October is breast cancer awareness month
Cancer statistics show that cancer in South Africa is on the rise, and each year 100 000 South Africans hear the words “You have cancer”. This means that 1 in 4 South Africans are personally or indirectly affected by the disease.
According to Cansa.org, 90% of all cancers are caused by environmental factors such as:
- Lack of exercise
The top type of cancer affecting women in South Africa is breast cancer.
own to reduce your risk of cancer.
What can I do to reduce my risk?
Lifestyle and Environment
Living a healthy lifestyle and being conscious about your nutrition has been shown to reduce your risk of cancer.
Smoking is one of the biggest causes of cancer worldwide, and stopping smoking will significantly reduce your cancer risk.
Certain foods have been found to assist in fighting off or preventing certain cancers. There are also studies that indicate certain foods need to be avoided to lower the risk.
Foods to avoid:
- High energy foods that are low in nutritional value
- Highly processed starchy foods
- Saturated fats and transfats
- Vividly coloured cheap snacks (these are often sold in clear plastic bags without any labels)
- Sugary drinks and high sugar foods
Foods to pack into your diet:
- Highfibre foods
- Brans, oats, fresh fruit and vegetables, high fibre cereals and grains
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Oily fish
- Foods rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements
Early detection is key
Along with a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and a highly nutritious diet, early detection is crucial.
Schedule your breast exams
- From about 21 years of age you should start with self-breast exams.
- From the age of 40, you should be having a mammogram every year.
- At any age if you notice anything irregular or of concern do not delay in getting it checked out.