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Small changes in our routine can help us prevent breast cancer.

Expert: Galina Ivanova, gynaecologist mastóloga of Integramédica

Unlike what many believe, to prevent breast cancer is not a utopia. A healthy diet along with physical activity, lowers the risk of developing this disease, whose symptoms women should be controlled annually with a mammogram starting at 40 years of age.

Breast cancer has increased in our country, during the last time, and it means the first cause of cancer death of women in Chile.

The gynaecologist mastóloga of Integramédica, Galina Ivanova, recommended to all women lead a lifestyle that is optimal, that is characterized by a proper diet and practice frequent exercise.

It is necessary to avoid a sedentary lifestyle and do sport at least three times a week; avoid excessive consumption of saturated fats and sugars, which finally are converted to triglycerides; and consume food according to a balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, supplementing with fiber, antioxidants and other nutrients.

In addition, it is important to limit the consumption of alcohol, not smoking and keeping a healthy weight throughout life. “You have to avoid obesity and all that causes the weight gain, because this has to do with excess estrogen production, that by your side you have a stimulating effect on the breast”, explains the specialist.

These risk factors have particular importance in breast cancer due to excess estrogen circulating. “When there is excess of fat in the body, this results in a conversion of hormones that act like estrogen on the breast, and this hormone causes the tumor in the cancerous breast to grow”, adds the gynaecologist of Integramédica.

It is important that those women who have entered menopause, to maintain a proper weight, because around the age of 50 there is higher risk of developing this type of carcinoma. In addition, at this age the metabolism becomes slower and slower resulting in a difficulty to reduce the weight.

Along with instilling these habits from adolescence, because it is more difficult to make changes to the age of 50, women should begin to be examined from puberty onwards, at which time the breasts begin to develop. This can be done through a manual examination performed by the gynecologist, and also by self-examination. “You must observe the breasts and set what types of changes occur, such as color, shape, and nipple position. This must always be done at the end of the rule,” says dr. Galina Ivanova.

It is also essential to visit the doctor at least once a year from puberty and get a yearly mammogram if the patient is over 40. “But in high-risk patients, such as those who have a family history of breast cancer or carriers of a genetic mutation, generally should begin screening at age more early, or in some instances special cases every six months or as the doctor deems appropriate depending on each particular case,” adds the doctor of Integramédica.

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