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Healthy Living Can Prevent Breast Cancer: Finding Resources

Research shows good nutrition and exercise can help prevent breast cancer. Here are some resources around San Diego County to help you stay healthy.

You might be able to find help fighting breast cancer and other types of cancers at your local grocery store and fitness centers, according to the research findings of Dr. Marian Neuhouser, Ph.D, RD. 

Dr. Neuhouser is a nutritional epidemiologist with a background in nutritional sciences. She is an investigator at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Her research is focused on lifestyle factors such as nutrition and physical activity. Some factors may prevent breast and prostate cancer and improve survivorship in those diagnosed with cancer.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year, more than 200,000 American women are diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 American women will die from breast cancer.

Dr. Neuhouser’s research has found that for postmenopausal women in particular, being overweight or obese may increase the risk for breast cancer.

Dr. Neuhouser explains, “After menopause, estrogens are synthesized by adipose tissue—the more adipose a woman has, the more estrogen she will make. Adipose cells also synthesize inflammatory factors, which have been linked to breast cancer.”

One of the most important things a woman at risk for breast cancer can do, says Dr. Neuhouser, is to “maintain a healthy weight."  

Given what the research indicates, Dr. Neuhouser says, “One of the most important things is that if a woman is overweight or obese, she should be advised to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Daily physical activity and following healthy eating habits with plentiful fruits and vegetables and minimal empty calories and fried foods will help achieve these goals.”

Dr. Neuhouser says while it can be challenging to lose weight, “Small changes can add up and make a big difference."

When it comes to getting active, Dr. Neuhouser says, "If someone is not used to physical activity, try a five to ten minute walk and gradually increase the time. Having physical activity partners or walking partners always helps. I know my soccer team will be waiting for me on the field, so even if I am tired or busy, I still show up."

San Diego County residents can find fitness groups here.

When it comes to food, Dr. Neuhouser says, "Start with making one new food change each week. Instead of eating two cookies, eat just one.”

If you are concerned about your weight, Dr. Neuhouser suggests getting the support you need by asking your doctor for “ a referral to a reputable weight loss program.” For nutrition advice, Dr. Neuhouser recommends asking for a referral to a registered dietitian.

Residents can find a list of dietitians here.

Hoppy760 October 03, 2012 at 10:40 PM
There's a lot more cancer today that there was 30 years ago. Why? You need to ask yourself this before you can understand how to prevent cancer. Fitness by itself isn't the answer. Nor is eating healthy. What! Eating healthy isn't the answer? What is eating healthy? I would say 99% believe eating healthy is eating whole wheat bread or oatmeal for breakfast with a glass of juice. Wrong! The first step to eating healthy is to know what kind of foods to stay away from. Almost all the wheat grown in America is genetically modified (GMO). In addition so is the majority of corn and soy. And if you don't know already, GMO foods cause cancer. You can not escape it. There are so many foods that contain GMO ingredients: 99% of cereals, breads, tortillas, processed foods, frozen foods, non-organic fruits and veggies, fast foods, etc. Eating organic is the only way to avoid GMO foods. So if you want to avoid cancer then consider what you're putting into your body. From the food and water to the over the counter and prescription drugs. And all these cure for cancer fund raisers are just a bunch of BS. Billions of dollars have been raised and we are still no closer to finding a cure for cancer that our FDA will approve. It's very sad, but cancer is BIG business for a lot of businesses. Oh, there have been cures for cancer but you won't hear about it unless you do your own research. Watch on You Tube the documentary "Run from the Cure."
John Galt October 03, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Better dignosis today of every disease increases chances of finding cancer thus, the number found.
Carole Friedland October 04, 2012 at 04:31 AM
You are right.

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