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Reduce your risk of Breast Cancer by maintaining a healthy weight.

Updated: Oct 21, 2020

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and this year in and amongst all the focus on how to keep ourselves safe from covid-19, it's easy to forget about checking ourselves for symptoms of other illnesses. It's worth reminding ourselves of ways that can reduce our risk of breast cancer such as maintaining both a healthy weight and a regular exercise regime.

Reduce your risk of breast cancer by maintaining a healthy weight.

We have looked at statistics from Breast Cancer UK

One in seven women will get breast cancer at some point in their life. However, studies suggest if you make changes to your lifestyle your risk of getting breast cancer could be significantly reduced.

Incidence of Breast Cancer in the UK

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK population. It represented 15% of all new cancer cases in 2017 and is the most common cancer in women, globally

  • In UK women, around 54,700 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2017

  • In men, there were around 390 new cases in 2017

  • 17% of breast cancers were in women under 50, between 2015-2017

  • 24% of breast cancers occurred in women over 75 between 2015-2017

The growth of breast cancer over the years

Breast cancer in UK women has:

  • increased by 23% between 1993 and 2017

  • increased by 5% between 2007 to 2017

  • dropped by 4% between 2014 and 2017

Rates for men have remained stable over the past two decades

Help to maintain a healthy weight.

Maintaining the correct weight for your height is a key part of ensuring you reduce your risk of breast cancer. Remember the amount you eat is just as important as what you eat.

Your age, sex, height and activity levels all play a part in determining what portion size you should be eating.  Judging what size of portion you should eat is key, and your own hand can serve as a simple measuring aid.

Fruit and vegetables

  • 5 or more portions per day (at least three portions of vegetables, two portions of fruit)

    • One portion of fruit can be classed as one whole fruit, such as an apple, a banana, a pear, or an orange.

    • One portion of vegetables can be classed as two large broccoli spears (or eight small florets), or four heaped serving spoons of cooked kale, spinach, spring greens or green beans.

Starchy carbohydrates

  • 3-4 portions per day

    • One portion (lighter meals) can be classed as six small cooked new potatoes, about one and a half handfuls of porridge (dry weight); two slices of medium -sliced wholemeal bread.

    • One portion (main meals) can be classed as two handfuls of plain, dried wholemeal pasta; two handfuls of wholemeal, dried rice; one large wholemeal bread roll.

Protein (beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other)

  • 2-3 portions per day

    • One portion (lighter meals) can be classed as two eggs, or 80g tofu, or about six tablespoons of lentils, beans or other pulses.

    • One portion (main meal) can be classed as about half the size of your hand of raw salmon fillet or raw mackerel fi­llet.

Dairy and alternatives

  • 2-3 portions per day

    • One portion can be classed as one glass of milk (semi-skimmed) or unsweetened plant-based milk, or about 4 tablespoons of plain yoghurt (low fat), or about 3 tablespoons of cottage cheese.

The British Nutrition Foundation’s portion guide is a useful guide.

Tip – the hand should only serve as a general portion guide. You may need bigger or smaller portions depending on how tall or active you are. 

Try out our live, online fitness classes to help maintain a healthy weight.

We have classes available Monday to Friday via Zoom so you can fit them around your daily routine.

Take a look at our time table here:

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