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Healthy lifestyle can lower risk of breast cancer PDF Print E-mail
Written by TARA KELLER Sentinel Staff Writer   
Wednesday, 09 October 2013 09:16
Dr. Helen Mabry likes to practice what she preaches, and those practices help to prevent one of the most common forms of cancer.
Breast cancer rates can be decreased through five easy ways of living and Mabry is spreading the word.
With the Wood County Hospital's "Positively Pink" series, Mabry educates women on how to lower their breast cancer risk.
"We can all improve our health. We can take measures to decrease that cancer risk."
Those measures include living an active lifestyle, maintaining a healthy diet and body weight, and avoiding too much alcohol, tobacco, and long-term hormone replacement therapy.
Mabry said all these steps are simple and worth it in the long-run.
Mabry suggested the women at the "Beauty and the Beast: Taming the Threat of Cancer" program exercise to the point of sweating for one hour, five times a week.
The act of sweating five times a week repairs damage to DNA that can cause cancer.
"Exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer, even if no weight is lost," Mabry said. "The women were encouraged by that."
The women were also encouraged to go on a plant-based diet and avoid refined foods and breads with highly addictive carbs.
In her own life, Mabry had trouble giving up one of her favorite foods, and eating more fruits and vegetables helped to curve her cravings for grilled cheese.
That same increase of fruit and vegetables can also decrease the craving for alcohol.
"I used to have a glass or two of wine with dinner," Mabry said. "After I started eating differently, my urge to drink is zero."
She said tobacco use should be completely avoided.
Avoiding long-term hormone replacement therapy is highly important for women over 40.
"Menopause can be a difficult time with women's hormone levels," Mabry said. "Many people have turned to estrogen, and that can be used safely for five years."
After those five years, breast cancer risk increases and women should turn to healthy foods and exercise instead of the therapy.
The five steps not only decrease cancer risk, but can decrease risks for other diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Almost 100 women listened to Mabry's practices on Sept. 19 at the hospital and had a good time doing it, said Teri Laurer, the hospital's health educator.
"Some women take care of everybody but themselves," Laurer said. "We want them to understand that their health is important and give them the information they need."
The Positively Pink series hosts programs on a quarterly basis. The next program will be on Nov. 9.
"The steps are not a choice, it's a way to have a healthy life," Laurer said. "Prevention is better than the cure."
For more information, call (419) 354-8900.

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