The United States National Cancer Institute has created a model, which emphasizes on the fact that making subtle changes in lifestyle can bring down the risk of breast cancer considerably. The suggested lifestyle changes include weight loss, staying away from drugs, alcohol and smoking and increasing physical activity. A model has been generated by the researchers of the institute. The data used for generating the model is based on an Italian survey. Researchers say that this model is unique because it is a more practical approach to preventing occurrence of breast cancer. Most of the previous models were not dynamic in nature and often recommended impractical changes.
The basis of study
The study, based on which the model has been generated, considered over 5,000 women belonging to different occupations, age and lifestyles. All the women were studied on three factors that pose the maximum risk of breast cancer. Body mass index, alcohol consumption and level of physical activity were the three dynamic influential factors. In addition, family history of health, economic levels and lifestyle were considered. These were considered as static factors since they cannot be altered.
The results of the survey
The model suggested a minimum of two hours of workout sessions every week and body mass index in the normal range. Based on the study, it was concluded that altering lifestyle could reduce the absolute risk of breast cancer by 1.6% in women who are 65 and above. The percentage of reduction increases with reduction in age. Making changes in lifestyle reduced incidence of cancer by 3.2% among women who faced a risk of contracting cancer through heredity. Women who were able to alter their lifestyle to the maximum extent were found to have reduced risk of cancer by 4.1%.
The changes suggested
Based on the study, it was suggested that women could benefit by quitting drinking and smoking as those who drink and smoke are exposed to maximum risk. The results can help specialists plan programs that women can follow from an early age so as to reduce the incidence of breast cancer, which is striking an alarming number of women in United States. The results can also be used as a benchmark to provide effective counseling to women and take up cancer prevention awareness and drives. The changes suggested not only help in reducing the incidence of breast cancer but also help in improving fertility and enhancing the general fitness levels of American women.