October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, a time when advocates around the country join forces and come together to highlight and educate people about the various potential causes, symptoms, and treatment options for this insidious disease. Things like educating women about the importance of annual screenings, raising awareness of risk factors, and more, have made this month crucial in reducing annual deaths due to breast cancer.
As we recognize Breast Cancer Awareness month, we must understand that there are some risk factors, such as age and family history, that are beyond an individual’s control. However, there are always steps that can be taken, particularly among older women, that can possibly lower their risk of breast cancer.
Research shows that women who live a sedentary lifestyle are at increased risk for developing breast cancer. In contrast, those who exercise regularly are 12 to 20 percent less likely to develop breast cancer. If you’ve been inactive recently or for perhaps most of your life, talking with your physician about senior-friendly exercises would be a good idea.
Being obese or overweight increases the risk for many different types of cancer, ranging from the thyroid to colon to breast cancer. Being overweight after menopause can especially raise the risk of cancer. Discussing what a healthy weight for you should be with your doctor will help you on the path to attaining it, and your doctor should be able to recommend to you a safe diet or meal plan for you to follow that will let you begin the process in earnest.