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8 ways to prevent metastatic breast cancer

By Modern60, Editorial Team

Last Updated on April 2nd, 2024

Senior Health & Wellness

8 ways to prevent metastatic breast cancer

Metastatic breast cancer is a condition in which the cancer spreads from the breast to other body parts. It is often classified as a grade four malignancy. While scientists are studying ways to manage and treat metastatic breast cancer, certain treatment options, lifestyle changes, and foods can improve the quality of life of patients. Here are a few preventive and management methods to lessen the severity and improve the prognosis of breast cancer:

1. Getting a timely diagnosis and treatment
Metastatic breast cancer is a common disease, which makes it challenging to prevent. Additionally, once it progresses, the prognosis for this condition steadily worsens. That said, certain management methods can reduce the likelihood of initial-stage breast cancer metastasizing to other body parts. Early detection of breast cancer is vital to getting timely treatment and arresting its spread. As is the case with other malignancies, breast cancer often goes undetected until the cancer cells have spread to other organs and tissues.

Getting a timely diagnosis and treatment

Besides conducting self-exams, a proven way to detect the cancer’s early onset and progression is to get periodic scans for the presence of cancerous cells in the breast. Healthcare experts or oncologists may use mammograms and recommend biopsies to detect early breast tumor growth. Additionally, they may also ask one to get BRCA gene testing to look for DNA changes to confirm whether the risk of breast or ovarian cancer has increased.

Once breast cancer is detected in the initial stages, oncologists and surgeons will chart out a treatment plan, including tumor resection and removal, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy to stop the cancer from progressing and metastatizing. These diagnostic and treatment methods can allow cancer patients to go into remission.

2. Eating leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables
Adopting certain lifestyle habits, such as eating certain vegetables, can help one prevent and manage the metastasis of breast cancer. Eating these can prevent breast cancer or keep one in remission for a long time. Kale, arugula, spinach, mustard greens, chard, and broccoli are a few leafy greens with potent anticancer properties. They contain carotenoid antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein, which reduce inflammation. A 2012 study deduced that those with higher blood levels of these antioxidants showed a significantly reduced risk of breast cancer. Green leafy vegetables are also rich in folate, a B vitamin that prevents the growth and spread of breast cancer.

Eating leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, too, lower the risk of breast cancer. They are rich in glucosinolate compounds, which the body converts into isothiocyanates, molecules with anticancer properties. Cruciferous vegetables are also packed with antioxidants that reduce inflammation, a precursor to cancer.

3. Exercising daily
Regular physical activity is often overlooked when it comes to preventing cancer. When one is physically active and well-rested, the possibility of irregular cell multiplication and tumor formation drastically reduces. This is because when organs function optimally, and the blood circulates throughout the body without disruption, the chances of DNA irregularities and cancer emergence are greatly reduced.

Exercising daily

While regularly working out is important, one should also understand the consequences of overexercising. Overexercising can put undue stress on the body, resulting in inflammation and elevated cortisol levels, both prevalent risk factors for most types of cancers. Exercising for half an hour daily, like walking, jumping rope, cycling, strength training, and swimming, can do wonders for one’s body, release endorphins, and help prevent breast cancer from metastatizing.

4. Avoiding menopausal hormone therapy
Hormone therapy is known to increase cancer risk in women. One must talk to their healthcare provider about the risks and side effects associated with hormone therapy. When administered externally, hormones can often cause irregularities in cell development and growth when used for prolonged periods. However, one might be prescribed this treatment method because its benefits outweigh its side effects. In such cases, one should talk to their doctor about the duration and tapering of the therapy.

Avoiding menopausal hormone therapy

5. Breastfeeding for as long as possible
Breastfeeding can reduce the onset of breast cancer in women. For that reason, obstetricians and other healthcare professionals advise new mothers to breastfeed their children for as long as possible to prevent breast cancer from metastasizing. It has been studied that breast cancer during pregnancy and lactation is quite rare, and the incidence is very low.

Breastfeeding for as long as possible
Credit: CNN health

Breastfeeding is beneficial to both the mother and the child. Breastfed babies may show a reduced risk of fatalities from infectious diseases, fewer infections, and hospitalization for diarrhea. That said, breastfeeding isn’t always possible for various reasons, and new mothers with a history of breast cancer shouldn’t feel discouraged, as making lifestyle changes can help prevent it.

6. Eating more citrus-rich foods and berries
Antioxidants fight the effects of inflammation and reduce stress. Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and sweet limes contain vitamin C and other anti-inflammatory nutrients essential to preventing cancer. Vitamin C is also crucial for absorbing iron in leafy greens. Eating gooseberries, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, which are anti-inflammatory, can help reduce one’s chances of developing breast cancer.

7. Quitting smoking
Quitting smoking is one of the surest ways to reduce the risk of metastatic breast cancer, as nicotine and other ingredients can trigger inflammation. Therefore, a big lifestyle change to adopt is to quit smoking.

Quit Smoking

8. Stopping alcohol consumption
Cutting down alcohol intake or quitting it can reduce breast cancer metastasis. Alcohol is known to raise estrogen levels in the body. Avoiding or cutting back on alcohol may be an essential way for many to lower the risk of breast cancer.

Stopping alcohol consumption
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Editorial Team

The Editorial Team at Modern60 is a group of highly skilled professionals with diverse backgrounds in journalism, content creation, editing, and digital media. They bring a wealth of experience and expertise to ensure that every piece of content meets our strict editorial guidelines and quality standards. The team is dedicated to delivering accurate, well-researched, and engaging content across various subjects, including health, wellness, lifestyle, and current events. With their commitment to upholding the highest standards of journalism and content creation, the Modern60 Editorial Team is the driving force behind our mission to empower and inspire our readers.

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