Wednesday, October 03, 2012

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH - THE STATS


Breast cancer statistics are so startling; it’s no surprise that a whole month has been dedicated to raising awareness about it.

Key Facts
  •  Breast Cancer is now the most common cancer in the UK
  •  Female breast cancer incidence rates in Britain have increased by almost 70% since the mid 1970’s and      have increased by 6% in the UK in the past 10 years
  •  In 2009, 133 women a day were diagnosed with breast cancer
  •  In 2010 in the UK around 11,550 women died from breast cancer, that’s around 32 women every day.

The good news is that breast cancer survival rates have been improving for 40 years. More women are surviving breast cancer than ever before.

The strongest risk factor for breast cancer (after gender) is age; the older the woman, the higher the risk. Other risk factors include reproductive history, family history and hormones. Risk factors of particular relevance to me as a nutritionist are body weight, physical activity, alcohol consumption and diet.

More Key Facts

- In 2011 it was estimated that around 9% of breast cancers in women in the UK in 2010 were linked to excess bodyweight

- In 2011 it was estimated that more than 3% of breast cancers in women in the UK in 2010 were linked to inadequate activity (less than 150 minutes moderate physical activity per week)

- In 2011 it was estimated that more than 6% of breast cancers in women in the UK in 2010 were linked to alcohol consumption

- A study showed that women who ate the most saturated fat had twice the risk of breast cancer, compared to those eating the least

      - Higher intakes of fruit are associated with a small decrease in breast cancer risk. A study showed that both the fibre and the antioxidants contained in fruit may be responsible for this effect.

From a nutritionist perspective my key recommendations for helping to reduce breast cancer risk are:

Achieve/maintain a healthy weight  (BMI between 18.5 - 24.9)
      
      Be active

Drink alcohol in moderation

Reduce your intake of saturated fat (red meat, butter, cakes, pastries, biscuits, chocolates, everything we’d love to eat without limits)

Eat more fruit

In the near future this blog will address the above health recommendations in more practical detail to help you on your way to leading a fashionably healthy lifestyle, so watch this space!

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