am constantly negotiating the food choices with them and teaching them the importance of eating their fruits and vegetables.
Here are some recommendations therapeutic lifestyle prescription, these are not specific to breast cancer prevention, but can be applied to any chronic medical condition. Key to lifestyle changes is to start slow, make micro goals which eventually become macro. Please feel free to share with your friends or family or on your social media page.
Exercise – 3 hours per week
Eat plant based foods particularly vegetables rich in cruciferous such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale.
Follow anti-inflammatory diet such as Mediterranean diet.
Avoid red meats.
Avoid processed or fast foods
Add fatty fish to your diet
Drink tea at least three times per day
Optimize Vit D levels
Maintain a spiritual practice such as mindfulness, meditation, yoga.
Strengthen your relationship with friends and family.