October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All month we have been bringing you educational articles at the intersection of breast cancer and physical therapy. While the exact causes of breast cancer are not fully understood, we do know of a few things that can increase a person’s risk of developing breast cancer. Some of these risk factors cannot be altered (for example, old age is a common risk factor, but you can’t magically make yourself younger). That being said, there are certain factors that you can control. Here are three things you can do to cut down on your risk of developing breast cancer.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of developing many types of cancer, including breast cancer. Your risk increases based on the amount of alcohol consumed. Drinking one alcoholic beverage per day only raises your risk by a small amount, while drinking 2-5 or more alcoholic drinks per day can significantly increase your risk. So do your best to drink alcohol in moderation. You don’t necessarily need to completely stop drinking, but limiting yourself to 1-2 drinks per day (as recommended by the American Cancer Society) will cut down on your breast cancer risk.
Smoking contributes to a whole host of health complications – and has been shown in recent studies to increase breast cancer risk. Quitting smoking can decrease your risk of breast cancer, and also improve your overall health.
Exercise & Control Your Weight
Obesity and leading a sedentary lifestyle are two big risk factors or breast cancer. Eating a healthy diet, avoiding fast food and junk food, and exercising regularly can significantly decrease your risk of developing breast cancer. You don’t have to run a marathon every week to see the benefits, either. Moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day goes a long way for promoting overall health.
OrthoRehab Specialists has over twenty-five years of experience providing physical therapy to patients with various conditions and injuries. Breast cancer rehabilitation is one of our many specialties. If you are recovering from a breast cancer procedure, a strategic physical therapy plan can help manage pain and increase any range-of-motion lost during the treatment. We have physical therapy clinics in Minneapolis and Edina. Contact us at one of our clinics today to set up your appointment with one of our physical therapists.