By Samantha Ruffin
Public Relations Assistant
As National Breast Cancer Month approaches, I discovered that there is yet another reason to continue my pursuit of habituating a healthier lifestyle. The American Cancer Society (ACS) states “Research has shown that poor diet and not being active are two key factors that can increase a person’s cancer risk. Achieving and staying at a healthy weight, being physically active on a regular basis, and making healthy diet choices are some of the most significant things you can do to reduce your cancer risk. The evidence is strong: Each year, about 570,000 Americans die of cancer, fully one-third of these deaths are linked to poor diet, physical inactivity, and carrying too much weight.
BREAST CANCER FACTS:
-In the United States, is estimated that about 230,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. The term “invasive” refers to a cancer that has already grown beyond the layer of cells where it started as opposed to the “non-invasive” carcinoma, which is the earliest form of breast cancer. About 57,650 women will be diagnosed with this non-invasive breast cancer.
-A nutritious, low-fat diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables can help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. Fat triggers estrogen production that can cause tumor growth; therefore a high-fat diet increases the risk of breast cancer.
-With as little as four hours of exercise per week, a woman can begin to lower her risk of breast cancer.
-Exercise lowers estrogen levels and strengthens the immune system.
My current excuse for not exercising is that between school, work, and my internship, I just do not have enough time to get to the gym. There are not enough hours in the day, I tell myself. It seems that the only place to squeeze gym time in is during the early morning. By doing so, you get the task done before your day really begins and there is less of a chance of talking yourself out of it.
Another point to keep in mind is that you do not necessarily have to go to the gym in order to engage in more physical activity. Barry A. Franklin, PhD, national spokesman for the American Heart Association’s Choose to Move program, says “We have, as a nation, overemphasized the value of structured exercise and under emphasized the value of lifestyle physical activity as a way to get more fitness into our lives. Daily lifestyle activity can be just as beneficial as making it to the gym.” Franklin also notes that disguising exercise by engaging in activities we actually like can not only help us reach fitness goals, but save time. We could all use more of that.
American Cancer Society. (2010). Diet and physical activity: what’s the cancer connection? http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/DietandPhysicalActivity/diet-and-physical-activity
Bouchez, C, (2009). No time to work out? Get fit in a flash. WebMD
National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. (2011). http://www.nationalbreastcancer.org/About-Breast-Cancer/FAQs.aspx