Minimising Breast Cancer Risk

Today, scientists are still unable to establish absolute preventive measures against breast cancer. Yet, studies and research have found certain cancer-related factors which can give us hints to minimise the risk.


Healthier lifestyle

  • Regular exercise:

Moderate exercise for at least 4 hours a week helps reduce the risk of breast cancer or recurrence. (Journal of the American Medical Association, 2009)


  • Weight control:

Studies have shown that being overweight increases the risk of breast cancer (American Cancer Society). Adults are advised to keep their Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 25.


W: weight (kg) H: height (metre)


  • Stress management:

Although there is no sufficient evidence showing that stress is connected to breast cancer, improper management of stress increases the discharge of stress hormones (cortisol) which, in turn, weakens the immunity of the body. Therefore, it is important to manage stress in a positive way. Seek assistance if you need help in coping with stress.


  • Avoid smoking:

Smoking is known to be harmful, which can trigger lung cancer and breast cancer but also damages the cardiovascular system.


  • Limit alcohol consumption:

Alcohol consumption is connected to breast cancer; limiting alcohol consumption helps reduce the risk of breast cancer. It is suggested that daily alcohol consumption should be no more than one can of beer or 150ml of table wine. (A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, 2002)


  • Eat Healthily
    • Reduce consumption of dairy products and saturated animal fat such as red meat as these are related to various types of cancer including breast cancer.
    • Daily consumption of 5 or more portions of vegetables and fruits.
    • Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and kale can lower the oestrogen level effectively and reduce the risk of breast cancer.
    • Whole grain food such as bread, rice, oatmeal and spaghetti can also lower the oestrogen level in blood
    • Olive oil and omega 3 fatty acids can lower the risk of breast cancer effectively.
    • Foods rich in antioxidants such as blueberries, plums, strawberries, kale, spinach, broccoli and red peppers contain abundant vitamin C, vitamin E and carotene which help resist free radicals.
    • Green tea contains the antioxidant polyphenol, an anti-cancer agent.
    • Intake of vitamin D and calcium helps lower the risk of breast cancer.