Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I love seeing communities rally around various health issues and Breast Cancer Awareness every October has become a great example of that.  Come on...  Who doesn't love seeing 260 pound men of raw muscle running around and catching a football in pink cleats and sweatbands?

Reducing Your Risk

Photo courtesy of PT PittsburghWhile part of what plays into risk factor is genetics (family history, age of onset of menstruation and menopause, gene mutations), there are ways to reduce your risk of breast cancer, and many other cancers.

Diet and exercise play a supporting role in cancer research because we're finding out more and more how important the two are in cancer risk.  Oxidation reactions within the body are inflammatory and negative.  These can cause mutations in genetic transcription (think back to that zipper-like DNA strand getting copied) which can then turn on maladies like cancer.  The key is to try to utilize everyday diet and frequent physical activity to help reduce this inflammatory environment.  It's also important to eat a variety of colors throughout the day/week to get a variety of micronutrients as vitamins and minerals carry out very basic cellular functions.  

Foods to Focus On:

 Whole grains: whole wheat pasta/breads/cereals, oats, barley, brown rice

  • Cruciferous vegetables: spinach, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, collards, swiss chard, cabbage
  • Fruits: grapefruit, oranges, cherries, raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, lime
  • Legumes: beans, chickpeas, lentils, soybeans

Breast cancer, as with many others, is also closely connecting with increased risk for those that are overweight and obese.  Focus on weight control, healthy fiber and whole grain intake, and regular physical activity for your risk reduction. 

And if you're planning on marking the month with any special breast cancer awareness events, please share!