Regular exercise and maintaining ideal body weight is extremely important as it can cause not only risk reduction but also helps women who already have breast cancer fight the disease better and keep it at bay.
Good bone health with adequate daily calcium intake is very important and is not only good for bone health but helps in direct and indirect ways in breast cancer as well. Despite plenty of sunshine, most Pakistani women are deficient in Vitamin D, which is essential for the absorption of calcium in the body and putting it in the bones. Besides this, there is a relationship between breast and many other cancers with a deficiency of this vitamin.
Smoking and alcohol consumption also increases the risk and avoiding these is helpful for many health reasons.
Women should avoid long term use of female hormones whether these are in the form of oral contraceptive pills, hormone replacement therapy or fertility treatment. Especially women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer should be more cautious and doctors should always assess the risk of a woman to develop breast cancer before prescribing these. Intermarriages especially in near relatives or for generations can pass good and bad genes in the children and breast cancer risk can also multiply in certain families.
Having the first child before the age of thirty and breastfeeding is also helpful. Genetic testing in younger women with breast cancer can tell us about her chances of having another breast cancer later in life. In families where 2 or more near relatives are affected especially if the age is less than 50 of at least one, BRCA1 and BRCA2 are recommended in the developed world and we hope to achieve the same if possible. Reducing stress and anxiety helps in body’s own immune systems to fight cancer cell.