Breast Cancer Prevention in Singapore: When to Start?

Singaporean women over 50 are more at risk of breast cancer than any age group.

As a result, young adults are encouraged to start healthy lifestyle changes as early as possible to reduce their chances of developing the disease. This allows women to improve their overall well-being and take charge of their breast health.

Navigate breast cancer prevention in Singapore through simple lifestyle changes and unlock a healthier future today.

Who Benefits From Lifestyle Changes

Every woman benefits from the positive effects of healthy habits. For instance, it leads to healthier weight and lower risks of health conditions, including breast cancer. However, women in higher-risk groups, such as older women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes and having a first-degree relative with breast cancer, should start healthy habits to decrease their risk.

Consider breast cancer prevention in Singapore if you have the following risk factors for breast cancer.

  • Overweight
  • Excessive consumption of red meat, animal fat, and alcohol
  • Intake of Estrogen and progesterone
  • Reproductive history, e.g. not having children, early onset of menses before the age of 11, and cessation of menses after the age of 55

When to Start Simple Lifestyle Habits Today: 5 Lifestyle Changes for Breast Cancer Prevention

Starting earlier to adopt healthy habits provides better benefits in reducing the risk of breast cancer. Although there is always time to begin a healthier lifestyle, taking action when you’re younger yields significant benefits. Consistently maintain these lifestyle changes to improve overall well-being and protect breast health.

1. Choose a healthier diet.

Eat a balanced diet with fibre-rich fruits and vegetables like apples, broccoli, dry beans, and kale. This food group may reduce high estrogen levels in the blood, linked with breast cancer development. If you have a high animal fat intake, find alternative lean protein sources such as fish, poultry, and plant-based proteins to minimise risk. In addition, incorporate soya products and beta-carotene-rich foods in your meals, including soymilk, tofu, and green leafy fruits and vegetables, to achieve optimal results from your breast cancer prevention diet.

2. Try moderate to vigorous intensity exercises.

According to National Cancer Centre Singapore, at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activities weekly help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of new and recurrent cancers. This includes exercises such as riding a bicycle, swimming, or brisk walking. If you’re starting, consult your doctor on appropriate exercise programs to gain a personalised routine.

3. Limit alcohol consumption.

Alcohol is a Group 1 human carcinogen linked to breast cancer. To lessen consumption, try refreshing beverages such as soda and fresh lime, berries in iced water, and other low-sugar mocktails. Additionally, consider stocking up on less alcohol at home to reduce your drinking habits.

4. Quit smoking.

The chemicals present in cigarettes damage DNA and disrupt normal cell function, leading to the development of cancerous cells over time. Consider seeking guidance from health providers or using smoking cessation aid to support your quitting journey.

5. Rethink postmenopausal hormone therapy.

Hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of breast cancer to a minor extent. However, breast cancer risk is different for individuals. Consult your doctor if the benefits of hormone-based contraceptives and postmenopausal hormone therapy outweigh the risks.

How to Implement Long-Term Breast Cancer Prevention Strategies

Implementing long-term lifestyle changes to lower the risk of breast cancer is crucial for optimum breast health. Although these changes may seem daunting, incorporating them into your daily routine helps you reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.

  • Plan and prioritise. Time constraints hinder individuals’ ability to make healthy choices. Prioritise your health and carve out dedicated time for self-care. For instance, schedule regular exercise sessions and create meal plans in advance to overcome the challenge of a busy schedule.
  • Seek support and accountability. Surround yourself with a support system that encourages and motivates you to keep going. Share your health goals with trusted family, friends or a support group with similar aspirations. Consult a healthcare professional or a certified wellness coach for accountability and guidance.
  • Find enjoyable physical activities to sustain long-term commitment. Explore different exercises and activities, such as dancing, swimming, hiking, or yoga. This makes exercise a fun part of your daily routine.
  • Start with small steps. Avoid setting up unrealistic objectives that may put unnecessary pressure. Instead, focus on making gradual changes tailored to your needs. This approach allows for sustainable progress and increases the chances of maintaining long-term healthy habits.

Why Is Breast Cancer Prevention in Singapore Essential

1 in 13 Singaporean women develops breast cancer in their lifetime. This condition affects the lives of individuals and their families. By emphasising prevention, we reduce the burden of breast cancer and its debilitating consequences. However, prevention is not only about avoiding the disease. It involves promoting better health outcomes and enhancing the overall quality of life.

Exercise and breast cancer prevention strategies lower the risk of developing the disease and make a lasting impact on breast cancer rates in Singapore. Let’s create a healthier society.

Be empowered and take control of your breast health today.

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