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Two Things All Women Should Know About Breast Cancer

Two important things all women should work on to reduce their risk of breast cancer.

Two things. Sugar, and telomeres. Just before Christmas, a few studies came out with some important information for women.  Things were a little bit hectic, so I didn’t get a chance to mention them, but before I forget, here are two important things all women should know about breast cancer, from two recently released studies — that might help save your life.

  • We all know sugar is public enemy number one. It adds countless excess calories to most of our diets, and it’s responsible for those extra few pounds that we can’t get rid of, and that menopot – if you’re at that age, you know what I mean. But new research from  MD Anderson Cancer Center has found that too much sugar may also raise the risk of breast cancer, and metastasis to the lungs.

What you should do: Retrain your taste buds to use less, or no sugar in your coffee and cereal, eat a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar or cookie, or after a meal instead of dessert, and wean yourself off of sugary beverages and stick to water or seltzer. Cut out all sources of added sugar in your diet, as much as possible.

  • Telomeres are caps at the end of each of our strands of DNA that protect our chromosomes, much like the plastic tips that keep our shoelaces from unraveling. Our telomeres get shorter as we age, and shorter telomeres are also associated with increased risk of breast cancer mortality. A study out of Yale University found that shorter telomeres are also associated with having excess body fat – BUT weight loss was associated with longer telomeres.

What you should do: If you are overweight, increase your exercise to a minimum of 150 minutes each week, and pick up the pace as much as you can. Aim for at least 45 minutes of brisk, break-a-sweat, have a little trouble talking kind of exercise at least 4 times each week. If you eat excess sugar, see #1, and work on that too.

Eat well!

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