Expert Advice: How a woman can lower her risk of breast cancer
Host Amber Smith: Here's some expert advice from Dr. Jayne Charlamb from Upstate Medical University. How can a woman lower her risk of breast cancer?
Jayne Charlamb, MD: So there are many things we can do throughout a woman's life to lower risk of developing breast cancer. Certainly people ask a lot of questions about diets. Unfortunately, we don't have really great evidence right now, but we're thinking that what we typically consider to be a healthy cancer prevention diet would include primarily plant-based, lots of fruits and veggies, avoiding red meats, avoiding a lot of processed meats, avoiding things like bologna, salami, and that kind of thing.
Jayne Charlamb, MD: We feel it's very important to let women know that keeping alcohol to a minimum throughout the lifespan is probably a good idea. Even moderate drinkers of alcohol, more than three drinks a week, and especially once we get to one drink a day, we find that that will increase with the breast cancer. And so many women don't know that, and I think it's important to get that out there.
Jayne Charlamb, MD: Other things that we know that reduce breast cancer risk are exercise, good, routine exercise. We are now saying about 150 minutes a week of heart raising exercise. It doesn't need to be a triathlon, but getting out for a good, brisk walk daily is always a good thing. And certainly when it comes to choices about having families, we know that usually the younger woman is when she has that first baby, the lower her breast cancer risk, but even more important is when she does have babies, if she chooses to have a child, is to breastfeed, because we're starting to see more and more evidence that not only is breastfeeding healthy for the infant, but it really is a wonderful way for mom to improve her own health, including lower risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Host Amber Smith: You've been listening to Dr. Jayne Charlamb from Upstate Medical University.