Friday, October 18, 2013

Wine, Weight and Walking

Today on the radio I heard the top three things you can do to prevent breast cancer is to A: Dial down the wine drinking. B: Watch your weight. C: Try to walk 30 minutes every day. 

To keep these tips easy to remember, think of them as the three Ws: Wine, Weight and Walking. I trolled the internet to get the facts that support the reasons why women should abide the three Ws. I found my answers in a section of an article from Woman's Day magazine that was written by Stacey Colino. Here's why should all do WWW.

1. Having a drink a day is probably too much.
Alcohol may be good for your heart, but when it comes to your breasts, it’s another story: Research suggests that even one drink per day could raise your breast cancer risk, says Christine Laronga, MD, clinical director of breast surgical oncology at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. To be safe, limit it to three drinks per week—but don’t get in the habit of “saving” your weekly drinks and downing them all in one night. If you regularly have two or three glasses of wine or cocktails at once, your risk of breast cancer jumps to 20% higher than if you abstained completely, according to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The way alcohol is metabolized in a woman’s body may increase estrogen levels in the bloodstream, which increases your breast cancer risk.
Research has shown that getting enough folic acid (folate)—at least 600 mcg per day—may help undo some of the damage of regular drinking. You’ll find it in orange juice, leafy greens, beans and fortified breakfast cereals. For extra insurance, ask your doctor if you should take a multivitamin that contains it. Photo: iStock

2. What you weight matters more than what you eat.
Though it’s true that a healthy diet may help, whether individual foods can really lower your breast cancer risk is up for debate. But there’s no denying the powerful impact of weight. Numerous studies have found that extra pounds increase your risk of postmenopausal breast cancer or having a recurrence. “The more body fat you have, the more estrogen your body stores,” and estrogen can stimulate tumor growth, explains Dr. Laronga. The good news: If you’re overweight, slimming down may help reduce your risk.

3. Just 30 minutes of exercise five days a week can cut your breast cancer risk by nearly 20%.
Regular exercise (2.5 hours a week, which you can break up into five 30-minute brisk walks) not only helps to keep your weight in check, it can also lower estrogen levels and boost your immune system, helping to prevent any abnormal cells from growing and spreading. And if you do get breast cancer, keep moving. Breast cancer survivors who did the equivalent of one to two hours of brisk walking a week had a 40% lower risk of dying from breast cancer, according to a study from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

*Stacey Colino is an award-winning writer who specializes in health and psychology. Her work has appeared in many national magazines and books.

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