Some evidence-based strategies for avoiding the single most common cause of death among women between the ages of 35 and 50.
I wear my seatbelt, get my flu shot, wash and sanitize my hands, wear sunscreen, scrub the fruits and veggies clean, look both ways when I cross the street, and never take candy from strangers. But what can I do to protect myself (and my family) from the single most common cause of death among women in my own age group, 35 to 50 years old? Here are a few evidence-based strategies to increase your odds of avoiding advanced breast cancer:
LACE UP. According to the large-scale, decades-long Women's Health Initiative study, women who walked just 30 minutes per day at least five days a week (exercise pace, not a leisurely stroll) decreased their breast cancer risk by 20 percent. I know how hard it is to summon the motivation to fit exercise into your life, but then I think about what Rachel Ballard-Barbash from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) says about that: "If you can't make time for being physically active in your daily life, plan to make time for being sick."
KNOW YOUR BODY MASS INDEX. And make a realistic weight loss plan to keep it under 25. Calculate your BMI in less than a minute here. According to the American Cancer Society: "Both increased body weight and weight gain during adulthood are linked with a higher risk of breast cancer after menopause." Some have placed this increased risk at 25 percent. "If there was a medication that gave us the same improvement as weight loss, we would be all over it," Dr. Oz has said. And we'd be stalked by even more mind-numbing pharmaceutical advertisements during our favorite TV shows.