Below is an article written by one of SwimRVA’s incredible staff members, Programs Coordinator Andrew Biddle, discussing ways to minimize the risk of breast cancer.
Prevention For Pink Ribbon Month
October is national breast cancer awareness month. SwimRVA will be taking this month to discuss some of the ways one can live a healthy lifestyle and work to stop breast cancer before it starts.
Physical activity is key for cancer risk reduction, alongside many other conditions. In regards to breast cancer, it is recommended by the American Cancer Society that individuals partake in either 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week or perform 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week. If reaching this amount of exercise is better than none. There is no best type of exercise for breast cancer prevention; the best activity to do is the one that is enjoyable and you can stick with in the future.
As with many medical conditions, a proper diet helps greatly in the prevention of breast cancer in addition to promoting one’s general health. Fruits and vegetables have been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by up to 11% in women who consume 5.5 servings of vegetables per day compared to those who ate 2.5 servings. Fruits and vegetables reducing the prevalence of breast cancer can in part be attributed to them containing carotenoids and higher amounts of fiber.
Bodyweight directly affects one’s risk of cancer. Greater fat stores promote the creation of estrogen, which has been demonstrated to contribute to increasing the risk of breast cancer. The most effective method of keeping obesity at bay and maintaining a healthy weight is with a healthy, balanced diet without too large of a surplus of calories.
Despite being able to minimize that risk of acquiring cancer, it is never truly preventable. Because of this, screening early and with regularity are the best defense one can have against breast cancer. Mammograms are the most commonly mentioned method of breast cancer screening. Starting at age 40, women are encouraged to begin receiving mammograms annually, and beginning at age 55, once every two years. In addition to mammograms, it is advised that individuals conduct regular self-examinations to catch breast cancer as early as possible. Ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can also be used to screen for breast cancer although are seldom utilized.
How SwimRVA Can Help
Staying on top of your health is key, and SwimRVA is here to help. We offer a variety of land and water classes that you can add to your fitness routine. SwimRVA’s Health & Wellness Program is designed to decrease the risk of injury, disability, and disease. Join a community that cares about your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.