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Healthy Living Can Prevent Breast Cancer: New Canaan Resources

Research shows good nutrition and exercise can help prevent breast cancer. Here are some resources around New Canaan 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."

If you're looking for something more organized, New Canaan has plenty of gyms and athletic centers, including Fitness Together, Go Figure, 360 Fitness and the YMCA.

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.

CTgal111 October 02, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Well, I was a very trim, fit, healthy 115 pound women who got breast cancer in my mid-forties: never smoked, not much of a drinker beyond a few glasses of wine.Was even eating quinoa long before it became known/ popular. I read all this info above with a smirk because there are marathon runners who get cancer. it's all in the cards, not too much you can do about it overall.
CTgal111 October 02, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Also, if you look around FFC and the profusion of young women with breast cancer you will notice they are all "yummy mummies" who work out 10 days a week and only shop organic --so go figure! Rarely did I ever so an obese women in the waiting room at any of my cancer appointments.....
Canaanite October 02, 2012 at 07:44 PM
That may be true, but it's also true that some people have a genetic predisposition to cancer, which may be at play in your case - since you were diagnosed so young - and in the case of other women who are otherwise healthy and still develop the disease. I think the point is not to say that staying otherwise healthy gives you any kind of immunity, but rather one should do what they can to lessen the chance of those markers becoming active cancer - or for those who don't have a genetic predisposition, to prevent cancer from developing from environmental factors . . . Of course nothing is foolproof. Sadly some people, such as yourself, will develop it anyway. But surely being obese and sedentary and eating a crappy diet will make any condition worse.
CTgal111 October 02, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Luckily I did genetic testing and I am not predisposed. I certainly agree that being active/eating well helps overall in life--I'm just frustrated by these continued articles that don't seem to adequately reflect what is realistically happening out there in terms of Breast Cancer--because there is way too much of it occurring regularly now (particularly in women under 40 happening) and most of us getting it are already eating/exercising well......

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