Jeannie and her mom, Betsy, join the discussion on Skype™ from their living room. Betsy is battling stage 3 breast cancer, and Jeannie wants to know if there are any lifestyle changes she can make now to remain cancer-free in the future.
Prevention starts with some basic diet changes. The more overweight you are, Dr. McAndrew says, the higher your risk for developing any type of cancer. "A very large nutritional study [of women who already had breast cancer] showed there was a 25 percent reduction in the cancer spreading if the women went on low-fat diets," she says. "This was a number similar to what some drugs could do."
Exercise can also decrease your risk, Dr. McAndrew says, and it's better to start sooner rather than later. "We need to start thinking about [lifestyle changes] not only when we're full adulthood, but for our children," she says. "That's when we're going to see the biggest reduction is when we start those interventions, when we start having our young adults, our teenagers, our preteens exercise, eat well."