Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosed in older women. According to the National Cancer Institute, a woman’s risk of breast cancer increases with age. There are programs that can lead to healthier lifestyles, reducing risks for various illnesses including breast cancer.
Focus on a healthy diet
As we get older, it is critical to eat a healthy diet for several reasons, one being that it helps people reduce the risk of certain cancers including breast cancer. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a healthy eating plan emphasizes fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or fat-free dairy; includes lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium) and added sugars. Country Meadows’ team of executive chefs works with Vice President of Dining and Culinary Services, Katherine Thomas, RD, LDN, to plan menus for active adult communities. “I develop the menu calculating nutritional content for older adults while using balance, variety, and moderation,” she says. “We use fresh ingredients as often as possible and follow diets clinically proven to improve cognition, lower blood pressure, and reduce cancer and heart disease.”
One of the most important things older adults can do for themselves participates in regular physical activity in active adult communities. Exercise can prevent many health problems that accompany age while helping maintain strength, mobility, and endurance. A recent study from the National Cancer Institute adds to existing evidence linking physical activity with longer survival in women diagnosed with high-risk breast cancer. The study found that individuals who engaged in regular physical activity before their cancer diagnosis and after treatment were less likely to have their cancer come back or die compared with those who were inactive. Over and over, research clearly shows there are many benefits to leading a healthy lifestyle including decreased risk of cancer, obesity, depression and dementia as well as preventing heart disease.
To learn more about breast cancer please visit the Mayo Clinic site.