Surviving Breast Cancer: Top Tips
JUST one daily drink could sharply reduce a breast cancer sufferer’s chance of survival.
Researchers in Italy say the survival rate for non-drinkers is almost 90 per cent but this drops to 65 per cent for women who had just one large glass of wine a day.
Henry Scowcroft, of Cancer Research UK, said: “The more a woman drinks, the higher her risk.”
More than 12,000 people die of breast cancer every year in the UK.
Here is how you can improve your chances of living longer.
WOMEN who eat lots of meat are twice as likely to develop breast cancer, according to a study of 90,000 women by scientists at Harvard Medical School.
Red meat contains amino acids which stimulate insulin – and high insulin levels have been linked to breast cancer.
Processed meats such as ham and salami have also been linked with the disease because they contain cancer-causing sodium nitrates.
THOSE who have not had children – or have their first child after they turn 30 – have a slightly higher risk.
Being pregnant many times or at an early age reduces the risk.
Experts believe this is because it lowers the number of menstrual cycles a woman has in her lifetime.
Professor Dame Valerie Beral, who led the Million Women Study into breast cancer, said: “I had to understand why so many were dying of the disease. We now know the main reason is childbirth – or lack of it.”
EXERCISE can cut the risk of breast cancer, according to several studies.
But experts cannot agree on how much it lowers the chances.
One study found that as little as one hour and 15 minutes to two-and-a-half hours of brisk walking a week reduced the risk by 18 per cent. Walking for ten hours a week reduced the risk a little more. But the American Cancer Society suggests exercising for 45 to 60 minutes at least five days a week.
A DRIZZLE of olive oil on your dinner could help keep breast cancer at bay. Spanish researchers found it can attack tumours, stunting their growth and protecting DNA. Dr Eduard Escrich, who led the study, recommended ten teaspoons of quality extra virgin olive oil a day.
And Doctor Richard Beliveau added: “Scientists are unsure what mechanisms are responsible for these effects, but the final results are no less impressive.”
AROUND 30 per cent of breast cancer cases are thought to be caused by obesity.
Of the 45,000 cases diagnosed in Britain every year, experts at the International Agency For Research On Cancer believe more than 14,000 would not have got the disease if they had weighed less.
Doctor Rachel Thompson, from the World Cancer Research Fund, said: “It can be prevented by being more active and carrying less fat.”
SOME studies have shown that breastfeeding slightly lowers the risk of breast cancer, especially if you feed for 18 months to two years.
This could be because it lowers a woman’s number of periods. Cancer Research UK studied 150,000 women and found breast-feeding lowered the risk by 4.3 per cent for every year of feeding.
A spokesman said: “Breast-feeding for an extra six months would mean about 1,000 fewer cases in Britain every year.”
DRINKING alcohol is a big risk factor when it comes to breast cancer.
Women who have just one drink a day have an increased risk. Those who drink more have about one-and-a-half times the risk of women who drink no alcohol.
Professor Paul Wallace, from drinkaware.co.uk, said: “There are factors we can do nothing about. However, you can drink within recommended limits.
“The more you cut down on alcohol, the more you reduce your risk.”
WOMEN who use the Pill have a greater risk of getting breast cancer, according to research.
Some experts claim you are 24 per cent more likely to get the disease if on the Pill.
But the risk seems to go back to normal when off the tablets.
Women who stopped using the Pill more than ten years ago did not seem to have an increased risk.
Talk to your doctor about the risks of birth control pills and discuss other options such as implants or the coil.